(View from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, see note below)
As I said in June, 4th quarter for my son was tough. Many important lessons were learned, but it left a few battle scars. We had dinner with some dear, dear friends last night and our children were a big topic of conversation. How do you balance wanting them to learn the important lessons, to experience consequences for their actions, with our desire to help them succeed and set them up for success as adults? If we spend too much helping them succeed, will they be lost when we send them off into the big bad world by themselves?
Our kids are all high schoolers, so the time between now and launching them into adulthood is getting shorter and shorter. There are no easy answers or universal solutions, other than the awesomeness of good friends to talk to, and thankfully, other trusted adults in their lives that are on our team.
For my son, for the next school year, I sat down and wrote an agreement with him. We both wanted to start with clear expectations and a clear plan. I thought I would share it in case it might help.
2017-2018 School Year Contract
AKA, “The New Leaf”
1. Always remember that Mom and Dad love you 1000% and our goal always is to support you and help you succeed. Don’t keep us guessing--tell us when you need help! It is never a problem to call/text for a ride because you need to see a teacher after school.
2. Success is defined as 100% effort. This means: all work complete, all work turned in on time, any opportunity for improvement taken (retakes, extra credit, etc)
3. Honesty is the expectation. No one is perfect and we are here to help you. This means telling us when something forgotten could be brought to school, telling us when you need more time, telling us when you are having a hard time with any teacher, student, or anyone at all.
1. Daily homework plan. Set times, then adjust. Get work done first, then chill.
2. Text Mom and Dad as soon as any long term project is assigned.
3. Sunday night review CIS, BB, Classroom, etc, and discuss weekly schedule (trumpet, tutoring, practices, getting gym time, rides, logistics, etc). Put any assignment milestones and test dates on the family calendar.
4. Develop a file system on your computer to capture all homework – pictures/scans of complete work, JLAB codes, anything you turn in!
5. Make a daily effort to establish a good relationship with your teachers and your fellow students.
6. Focus on extracurriculars is AFTER school work.
1. A good first quarter is required in order to participate in the winter production.
2. A good second quarter is required in order to participate in the spring production.
3. A good third quarter is required in order to get your driver’s permit.
4. A good fourth quarter is required in order to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail.
5. No yelling, tears, or avoidance. All the cards on the table, all the time.
Note from picture: if you'd like to visit the museum and are a veteran, active duty or a first responder, you and one guest can visit without having a timed entry pass. See more info here.