Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Bear is slowly discovering that junior high is a different cup of tea, with increased independence and expectations. She is in love with having her own locker, with changing classes, and the increased choices in the lunchroom, but some of the luster is wearing off now that the teachers are assigning regular homework. Unfortunately, our Bear inclines toward the ditzier end of the organizational spectrum, and she is already finding the juggling act a challenge.

Daddy Shortbread and I are working with her to develop checklists to help her remember what she needs to accomplish before and after school. We've already had numerous instances of forgetting, and this is the second week of school. Just yesterday, after "checking" her backpack and asserting that she was all set, she walked out the door without both homework planner and gym clothes.

Judge me if you will, but I don't intend to be the mother who fetches and carries all over town to save my kids the consequences of their forgetfulness. Oh, sure, I ran the planner and clothes over to the junior high yesterday, but I let it be known that next time she'll have to take the consequences of not having her planner or being able to dress out for gym.

She's a smart kid, we tell her, but unfortunately you don't get credit for that alone. Things like remembering to bring your homework home, complete it, and then actually turn it in, is what will make or break your school career. Smart is just a bonus. Organization is a solid 50%, and frequently more.

She knows I'll be checking her homework planner every night, and going over her checklists with her, morning and evening. Hopefully a month or two of following this routine will help her to develop some better habits. Or I may just take up drinking. One or the other.


#1quiltinggrandma said...

Jenn, I concur for whatever that is worth. The most important lessons we learn in life are the ones that we learn "the hard way". So I guess Bear will have to have a couple of bad experiences before she really understands the importance of certain duties and obligations. It is of course normal. We all did it at one time or another. Well, maybe you didn't, but most of us did. By the way, drinking sometimes helps if done in a reasonable fashion, i.e. not more than a bottle of whiskey per day [size of the bottle is open to need]. Grandpa

Nana said...

I have to say that you were pretty good about leaving for school completely prepared for the day. Maybe this was partly due to the fact that I checked your homework and made you get everything in your bag, except your lunch, the night before. That might work for Bear, too, since we all agree that school mornings are hectic.

jenn said...

I'm more of a Kahlua girl myself, but if this keeps up much longer I might have to consider the whiskey. Do they sell that in gallon jugs?

jenn said...

Also, Mom, you seem to be forgetting that I left completely prepared for the day because I was THE PERFECT CHILD. Try to remember, OK?

Nana said...

Oh...my memory must be slipping already. I could have sworn it was Uncle Awesome who was the perfect child. :)

parnola said...

Thanks for stickin' up for me, ma ;)