Kid D is in an adjustment phase. He just started the third grade. Third grade is kickball at recess. It is noticing the opposite sex as somehow different than you, but not really caring too much. It is the last carefree days of single digits. Third grade is multiplication tables, cursive writing, and how to write a book report. It is a pivotal year.
I was talking to him about all of the exciting things he will learn over the next few months and he seemed so excited. Granted, I am a master motivator, but the kid appeared genuinely enthusiastic about all of the new and wonderful wisdom that was to be had. If knowledge equals power, than he was able to see the path to world domination.
But then came the homework.
It is easy to say, “Eyes on the prize; hands on the plow,” but it is very difficult for an eight or nine-year-old to walk that walk. There are so many other fun things to do… run through the sprinkler one last time before this summer is gone forever, ride a bike, jump on a friend’s trampoline, play football out in the yard.
“My friend just called and asked if I can jump on his trampoline with the sprinkler underneath of it! Can I go, mom? Please, mom? Can I?” Homework quickly slips down the to-do list when shiny distractions beckon so aggressively.
Being a stickler for a proper education, but also a supporter of fun (especially the “squeezing out the last drops of summer” stuff), I made him a deal that he could go as soon as he finished his math worksheet.
Smoke poured from the tip of his Dixon-Ticonderoga. Soon he was finished. He swore that he had done his best work as he threw the paper in my direction and darted down the street on his bicycle. When I looked at his homework, this is what I saw:
I guess I need to work a little harder on my motivation skills. Kid D is already over it.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…