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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Do Your Kids Act Cute?

“Smart” is another word for “cute”, and in my opinion, it’s neither.  Do your kids act smart with you?  In other words, do they do stupid things in order to get your attention?

“It’s not in the book,” each tries to insist about every five minutes when asked a question about what they have just read.  (This is what you miss when you don’t homeschool….)

“Read it again,” I suggest, unwilling to give them the answer, which is where they think they’re headed.

“But it’s not there!” they hold fast, the others nodding their heads like wobble-head dolls.

“So your discussion questions are about topics that are not covered in the course material.  Interesting,” I comment, “I’ve never heard that excuse before….”

This happens about 100x a day and they will argue it to the death.  If my husband is present, he will argue with them.  I, on the other hand, tell them it’s their life.  If they’re 20 years old, and still in elementary or middle school, it won’t be my problem.  Our oldest tries to do his high school and college courses while ignoring the romper room antics.

“What was the role of the rhinoceros in—” the next perpetrator says with a smirk, as another couple of kids dissolve in raucous laughter.

Back to kindergarten.

“Renaissance,” Benedetto corrects.  “Sound it out.  If you need a class on Phonics, we can arrange that….”

He is not amused.  We have told the kids that if we acted how they act, we would probably not be alive today to talk about it.  We were raised Old School, Old World, Old Money, and “if you look at me funny, you won’t grow old enough to tell your kids”.  That’s the way it was.

My husband is a kinder and gentler soul than I am.  He is longsuffering and patient.  I admire him greatly, while acknowledging that is not me.  At all.   In my correctional school, for every tit, you will receive a tat–fastest way to learn to avoid certain behaviors, in my opinion.

I feel an essay topic coming up.  Essays are another excellent way to learn what is acceptable comportment and a way to maintain societal control.  “How My Efforts at School Affect the Rest of My Life” sounds appropriate for tonight’s homework.  Knowing some of my kids, this will not faze them in the least.  I imagine a couple of them composing something like this:

“My efforts at school are important.  Effort is all way important.  If I don’t effort, I will get into truble.  I no want to get in truble.  This is wiy effort are emportant.”

Multiply times five paragraphs and you get the drift.

So I will note my comments in the margin and hand it back to them to redo, along with the misspellings that include every other word, if not every.  The misspellings will come back, again spelled “creatively”, indicating that a dictionary was not cracked nor consulted.  As the same essay moves between parent/teacher and student/cute child, they will feel that they have outsmarted me.  They believe that this will prevent them from receiving new essays where they might need to THINK for themselves.  They would rather act “smart”, i.e., stupid.

What they don’t know is that their mother is smart, too, and in the very real and objective sense of the word.  And she is very cute, though perhaps more in the subjective sense.

She is going to start assigning new essays, while they are still correcting the old ones ad nauseum.  Soon it will be in their best interests to do it right:  first time, every time.

Are you or your kids “cute”?



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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Sybil says:

    Interesting subject. My daughter is very intelligent yet when it came to school work, her spelling was atrocious and if she had to write an essay, it took hours to get 3 sentences written. Was that cute? Not very. Yet, with as smart as we could see she was, it didn’t make sense. She was tested for learning disabilities at school and the answer came back that she was “fine”. She limped along getting B’s and C’s. A couple of years later, we took her to a private specialist and the diagnosis was very clear – processing learning disorder. We got her private help every week from 5th grade through her senior year of high school. She graduated with a 3.5 GPA which is great for a student with processing disorder. My understanding is that the percentage of children with all kinds of different learning disorders that come from the orphanages is phenomenal. I would have never believed my daughter had one, as smart as she is, but there was so much that she just couldn’t seem to catch on to and incorporate into her learning as we know she should be able to do. To this day, she almost never asks if she doesn’t understand something. Why? Because she doesn’t understand that she is not getting it. It is frustrating for us, but she sails along happily and it never bothers her!

    • avatar admin says:

      Excellent point, Sybil. We all DO need to check to see if there’s something that’s not computing, rather than just the assumed laziness. Even in the garden variety, home-grown children, those who are the class clowns often have problems that they’re trying to hide. “Because she doesn’t understand that she is not getting it.” Oh my, if that doesn’t sum it up!

  2. avatar AP says:

    Nah nah! My kids are cuter than your kids! ;O)

    Seriously, though, I have one who has always worked diligently, more motivated than any of my homegrown kids. My youngest however, if she can find an easy way out she will. We finally find something that DOES motivate her. She wants to become a translator. And we started homeschooling her. It is amazing how her attitude towards school work has changed!

    • avatar admin says:

      I’d be perfectly happy for your kids to be “cuter”, AP-! lol. Isn’t that something that when they have a goal to work towards, it can change everything! Congratulations on finding “the missing key”– and keep in mind that sometimes they change the locks on you in the middle of the night….

  3. Tonights homework: read a 4 paragraph passage about two bears and progression of seasons between summer, fall, winter and spring. Three multiple choice questions, and here’s the kicker: an open response question asking “how was winter different from both summer and autumn in the story?”. It might as well have been written in Swahili becuase she had no clue what to do with that (which went a long way to demonstrate to me why her open response questions consistently come back as “does not meet” requirements). She didn’t know if she was supposed to talk about summer, fall, or winter, or how to relate summer, fall and winter to the bears because the story was about bears. I wish I had that whole homework moment on video to show to her 504 coordinator. She can read and understand the story, but the questions seem to get lost in translation.

    • avatar admin says:

      I can relate, Wendy! I just ordered another reading comprehension workbook for our younger three. As Maria in The Sound of Music would sing, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start….”

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