Here we go… School is in full swing so is the procrastination.
The Teen has had a few pretty good bouts with the procrastination already in the last couple years. The first time was a research paper that she had to do in 5th grade (why in the world they had 5th graders doing research papers still baffles me to this day). She had a month to do it, and she told me about the assignment about two weeks into the assignment. Those were two very long weeks… But somehow she managed to get 100% on the silly thing.
Last year she had a couple of book reports to do. She did okay on the first one…except for the part where she just scrawled down some stuff and was just going to turn it in as is until I reminded her that it was for ELA (which back in the day was just known as “English” and not “English language Arts.”) , and there should probably be some drafts and editing involved. She was mad, but thankful when she got an A on it. The second one she gave herself a week to do, but spent three days working on drafts for the pictures she was going to put in it instead of working on the content. Again, she lucked out and got a good grade.
I decided that this year I was going to let her learn the hard way. You snooze you lose. I think we’ve all had to learn this lesson that way. I know I have… for me it was a big fat D on a huge research project in 11th grade honors English that I waited until the last minute to do.
I got an email on September 1st from the Teen’s science teacher letting me know she has two “major” projects due soon. The first one I knew about.. But the “proposal for a science fair project” I knew nothing about. Sounds like something that involves some thought and planning doesn’t it?
Every day since I got the email I asked “is that all the homework you have?”
Every day “yep. Just algebra.”
Okie dokie. If you say so.
This proposal was due 9/9. So on the 8th when she got home I asked the same question… “Is that all the homework you have?”
“No, I have science too.”
Then I got the “I forgot about it.”
Then I read the assignment. She has to come up with a proposal for a science fair project that will have to be completed, and will end up being 25% of her science grade. For the proposal, she had to have a question that her experiment would answer, 7 references she would use for her project, a budget and explain the purpose of the experiment. Sounds like I was right in thinking this was something that needed more than a few hours to do.
Then she says, “I’ve been thinking about what I want to do all day since the teacher reminded me.”
All day= since after lunch.
The only things she could come up with were:
1. Getting 3 plants. Watering 1 plant with water, Another plant with sugar-water and the other with artificial sweetener water.
2. Getting 4 plants. Watering 1 with water, one with soda, one with juice and one with something else.
3. Researching methods of dog training, and using 3 different methods, teaching the dog 3 different tricks of equal difficulty.
She opted for the dog training. Which is something that she definitely can’t procrastinate when it comes to actually doing the project.. since it’s not something you can do the night before. I thought it was pretty clear that the proposal was not well thought out, and it was obviously done at the last-minute. Her references were three websites she Googled, 2 documentaries she found of Netflix, some random book she has with something about dog training in it… and she supposedly went to the library that morning to look up a seventh one.
Anyway… there was much talk about procrastinating. I told her straight up that I wasnt going to say a word about the assignment and I was going to let her go to school without doing it just to learn the lesson.
She swore she isn’t going to do it anymore.
Then came the essay she had to do last weekend. She wanted to get it done friday night… then we ate dinner.. then she sat on her butt all day saturday. Finally she decided to finish it on Sunday… not even knowing if we had any plans. She just assumed that she’d have all day to finish it. Sheesh.
Next up… a book report for ELA…she has six of them due by the end of the year. She’s known about this since the first week of school. I’m pretty sure she’s read the book. I heard her tell my sister that she finished whatever it is. But here we are.. its due on Friday and she hasn’t started it. One would think that after all lectures and talks about putting things off.. that she’d think to start the silly thing.
So, here is the thing that totally frustrates, irritates, and just pisses me off.
I checked her science grades on-line yesterday afternoon.
That teacher gave her 100% on the proposal.
How is she going to learn the lesson I want her to learn, when she keeps getting great grades when she turns in less than great work?
This is supposed to be Honors Science. You’d think she’d expect more than something clearly thrown together at the last-minute. Grrrrr. Part of me wants to email her teacher and say WTH? Was it not clear that it didn’t have any thought behind it? Or was it just that she turned it in?
Maybe her ELA teacher will be less forgiving when she scribbles something down at the last-minute.
I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed.