So much for my relenting and offering him incentives for expected -- not even good -- but expected normal behavior. I had told him that with great behavior for the next two weeks, that not only could he go on his next class field trip, but that I'd miss a day of work and volunteer to accompany the field trip -- unlike last week when his behavior was so poor that he was excused from his class field trip and spent the morning sitting in the poor principal's office.
What a shame too -- his first class field trip was a nature/science trip that involved turning over rocks and seeking insect life to examine the health of a creek at a wonderful nearby park -- totally up Julian's alley. But I didn't blame his teacher at all for excusing him from the trip, he knew full well that he was at risk of losing the trip due to classroom behavior.
I hoped that a stern talk and an offer of accompanying his class on the next trip would make for tremendous incentive, but today, Julian rewarded my Grand Ideas by being sent to the principal's office -- and during a spelling test, which I was asked to re-administer this evening. Between phone calls, email, doorbell solicitations, making dinner, and keeping after Mr Delinquent to do his homework, I had enough to deal with, so I was furious about this extra job.
Fortunately, someone else stepped up to the task.
I couldn't believe it, but Julian and Katrina plowed through nearly 40 spelling-test words -- and not super-easy ones either, ones like "outmaneuver" and "tantamount," and written in cursive. Julian even paid Katrina (who'd finished her homework after school at CDC) 50 cents to help -- which I said he couldn't do, but he insisted. Aside from the fact that she agreed to do it -- she was completely undaunted by reading a 3rd-grade-level list of spelling words written in cursive. It's like it doesn't occur to any of them that this might be a little odd.
And I'm pretty sure the parenting magazines don't cover this dilemma -- is it OK to allow your 8yo son to pay his 6yo sister to administer a spelling test he was kicked out of his classroom for????
Well, regardless....I doubt this will register with Julian's teacher as my finest parenting moment...but it just occurred to me that Katrina's 1st-grade teacher should be pretty impressed!!