Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I'm not the type of parent who will usually say "do xyz and I'll give you something special". I am the "do xyz, because I'm your mother and I told you to". I have to say it works about 90-95% of the time, and that's OK with me. Here's how we deal with Courtney's school work: it's all about the amount of effort she puts in, not the final grade. We start to get concerned when she either 'has no homework' or 'finished it in school' only to bring home C's and D's on test and quizzes. NOT COOL!

We told her (at the end of 7th grade) that because she had been on the Honor Roll for the entire year, that we would get her a new cell phone (when we renewed our contract in January 2011), and let her text if she stayed on the HR. Well, we got a math interim right before the winter break and all was well...except her math was a 75. That's a low C by the grading scale used around here. So we had a talk about asking for help, and studying more for tests and quizzes. And she did, she studied with Jeff, got help at school, but it looks like she will be getting a C (by only 2 points) for her semister grade. Needless to say, she was not happy.

So Jeff and I talked, and we came to an agreement. If she can get an 85% or better on her exam, she can still have the texting. I had to fight here on this one. When you really take a good look at the improvement for the first half of the grading period she had a 75. But if you sit and do the math (which we did) for the second half she got an 84%. Unfortunately, it didn't bring it up enough to get her on the HR, but I had to make the fight for her effort.

With the exam scarring the ever-loving-crap out of her, I knew we had to motivate her somehow without just saying "OK, well you didn't give it your all the whole time, didn't study for the exam, but here you go anyway have a new phone and text all your friends". Um, no way. So we told her, study this weekend get an 85% on the exam and we can reward the effort.

I have NEVER seen a kid have such a 180* turn around. She and Jeff spent about 3 hours working problems on Saturday, and I would say about a good 5 or 6 (broken up through out the day) on Sunday, and she knew it. I mean she KNEW it all! So with Monday being a holiday, we did some light reviewing, I'd say maybe an hour, and girl was ready! Then school got cancelled for ice, so she got another day. Jeff threw some problems at her, but she didn't even blink. Girl has this Algebra thing down cold.

Now if can only get her to take the stinking thing...I have never hoped for school to be open in my life, but I really hope she can go tomorrow before all this new found confidence disappears as magically as it found her.

No matter what the final grade, I cannot say that she could have given it any more effort. Unfortunately, we have to stick to our guns on the 85% thing. I do not see any reason why an 85% would be a problem for her...but I have to have a back up plan to reward the amount of effort that she has demonstrated for the last four days.


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