on dec. 4 the girl (sixth grader) was given information about a project for social studies that would be due jan. 14.
her task was basically to learn all she could about romania. she had 12 sections to cover (transportation, myth (vlad the impaler), composer, writer, landmarks, etc.) and each was to be at least half a typed page and a picture.
there were some other things (examples of the flag, make a postcard that would entice people to come to that country and talk about some current events).
historically when the girl has had big projects i hounded her to death. and would take the notes she had compiled on something and type them for her (cos she couldn’t type). now that she’s in middle school, (and taking keyboarding), i have stayed out of it for the most part. i have periodically asked if she’s working on the project, yes, she’d say. the hubs would ask, yes, she’d say. we didn’t have a working printer at home, so last week she asked me to print stuff out at work. idid that.
this weekend i was getting antsy about her project. our desk top had been on the fritz (is now replaced) and she’d used the hubs’ lap top to work on her project.
i started grilling her about the project over the weekend and the hubs again asked her if she had it under control or did she need help, she said she was good. she spent a lot of time on the computer.
the night before the project was due i asked her about it again. she said she had a little bit more to do. i tried to hook our old printer to the new computer tuesday night and they weren’t compatible. the hubs went out, at 9pm, to get the appropriate cord. the girl was still working on her project. she worked on it until midnight. it was not finished. it was no where near finished. early in the evening we realized she’d not been working on it all the time she told us she had. she….procrastinated. and lied.
she went to bed, project unfinished, printer not able to print. i was sick w/ anger and disappointment and i don’t know what else. she has always been a great student. always gets good grades, etc. i knew not turning the paper in on time would cost her points (though i still haven’t figured out the convoluted system the teacher spelled out for what each part of the project was worth).
the day the report was due she told the teacher she procrastinated and that a tiny bit of the problem was our printer didn’t work. i told the girl i was proud of her for owning up to her issue but that it really had little to do w/ the printer, cos if she’d have had it done i would have taken it somewhere, anywhere, to print it out.
she worked on it again last night, until midnight. she’s been dragging the last two mornings. we sent the report in on a cd and i emailed it to the teacher to be safe.
i have since calmed down. i started a post tuesday night when we were in the crux of this and it was just unreadable anger and pissedoffedness.
i bounce between disappointment in her for just not even trying to get it done and LYING to us that she was doing it and anger at myself for not being more on top of what she was doing and passing on my bad procrastinating habit.
should i have helped her with it? should i have let her stay home “sick” yesterday and finish it? i was torn all the way around. my hope is, that since it was such a nightmare, so stressful, so tiring, that maybe this will teach her a lesson? hopefully? yesterday morning i ached for her having to go in to school and tell her teacher she didn’t have her project done. the teacher was as shocked as we were. this just isn’t like the girl.
the project is turned it; hopefully a lesson has been learned and we’re implementing stricter homework policies for all.
sometimes being a parent really blows. now i don't know whether to believe her when she tells me her homework is done (she SAYS she finishes it at daycare). i see her report card, i know she gets good grades. and i know how very lucky we are that we have bright kids and they don't have a lot of problems in school and i know things could be worse. my parents never checked my homework, they weren't involved really in my school work, at least not that i can remember. maybe it was different w/ my brother and sister, but i knew when i had homework and i did it.