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BOTD 04-26-13 - Is Your Homework Done? A Dimitri-1Strappedboy Production

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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
Is Your Homework Done?
A Dimitri-1strappedboy Production

You've been step-dad to the boys for a couple of years now and you run a home where mom and dad use spanking as the 'go to' tool of discipline. Though the kids are good on the whole, they are certainly "all boy", especially #3 son Darren.

It has long been an established rule that upon arrival at home from school the guys grab a snack, whoever is scheduled for the job feeds/waters the dog, and homework commences. The hard and fast rule you have is that while they can use their laptop for homework, they are not to either use or be on the phone until work is done and, if necessary, checked by you/your SO.

Walking past 12 year old Darren's room you see:
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You note that his earbuds are around his neck and ask, "Is your homework done?" To which he replies, "No, I got hung up on a problem and I was going to ask you about it and Ty just called and I picked up, and we worked it out."

Normally, you'd remind him about the no phone rule and then let it go as the call covered homework. Next you ask about the earbuds and he blushes and stammers, "well uh...."

Is he in trouble?


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John Boy


Sherrif
Um, come here and drop em.

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David M. Katz


Marshall
I guess I should know my kid but does my son need to function in absolute silence to do his homework?

I can understand disallowing continuous distractions such as frequent phone and internet use but a little break here and there?

Also, I have no personal issue with music. My older sons always listened to music as does Nathaniel while doing homework. I suppose some kids do need absolute total silence but it just seems like it turns homework into a dreaded chore and not a reinforcement to learning. However, I am not a huge proponent of much homework anyway.

With me, Darren gets a pass and I am going to lighten up on the rule as long as I see no detriment to the grades.


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Kount me in with Katz for the K Club.

Kat

Padraig


Trailboss
Nevertheless it's an 'ask first, act later' issue. He lied to me too. I don't think this needs a spanking but it depends on his attitude. We certainly will have a talk. If it ends with changing the rules it will be fine with me.

kalico


Sherrif
Count me into the *k* club also

I was a kid that did better with music or tv than without


Hugs kal

AFinch


Sherrif
I'm also with the K Club.

I always did homework with music on, or TV on in the background. I graduated from high school with a 3.95 GPA (out of 4.0), and got into my first choice of colleges.

Iconoclast


Trailboss
I have no reason to doubt that Darren is using the phone to get help on a problem, the fact that his earbuds are not in his ears means he is not listening to music.

so he gets a pass.

Iconoclast

squarecutter


Sherrif
Is there anywhere in the scenario that says no music till the work is done? I knew friends of mine who swore that have the rock blasting out helped them with their work. Not sure about that but.... If he's hearing it through the buds, its not ear-splitingly loud and the work is getting done to standard I can allow it

On the other I daresay I can check to see which boy made the call. It would be hard to stop an incoming call in midstream to say Daaad/Mooom, someones rung about the Math There is a suggestion the rules re being changed after he fact so we will talk about that but I think this is mall stuff we shouldn't sweat on

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Aw poo!! As usual the Bransom dads are nicer than me!! Darren got himself a spanking from me for disregarding the 'concentrate on your work' rule.

Ok, one more time my guys could have hoped for a sunny Bransom cheers dad.

Jack


Admin
I can't really answer this, because I work better with music. If the phone is his primary source of music, then I would allow him to use it for that.

In this scenario, if (and only if), I've made it VERY clear that he can't even listen to music on the phone, then I'm going to remind him of that and give him a chance to convince me he doesn't deserve a sore bottom. I don't think it'd be too hard for me to give him one more chance, unless I really feel he was deliberately disobeying, though.

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Jack


Admin
1strappedboy wrote:Aw poo!! As usual the Bransom dads are nicer than me!! Darren got himself a spanking from me for disregarding the 'concentrate on your work' rule.

Ok, one more time my guys could have hoped for a sunny Bransom cheers dad.

For your younger kids, I should really recommend the book, The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian. Among many other places, I believe he points out that putting boys in quiet places and making them be still actually hurts their ability to learn.

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1strappedboy


Sherrif
Darren is and has always been, how shall I say it politely, easily distracted. Realize of course that he's now finishing up his junior year in high school and does quite well over all.

Jeff and Ry are finishing up their freshman year so perhaps there's still time for me to 'lighten up' a bit with them. Laughing

We have always required the kids to concentrate on the task at hand without what I believed to be distraction like background music or having the tv going until work was complete.

ivor


Marshall
Jack wrote:[

For your younger kids, I should really recommend the book, The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian. Among many other places, I believe he points out that putting boys in quiet places and making them be still actually hurts their ability to learn.

I'm afraid I don't accept that argument Jack because of the way in which general education standards have slipped over the years. Standards were much higher back in the time when children sat silently in class and could actully be taught.

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Jack


Admin
That's your choice, Ivor. I didn't do the study, so it doesn't offend me. On the other hand, I know how myself and my boys do better.

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ivor


Marshall
Why the talk of offence Jack? I simply disagreed with an 'expert' view that you quoted.

Maybe the situation is different in the US to that in England. However, the facts are that far more children now leave school here unable to properly read, write, spell or do simple math than ever before. I'm sure that is in no small part due to the change in teaching methods which permit kids to allow their attention to wander from the subject

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AFinch


Sherrif
Ivor, I don't believe the difference is in teaching methods "which allow the child's attention to wander".

I believe, rather, that it is in teaching (and parenting) methods in which "self-esteem" is valued above actual achievement, and in which children are promoted despite failing to learn the course curriculum, generally as a matter of policy.

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Amen, Doc. That analysis is spot on. Between 'participation trophies' and the 'everyone's a winner' philosophy drilled into our kids, is it any real wonder why we have so many instances of 'mental meltdown' when they are confronted with real life?

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Having been a teacher most of my adult life, I can say that the problems with education are complex, but people want simple answers. Because educators are under so much pressure to provide quick, simple solutions, we see great pendulum swings. I recall when I started to school that most teachers were not at all concerned with self-esteem and many of the students they taught suffered. They heard that they were stupid, lazy and bad, so they believed it and that belief blighted the lives of many of them.

What we have now, though, has not fixed that problem because real self-esteem comes from real accomplishment. Praising winners is great unless you're the kid who happens to be the loser every time. What that kid needs is not a participation trophy or a manufactured award but recognition of his real progress. Say one kid runs faster than another. He starts with enough advantage he doesn't need to work, but the other kid works hard and betters his personal best by several seconds. The faster runner may be the winner, but the kid who challenged himself has accomplished more. We need a balance between competition and personal achievement.

Kat

AFinch


Sherrif
I totally agree with you, Kat.

You probably remember a book from the early 1990's called "In Pursuit of Excellence". It was on every supermarket checkout stand at the time.

The 2013 version is "In Pursuit of Mediocrity", and that's the whole problem in a nutshell. We grew up wanting to be the best that we could be. Nowadays, that's an army recruitment slogan to be mocked. Most of us of a certain age aspired to be professionals who would change the world and help our fellow man. Today's equivalent is to be famous--and it doesn't matter for what--Paris Hilton is still widely admired--she is famous only for BEING famous. It's sad.

By the same token, plenty of kids were labeled in 4th grade as being troublemakers (an uncle was) and never survived that. The "good old days" weren't entirely good (and were frequently FAR from good), but the pendulum has, IMO, swung way too far the other direction.

squarecutter


Sherrif
I think continuing to build esteem with out dealing properly with a transgression is like trying to put an extension onto a house built on sand. We have kids now who think respect comes from wielding a knife or a gun in the streets, like the playground bully. If we want to build self worth in a child we need to knock down the rotten edifices first.

As to winners and losers, there will always be someone better than you whether it is at academics or sport. I actually think kids understand that better than some people give them credit for and it is pointless to tell them otherwise. What is important is to ensure that you see and they feel the have and can make a valid contribution. Your C streamer at High school may not win the Physics prize but he might aspire to be the top of the C stream. Involved as I am in team sports the best players will always acknowledge the support of their teammates. Trophies are nice but a pat on the back can work just as well.

Jack


Admin
Kat wrote:...we see great pendulum swings.

It's my opinion that this actually describes a lot of things (problems) in life.

Say things are too far to the east (I'll say that, to avoid left and right, which someone might think I mean in the political sense). Well, there are problems with being too far east, so people want to correct it. The problem occurs that the people who are interested in correcting it push so hard, and often without a firm idea of what ideal is, or why the problems were actually occurring, that they go right past 'ideal' or 'moderate' and end up too far west.

And eventually people see the problems with too far west, and the entire thing starts again.

I think that's human nature, and there's probably not a lot we can do about it, except try to realize when we ourselves are overreacting.

And while I think we could probably have a long and interesting discussion on education, past, present, and reforms, it's probably also getting away from the original thread.

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talebearer


Cowboy
Agree with Katz. In addition, it's worth noting that the concept of self-esteem for simply being around is corrosive, and the principle probably should be to feel self-reliant for what you can do. That includes completing homework and being able to sift out what distracts from it and what doesn't.

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