We've been rather spoilt with big son. He was born an 'old soul', is wise beyond his years, has taught himself good manners and really has just brought himself up perfectly (I slightly exaggerate in that we might have helped a little bit along the way). He is so self directed with everything he does, I don't think I have ever helped him with one molecule of his homework... apart from sourcing project materials. His 'Insect Diorama' in Grade 2 got an A, as it was the only one that looked like a kid had done it.
Little son, well he's a completely different soul. He has a loving, protective big brother who has waited on him hand and foot all his life..... so he's more than happy to play the role of the 'lazy one'. He is spectacularly skilled in 'tactical homework avoidance' and 'creative fibbing' to cover his tracks.... he fools us time and time again... and always manages to get us on a 'technicality'. If only he would put as much effort into doing his homework as he does making up excuses for not doing it. His teacher has resorted to, "if you weren't in a coma in the hospital, I am not interested in your excuse". The final straw this week, was the 'red signature' at school for lagging behind in his reading (3 x red signatures = detention).
At our wits end, hubby and I decided to bring out the big guns... 'a ban from playing in his soccer match on the weekend'. Hubby was the mastermind behind it.... as he remembers the exact feeling of despair when he was inflicted with the same punishment as a lad. He's still damaged.... but thinks he learnt from it?!
Little one took it remarkably well, after he picked himself up from the initial melodramatic slump to the floor. He knew he was in serious trouble, due to the nature of the punishment, so he quickly composed himself, hoping that the punishment didn't extend to soccer training next week. He waved his big brother off to his match, biting his lip, holding his tears back and then settled into some.... homework.. with hovering mother.
First step in the 'tactical homework avoidance' was to quickly slip in a completely irrelevant activity, while Mum was out of the room putting a load of washing on.... googling and making! "the most difficult origami dragon"...quote, unquote...... "yes Mum, I will start my project as soon as I am finished here".... the kid has gall let me tell you.
We finally settled into his 'Honey - From Hive to Table' project... me espousing scientific facts and little one 'putting it into his own words'.....spectacularly rewarding morning... big smiles and high fives all 'round.
Little one even made a few swift changes to the 'Homework Avoidance Origami Dragon' and it now takes pride of place.... in the centre of his project... as a 3-D honey bee. Resourceful.
During bedtime snuggles..."I know why you and Dad did that to me today Mum..... to make me a better Man" (school motto is "Manners Maketh the Man".... it's all about becoming decent men around here!). Ah yes, the brainwashing is working. Hopefully. Here's to a better week :)... he's going to be doing a lot of reading and I am going to be doing a lot of 'hovering'.