Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Another school year, another narrow escape

Once again the school year has drawn to a merciful close. Ah, saved by the bell once again. I don’t think we could’ve lasted many more rounds hitting the ol’ books; as my earlier blog has revealed, studying has never exactly been my son’s forté. But he made it through the ninth grade, I’m proud to say, and it was a nail-biter till the end. We owe a lot to Memorial Day for finally showing up and calling the match.

Summer’s just heating up, but for me and my house,
the real sweating is over.

In adult world, most of us work 12 months a year, minus time off for the occasional vacation. Still, when school gets out for summer, I feel like I get out too. I get to sleep late, but even better, I don’t have to keep up with all those homework assignments.

Yes, I know, I shouldn’t have to keep up with those. My son is old enough to drive a car; he should be able to keep up with his own schoolwork. I hear you. Most parents don’t bum rush their kids’ schoolwork like I do. They don’t remind them when their projects are due, or what chapters their tests will cover.

But they probably don’t need to. My son has classic ADHD. I’m told it can actually be an asset later on, but for now, it doesn’t help so much getting through high school.

It’s a delicate balance for the mom of a kid with ADHD. 

I want my son to stand on his own, but I realize he has a predisposition that makes it harder for him to do so. It’s not his fault. I don’t want to do too much for him, but I don’t want to do too little either. Advice is mixed. Some say let him fail on his own; he’ll learn responsibility, and the tough value of consequences. But he’s already a year older than other kids in his grade. Do I want to see him fall further behind, for the sake of “a lesson” that might not teach him anything? And would this “lesson” be more important than the ones they’re teaching him in school? Shouldn’t I want to help him learn those lessons, as much as any other?

I realize, of course, my son could do better than he’s doing. Homework, for example, is more important than video games. Completing assignments, and actually handing them to the teacher, is also more helpful than cramming them in the bottom of his backpack and finding them a month (or a year) later.

These are things we’re working on. He gets more practiced each round. But going the distance will mean cracking a lot more books come fall. For us the glory of each passing school year has been, well, passing. In the meantime, I’m grading his progress on a curve. After all, love covers a multitude of bad grades.

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