Today, I am not talking about the Dostoevsky novel ... no, I mean right here in our household.
Our son, Mister Twister, is in the sixth grade. He's been a great student; a good kid, also a smart kid who usually gets an A or A- on most tests. One problem that he's had since homework started for him a few years ago is not turning said homework in, either on time or at all. Well, around here, sixth grade is the beginning of middle school. (This child will be 12 in August.) So amid the work required for his core classes - language arts/english, maths, science and social studies - we also are dealing with the beginning of pubescence and all the hormonal junk that goes with that.
Currently, we have about a month of school left. I believe I have mentioned before that he has had detention twice since the beginning of the school year; it's worked out to about once every 12 weeks (the year is 4 [9-week] quarters). Per his school handbook, any student who misses two consecutive detentions "wins" a day in SAFE (Suspension And Failure Eliminated - it's like in-school suspension).
Guess who had a SAFE day on Friday?
Also guess who did *not* know about this until after school started?
While Poseidon and I were out running errands around 10:30 a.m., the school's SAFE coordinator called me to let me know about a new development in this story. It seems that, as best she could tell, Mister Twister had given her a paper - which was supposed to have been seen and signed by a parent and returned to her (or one of the student's teachers) - on which the signature looked like it was not signed by me or his dad. "I tried the phone number listed here, and that turned out to be a business; they said there was no one there by the name [my name]. It really looks like forgery by [our clever son], and for that he'll have to serve another day in SAFE. I will send home another sheet for you to sign and he needs to return it Monday."
Really, son? Seriously? Awesome.
So, after talking with her I told Poseidon about this interesting new development. You see, Mister Twister had mentioned *nothing* to us about a detention (to have been served on April 15), *nothing* about the detention make-up (April 22), and not a word about SAFE (April 30). The boy, however, knew about the SAFE paper for a full week - it was sent home Monday, April 26. Honestly, we both laughed because otherwise, we may have cried in frustration.
And it was at this moment that we began plotting a punishment which would absolutely fit the crime.
Luckily for him, we know that grounding and taking away beloved objects and priveleges no longer work.
Unluckily for him, I like writing and have seen his penmanship.
- I wanted to give him a word list and a dictionary, or take him to the library rather than let him use any electronic dictionary or website. I spent part of Friday evening and part of Saturday coming up with a word list for him, which would consist entirely of words related to the incident (listed and linked below if you'd like to see them).
- Friday night, we sat down with him and each of us printed, then signed, our own names. In this way he was able to see that anyone can print anyone's name, but a signature is something you *own*; something by which a person means "yes, this is *my* name in *my* handwriting". My own signature is quite unique, in that I practiced and consistently use an older style of my last name's first letter. It would be very hard to copy - which prompted the phone call in the first place. LOL.
- Saturday, he would help his dad finish the bathroom floor. We have been working on the bathroom this week, and all that was left by Friday night was the floor tile - self-adhesive linoleum. They finished it by dinnertime.
- No gaming for the weekend. This meant only no XBox and no Wii, including not helping Miss Hurricane if she needed help (like she does in Halo or Banjo Kazooie). We did let him use his Ipod Touch for reading or watching youtube videos.
It's just after 6 p.m. now and he's almost finished with the writing assignment I gave him. I looked up the words, chose the fitting definition and gave him the listed origin of each word. After each word, he is to write a short paragraph - a few sentences - using the word correctly to prove that he does understand what it means. Afterward, he also has to write two apology letters - one to the SAFE coordinator, and one to the teacher who referred him to SAFE (they mailed us a letter with her name as the referring admin).
The word list, with links I used:
forgery, definition 1
falsify, definition 1
imitate, definition 4
fraudulent, definition 2
violate, definition 1
criminal, definitions 1 & 4
misdemeanor, both definitions
misconduct, definitions 1 & 4
plagiarism, both definitions
Fun stuff, huh? I'm such a mean mom. Better he get used to it now though. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA
(While I was linking, he brought his finished work to me. Now all that's left is the apology letter. I'll update this in a couple days.)
I hope you had a good weekend - ours was crazily rainy!