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How We Act in School

Mrs. F:

Elf has had a *revelation* yesterday. He has been informed that attending school is a privilege, that the right to an education is not outlined in the Constitution, and that he is to do his best work at school out of respect for himself, his family, his teachers, and the taxpayer. (And so on and so on. The Mom lecture.)

I understand that he received a 70 on a recent math exam. If he did his best and tried to make up the work and/or do additional work and strive to understand the concepts, I would have to be ok with this even though it is a poor grade. But he has gotten the idea that a 60 is passing, that anything over 60 is good enough, and he didn't bother to take the scheduled makeup. That's his fault and I'm not writing to ask for another. I'm writing to tell you that I can't "fix" every problem behaviour or poor grade my son may have, but I certainly am not going to neglect to have some consequences at home if I'm made aware that this is a continuing problem. He's been told if something bad like this happens again, he will miss his fun activities for a whole week. We do our best work or we find there is no playtime.

Oh, you will love this part. He said he'd like to homeschool again because he'd love to have a break. I told him great but that if he came home, that he would just study everything little brother is doing. You should have seen his face crumple up because Emperor studies chess for two hours a day and Latin and grammar are regular parts of his life. Ha ha ha! Suddenly, he is *quite* motivated to do things your way. Isn't that nice? He's also been told that I would be emailing you (and I am cc'ing Mrs. G and Mrs. P so they are in on this!) so that you would feel free to drop me a note any time you feel there is a concern. He cringed a little, hearing that one. Making his life hard should be a team effort! :)

Hopefully he's left with the idea that we'll be communicating with each other and he's not going to get away with being a slacker.

Happy Elf Mom


  1. [Making his life hard should be a team effort!] Mwa-ha-ha!

    And making him work to the best of his ability before he can play? I think we graduated from the same mean mom school. Keep up the good work!

  2. You're a rock star, Mrs. C. Keep up the good work!

  3. Thanks, Julie and Deb! Just got a note from the teacher. His grade was actually a 63. Eeek!!

  4. Parent/Teacher communication is key, huh? I like the "team effort" comment!

  5. Making his life hard should be a team effort! This is my philosophy. When my boys start behaving badly, I tell their Kung Fu Sifu. He works every bit of attitude out of them. They come home exhausted and grateful again.

    Team Work! YEAH!

  6. Susan S, so far it's working! Just received the "I have Elf here and we have discussed..." email from Mrs. F.

    Daja, this Kung Fu Sifu guy sounds like he has your back! Hope you are doing well and am loving your baby posts! :)

  7. LOL, elf mom! I once sent a note a little like this to Jeremiah's English teacher (Not nearly as funny though). She wrote me back and thanked me for it. She also told Jeremiah to "Tell your Mom that she can email me anytime she wants!" My bet is you're going to get a similar response from his teacher. In fact, she'll probably want to share it with other teachers too.

  8. I already cc'd about all of creation JUST so they know they can also email me any time. And I really mean it. I wish I could peek at your note, tho'. :)

  9. Awww, Mom!! There you go trying to make him do his best again. Sheesh! Someday he will thank you.

  10. 70 is a bad grade?

    When I was in school most of the class hovered around 75-85 with a few getting as high as 90. Once in high school I was top of the class with 85 in the end of term math exam.

    Either the work back then was super hard or we all were exceptionally dumb.
    Or maybe the curriculum was just very different back in the 60's.

  11. Hee hee, there is nothing like letting your kid know that you actually keep in touch with their teacher and KNOW what they are doing!
    Works every time.

  12. Blondee, I don't know if he will someday because currently I am ruining his life. :)

    River, grade inflation is a serious thing-o. Which... fine, because at least we know it's there but really anything under an 80 woulda been failing back in the day. You know what I mean.

    Chris, it doesn't work everyyyy time but more often than not! Been loving your posts lately.

    Dianne, I just love you as well! :)


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