wlotus: (Peaceful)
The Teen's voice is changing as he is getting taller. I am tickled.
wlotus: (Photography)
Today The Teen graduated from eighth grade. Of course, I was there with my camera. (At his mother's request for privacy, these photos are not of The Teen, but they are from his graduation ceremony.)

8th Grade Graduates
Girls Waiting to March


There were about twice as many girls in the class as boys.

+2 )
wlotus: (Princess)
"What I want," sulked The Teen after his mother cut his hair short, "is to get out of that school and get my [mohawk] back." His mother made it clear that his abysmal grades, due entirely to choosing not to do much of his assigned homework, have preempted his going to a barber for regular mohawk maintenance. She will spend the money on herself, instead.

I don't yet know if he will graduate with his eighth grade class next month. He turned in a (very, very late) science report rather than the required project, and his science teacher did not appreciate the lack of content/effort that went into it. I hope they do not pass him, if only to drive home the lesson that one cannot get far in life by not doing what is required. I'd rather see him repeat eighth grade there with this year's seventh graders--a humiliation he hopes to avoid--than get away with defiant laziness. He has the potential to grow into a belligerent man with no respect for authority, if this behavior is allowed to continue. As it is, he sulks home after school every day with A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E. oozing out of every pore of his body just because the world has failed to bow down and allow his continued laziness. My palms itch to go a-slappin' whenever I get near him, so I mostly keep my distance, wait, and see.

----------------
Now playing: Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra - Stealin' Apples
http://foxytunes.com/artist/fletcher+henderson+and+his+orchestra/track/stealin+apples.
wlotus: (pink lotus)
Like any other loving parent, [livejournal.com profile] labyrinthnight wants to protect The Teen from embarrassment. Until now, that has meant riding his back and mapping his school projects out for him, since he had no interest in doing the work himself. She did not want to see him fail. She did not want to see him humiliated in front of his peers. Now, though, she has decided it is more important that she not see him continue being lazy with no consequences.

This morning The Teen had a science project due for the school's science fair. He put little or no effort into thinking up a project, let alone carrying out one. As difficult as it was, [livejournal.com profile] labyrinthnight stepped back. She did not lecture. She did not nag. She did not search for ideas. She did not map out what needed to be done. He did not ask for help, so she did not offer any or ask about his (nonexistent) progress. All she did was warn him a science project cannot be done in one day and let him know he would go to school the day of the science fair, come hell or high water. Furthermore, she would walk him into the school, to make sure his project did not get "lost" on the way.

This morning at 5 she found him asleep in front of the computer. He had stayed up all night trying to do a last-minute science project. She left him there and went back to bed until it was time for him to start getting ready.

On the way out the door, she asked where his presentation board was. He had left it in his room. "How much did you get done?" she asked. "Nothing," was his reply. "Then that is what you are submitting to your teacher," she stated. She ignored the temptation to shield him, made him go back for it, and had him carry the blank board with him all the way to school. She escorted him to the schoolhouse doors, made sure he headed towards his classroom, then left until time to view the fair.

When she returned, the principal met her at the door. "I already sent him back to his class," she said. The science project is a significant part of the eighth grade requirements, and by not completing it, he is in danger of not graduating. So, here is how the law has been laid down. The Teen has to come up with a project idea, which his science teacher must approve. When his project is complete, the principal must approve it. If she approves and he meets his other graduation requirements, he graduates. If she does not approve, he does not graduate. ([livejournal.com profile] labyrinthnight has already told him that if he does not graduate, she will pay for him to repeat eighth grade right there with this year's seventh graders.) [livejournal.com profile] labyrinthnight (and T and I) is in full agreement and will accept whatever decision the school makes.

To say The Teen was embarrassed to have been singled out in that way is probably an understatement. He has always counted on Mom being there to cover up his mess and save him from embarrassment, but not this time.

I know from watching some of my adult friends struggle with unnecessary drama how difficult it is to step back and watch someone you love suffer consequences of their own making. I can't imagine how much more difficult it is to watch your child go through something like that. But [livejournal.com profile] labyrinthnight did, and I am very proud of her for it.
wlotus: (Gen Displeased)
Yesterday The Teen brought home a report card that is abysmal. On Monday, his video games will go to work with his mom. Tomorrow night his television belongs to T, and she will keep it until his grades go back up.

Did I mention he is out of school all of next week for Spring Break? Whatever will he do for entertainment? Perhaps all of those missing assignments his teachers commented about in the comments section of the report card.
wlotus: (Deep Thoughts)
...means recognizing a teaching moment when The Teen mentions peers teasing a former schoolmate about being bipolar. He didn't know what it is, and now he does. He also knows it is something that is serious and treatable and not to be laughed about.

I need a stiff drink.
wlotus: (Peaceful)
This morning I arose at 6 and grabbed my camera for an impromptu photo shoot. It was a special day: the first day of eighth grade for The Teen, the beginning of his final year of middle school, and his first day attending parochial school.

Gone are the mohawk and earring and street clothes. He left the house at 6:40 sporting close-cut hair and wearing a neat uniform: white, button-down shirt, blue-and-red striped tie, dark slacks, dark shoes, and a dark vest sporting the name of his school. I won't post photos, in order to protect his and [livejournal.com profile] labyrinthnight's privacy, but take my word for it: he looked quite handsome.

"Ahhhh...I feel the refreshing winds of discipline in the air," [livejournal.com profile] edmaestro said when I showed him the photos. Indeed.
wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)

The Teen ended the 7th grade with a grade point average of 86.14. Other than the 70 in English (down from an 85 the previous marking period, and entirely out of line with his 710/790 standardized test score), the academic grades aren't news. His effort and conduct grades, however, are:

English: Effort Needs Improvement
Math: Takes too long to settle down to work
Technology: Needs Improvement



The Teen is suffering from a viewpoint that has always been foreign to me with regards to schoolwork, but seems to be common amongst other teens: homework is either optional or a necessary evil to be rushed through with the minimal effort necessary to say, "I did it." Furthermore, socializing in class is perfectly acceptable. Lying about one's behavior and whether one has finished one's homework is also the order of the day.

[livejournal.com profile] labryrinthnight and I are not impressed. That is not how he's being raised. In fact, she is SO not impressed that she has pulled him out of that school (which was his first choice for a middle school), away from all of his friends, and enrolled him in a Catholic school for 8th grade. That means uniforms. That also means the mohawk has got to go.

The Teen is not impressed. His mother and I, however, are thrilled. Our hope is the more traditional academic environment will instill more discipline in him. Up until this point, he has been able to shuck nearly everything his mother has instilled in him with regards to work as soon as he leaves the house and arrives at school; at school, punishments are threatened, but rarely carried out, and teachers have allowed undone classwork to slide, because they are tired of pushing him to do it. The principle at the Catholic school claims that is not how she runs her ship, and she was appalled at the difference between his standardized test scores and his progress report card. We hope she lives up to her word.

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