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Late = Zero

I’m annoyed. I love Dude and Princess’s school – it’s a great school. They’re learning, they’re having fun, they’re making friends, and they don’t feel threatened. One thing I can’t stand, however, is that there is rarely any consequence to being late – whether it’s your self that is late or your homework that is late.

I grew up in an environment where if you’re not early, you’re late. And I still, for the most part, live by that. My kiddos are quite often the first ones anywhere, and if they’re even a minute late, they hate it (which I like – late is not an option and should be avoided at all costs).

This “lesson” I’ve been teaching the kiddos is being ruined at school. I’m referring to homework. Princess’s teacher is awesome – if your work is late, you get docked points and you most likely get to sit inside at recess and finish unfinished work or sit out for a while during recess if your work was just turned in late. I like those lessons.

But I wish they’d take the lesson a little further. Turning in your work late should equal a zero. Ya ya ya, I know – people get sick, but there are processes in place for that. For every day you’re sick, you have 2 days to complete and hand in the work. That’s acceptable to me.

What is NOT acceptable to me is when my wonderful awesome Dude does his homework and “forgets” to turn it in. This has happened more often lately. To me, that’s just stupid. If you put forth the effort to do the work, then think to turn it in! If you can’t turn it in because 1) you “forgot” or 2) you can’t find it in your mess of a backpack or 3) you swear you turned it in because you remember handing it to the teacher but lo and behold a week later I get an email saying you have a missing assignment and could you please turn it in and you find it in your mess of a backpack . . . then you should get a zero. No credit for late work – period. But no, the teachers have not docked him ANYTHING for turning his work in late – not even some percentage of points! What the hell kind of lesson is that? Certainly not the lesson we’re teaching at home.

And yesterday, his band practice sheet was due. I don’t babysit him about his homework . . . it’s his stuff and his time and his grades and his consequences. He gets all A’s – always. But yesterday, he hadn’t completed his band practice sheet for January. Since the beginning of the school year, they’ve gotten a band practice sheet for the month. They have to set practice goals, record their actual time, and write a short paragraph on a question the teacher has on the sheet for each week. Then the student needs to sign it and the parents need to sign it for each week. Last Friday was a snow day. No school. I asked him if he had any homework to finish before we left to go snowboarding for the weekend. Of course he said No and we moved along.

Monday at the bus stop I ask about his band practice sheet because I didn’t remember signing it. He got this look like “OMG I can’t believe it’s due today blah blah blah excuse excuse excuse.” I told him he was grounded after school until he got all of his school stuff in order and could prove he wasn’t “holding” completed homework in his backpack. I also may have mentioned that getting anything other than an A in band when your grade is entirely dependant on handing in a practice sheet would be completely unacceptable.

He comes home and says “Well, I got lucky today! Mrs. Music Teacher said our sheets weren’t due until Wednesday since we didn’t have school last Friday.”

Um, what? So basically what she said was that since they weren’t in class last Friday for her to remind them to fill out their sheets and bring them back on Monday, she was giving them another class day. Another class day because they are incapable of reading the due date on the top of the sheet? Another class day because 6 months of completing the same monthly practice record with a due date of the first class period of the next month isn’t enough time for them to figure it out?

What (pause for dramatic effect) EVER!

You’re still grounded!!!

I know it’s easier for the teachers to not dock points, because then they have to deal with the parents of those perfect kids who just couldn’t get their work done on time because of whatever it was that was more important than SCHOOL work. It’s easier to give the points than try to convince the parents that their kid turning their work in late shouldn’t be acceptable.

We’ll all have a boss we don’t like at some point. We’ll all have work deadlines that are difficult to meet at some point. We’ll all have a busy personal life that makes focusing on work difficult at some point. But ya know what? Get used to it! That’s life. Learn NOW how to deal with it, before you don’t show up for work on time because you were just too tired, or before you lose your job because you didn’t meet your deadline because you had too much going on, or before you quit your job because there is one person there that doesn’t cater to your every desire and you can’t figure out how to get past it.

Late work at school should equal zero points.

Off my soap box.

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2 Comments

  1. Shirley says:

    I TOTALLY AGREE!!! And…it’s not a new philosophy!!! When Tony’s youngest two were in junior high and high school the same things were happening. That does absolutely nothing to prepare them for life after high school and it is really sad!!! I don’t know what we can do to get the education system(s) to understand what their job is. Love…Mom

  2. Sue says:

    I agree completely with both of you. It is not acceptable. When do they learn to take on responsibility, if they don’t start with their first job, school.

    I wonder if more parents are experiencing that.

    My granddaughter, in Marshall, had three basketball games, one here, one 34 miles away and another one about 25 miles away. When they went to each game, they were told that they had been given the wrong information-no game. All three were scheduled by a parent. Add the disappointment, the drive and who wants to waste three days. I think if you volunteer to manage a program, you need to be responsible. Maybe this parent went to Dude’s school.

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