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#1 of 22 Old 05-04-2014, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just curious about how other moms would handle this situation.  My daughter recently wrote a book report on a book she only read two chapters of got and got an A on it.  She writes well so the passed purely on her ability to bullshit.  I read it before she turned it in and told her her teacher will probably know she didn't read the book and her response was "darn, you could tell." 

 

I was sure the teacher would catch it but she didn't so I am not sure what I should say, if anything.  I'm not worried about her reading abilities, she reads all the time and enjoys a variety of genres.  I usually leave school to the teacher unless my dd asks for my help at home or the teacher brings something to me to reinforce at home so I am not that motivated to say anything to my dd or the teacher but feel conflicted.

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#2 of 22 Old 05-04-2014, 12:55 PM
 
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I did that many times from grade school through college. Skimming books and articles for research projects becomes more important at the university level. smile.gif

Sounds like she is managing her time and school just fine. If she seems to be reading at the appropriate level, and can fullfill the requirement without reading the book, then she has successfully met the goal of the lesson, right? If it bothers you though, maybe mention to your daughter how you feel about it. I think talking to the teacher would be a very large breach of trust between you and your daughter. She may not trust you anymore, or may begin hiding school work from you.
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#3 of 22 Old 05-04-2014, 01:06 PM
 
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Totally wouldnt bother me. I did it all the time, and its actually a worthwhile skill. I even succesfully did it in college. The teacher was very particular about what she wanted, yet didn't grade mistakes until the final draft. She would so heavily make suggestions, I stopped trying to write my own papers, and just gave her enough of a frame to write it for me. I got an A in the class, and keeping perspective on the end goal of the class allowed me to spend my time focusing on classes that needed the extra effort. I agree with the pp that she met the goal of the lesson, and that was the point. Learning to work smarter, not harder is great! Might want to consider she probably needs some stimulation in other areas, though.
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#4 of 22 Old 05-04-2014, 08:40 PM
 
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For me I think it would really depend on the age. In middle school I think I may have some feelings about honesty and relationships still forming an ethical foundation and may ask my child to finish the book over the next weekend. If it were later into highschool I'm guessing I'd start to feel like maybe she/he had made a good call about time management and leave it at that.  ;-)  


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#5 of 22 Old 05-04-2014, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She's 11 so still in elementary school. She reads so much I'm just going to let this go. I was mostly feeling guilty about not doing anything but this is a skill that got me through college too so I wasn't that worried. I do wish the language arts curriculum was more challenging but it should pick up in junior high and the slow pace allows her to pursue literature she enjoys.
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#6 of 22 Old 05-05-2014, 05:18 AM
 
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I think it's fine (not that it really matters...) to not make a big deal out of this. Especially considering the time of year and the grade - she is presumably moving on to a different teacher and a slightly different learning structure for 6th grade?  I would actually disagree, however, with the PPs in that I don't consider her to have met the learning objectives because I would consider reading the book one of the objectives. 

 

It sounds like you DC's curriculum in 5th is more like the 6th grade curriculum my DC is in but even in 6th I notice that there is still a lot of group discussion so another thing I would wonder about is what it's like to be in the class engaged in discussion about this book without having read it. 

 

 

And then, yea, I'd worry about missing an opportunity for this being a window to a discussion about accommodations - but it's May! Woohoo!!  

 

It's wonderful to be entering 6th grade as a strong writer and engaged reader!!  


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#7 of 22 Old 05-05-2014, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This book was the individual book but they do have a book they read together and do discussions on also and she loves that. I wish they would accommodate her in language arts but she has had such poor work habits that it hasn't even been a possibility. Next year maybe if she turns her work in from the beginning but after that she goes to junior high and that structure is very different so I don't know that it's worth pursuing.
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#8 of 22 Old 05-05-2014, 06:07 AM
 
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Oh, yes. Definitely too late for accommodations for this year. Could be, though, that meeting her needs academically in middle school (more likely for academically advanced students ime) will help improve work habits. Also, my DC's 6th grade education included a high level of support for leaning independent work habits so there's hope for extra support in that area as well. 


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#9 of 22 Old 05-05-2014, 06:21 PM
 
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  I would actually disagree, however, with the PPs in that I don't consider her to have met the learning objectives because I would consider reading the book one of the objectives. 

 

 

But isn't a student "reading all the time and enjoying a variety of genres" the real objective?  So hadn't she already met the objective BEFORE she even started the assignment?

 

Since she likes to read, why didn't she read this particular book?

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#10 of 22 Old 05-05-2014, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But isn't a student "reading all the time and enjoying a variety of genres" the real objective?  So hadn't she already met the objective BEFORE she even started the assignment?

 

Since she likes to read, why didn't she read this particular book?

 

This is something she often does when she is required to pick a book and stick with it as her book report book.  This year it wasn't as bad because her teacher doesn't do genres and she has been close to done with a book at the beginning of the month so just gets that book approved.  This month she was in between books when she had to get her book approved so she chose one then didn't want to read it anymore because it wasn't a choice.  She also went to the library with her dad and got a bunch of books that she did read. 

 

I don't really understand why she turns away from a book once it isn't a choice anymore but I think it is probably one of those asserting her independence things.  She has a lot of fun with many projects at school but she also has many busy work things she does even though she doesn't want to and this is mostly not an issue this year so I haven't made it a life lesson issue.  She is such a pill when I ask her to do simple and reasonable things lately so taking anything on as a life lesson is very unmotivating, especially right now because I am burnt out and ready for my summer break (2 weeks).  This age is a little bit frustrating for me, parenting is definitely much easier with small kids.

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#11 of 22 Old 05-05-2014, 07:47 PM
 
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But isn't a student "reading all the time and enjoying a variety of genres" the real objective?  So hadn't she already met the objective BEFORE she even started the assignment?

I think a good set of objectives contain a lot of stuff that go to different aspects of school success. I've talked before that my own child struggled a lot with language arts. If she could BS her way through a paper, I would be THRILLED.  Instead, she shined in the learning objectives that looked at organization, ability to focus, time management, strong comprehension, interest, motivation, and etc. I had the unique position to value these other types of objectives because they were where my child was successful and because of that I have come to appreciate their importance. And, in fact, OG, if work habits are a place where your DC could improve, I think I may be inclined to talk about how, in the future, finishing a book even if you didn't love it are part of the big picture of "good work habits".  

 

All in all, I do agree that the best outcome of language arts is a child who loves to read and write - and who does it well.  And, I said before that all-in-all a one-off in May wouldn't phase me at all. 


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#12 of 22 Old 05-05-2014, 07:56 PM
 
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This is something she often does when she is required to pick a book and stick with it as her book report book.  This year it wasn't as bad because her teacher doesn't do genres and she has been close to done with a book at the beginning of the month so just gets that book approved.  This month she was in between books when she had to get her book approved so she chose one then didn't want to read it anymore because it wasn't a choice.  She also went to the library with her dad and got a bunch of books that she did read. 

 

I don't really understand why she turns away from a book once it isn't a choice anymore but I think it is probably one of those asserting her independence things.  She has a lot of fun with many projects at school but she also has many busy work things she does even though she doesn't want to and this is mostly not an issue this year so I haven't made it a life lesson issue.  She is such a pill when I ask her to do simple and reasonable things lately so taking anything on as a life lesson is very unmotivating, especially right now because I am burnt out and ready for my summer break (2 weeks).  This age is a little bit frustrating for me, parenting is definitely much easier with small kids.

We cross posted... 

 

We didn't have the option to not address my DC's short-comings when it came to elementary school education because hers were directly related to being able to read or write at all...but I feel like all kids can do to overcome some challenges - maybe even especially kids for whom academics come easily.  

 

At this point I am so grateful for the humbling that DC had when she struggled to learn to read that I want to encourage all parents to find that way that they can help their kid overcome something. I feel like I would encourage you to encourage your DC to embrace the challenge of non-choice-based reading and over come it!  Does that sound silly?  Probably. I guess we can't force these chances but it's really so great when they learn to do something that doesn't come naturally. 


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#13 of 22 Old 05-06-2014, 12:24 PM
 
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It's her homework and she didn't cheat, so I'd let it go.  To me, it's about the same as turning her in for not studying even though she made an A on the test.

 

If she had used online resources to flesh out her knowledge of the parts she didn't read, Cliff's notes (do they still have those?), or plagiarized - then I'd say something.

 

I did this as a matter of time management fairly often in school.  If I REALLY needed to study for chemistry but knew I could BS my way through a history paper - well, sorry, History Paper, but you're getting the short end this week.

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#14 of 22 Old 05-07-2014, 03:52 AM
 
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I am also opposed.to cliff notes, but I do feel they have a limited use. I was assigned to read a lenghty book I found rather disturbing, and I bailed halfway through and just read enough of the cliff notes to get the assignments done.

I think it is really important to look at the big picture of school. It, and each assignment, is a tool, a bridge, to get us to where we want to be. Completion of each task in their way isn't necessarily the goal, but to amass the information you need to do what you like. Read, comprehend, write...done. Next.
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#15 of 22 Old 05-09-2014, 10:59 PM
 
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I wouldn't allow it if I knew about it. I'd want the younger student to do the work, build the skill set, and work on organization skills. I'd want the older student to be a better liar.
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#16 of 22 Old 05-10-2014, 10:16 AM
 
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I wouldn't allow it if I knew about it. I'd want the younger student to do the work, build the skill set, and work on organization skills. I'd want the older student to be a better liar.

 

I thinking making an over-big deal about small breaches of perfect behavior teaches our adolescents to be secretive. I kept a lot of stuff from my parents in the teen years because they made it very clear that they weren't on my side and couldn't be trusted. From the OP:

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 I read it before she turned it in and told her her teacher will probably know she didn't read the book and her response was "darn, you could tell." 

 

I was sure the teacher would catch it but she didn't so I am not sure what I should say, if anything.

 

If the mom had made a big deal of it, the daughter simply would have learned to be more secretive from mom. Next time, the daughter most likely wouldn't show the report to mom or learn to look her mom in the eye and lie. When our kids are honest with us, I think punishing them for it is worst possible thing we can do. Realistically, with every year that goes by, our ability to allow or disallow becomes weaker. My goal is to stay a trusted confident, and to teach my kids my values by explaining them.

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#17 of 22 Old 05-10-2014, 03:48 PM
 
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If the mom had made a big deal of it, the daughter simply would have learned to be more secretive from mom. Next time, the daughter most likely wouldn't show the report to mom or learn to look her mom in the eye and lie. When our kids are honest with us, I think punishing them for it is worst possible thing we can do. Realistically, with every year that goes by, our ability to allow or disallow becomes weaker. My goal is to stay a trusted confident, and to teach my kids my values by explaining them.

I think there is a line, though, between punishing and being a compass of sorts. My DC knows that  there may be a time where she tells me something that I do not feel comfortable keeping to myself. If I had a child who was struggling with good work habits, it's not unreasonable (I don't think) to decide that this isn't a "small thing" but a good chance to have a teaching moment. That doesn't need to involve punishment (which we rarely do anyway) but some sort of "making good". Reading the book is probably where I would go. 

 

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is why the OP thinks the teacher didn't catch this. Is this a case of a child with aptitude in a subject not being supported to do their best?  Because that would be a bummer!  


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#18 of 22 Old 05-18-2014, 07:51 AM
 
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Teachers have to grade the work they're given.  He/she probably knows the OP's kid didn't finish the book but if the paper is passable, there ya go.  A kid might get a good grade on a test without studying, the teacher isn't going to count off for not studying.

 

I have thrown together some pretty good papers in my academic career.  You get kind of good at it after a while.  There's also some time management involved - if I am struggling in chem and cruising in Brit Lit, I am going to toss off a pretty good Brit Lit paper and put my time into chem.

 

At some point, unless there is cheating or plagiarism, parents have to back off and let kids manage their own school work. 

 

I just realized I already answered this and said exactly the same thing.  I'm leaving it so I don't accidentally come say the same thing a third time ;-)

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#19 of 22 Old 05-18-2014, 08:45 AM
 
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I can relate to feeling a bit repetitive, NN, because I feel like I keep needing to express my feelings on this subject too. For me, it is really interesting (and something to consider) that many people who identify with this child are identifying from a much higher grade level - some even college. For me, there is little in 5th grade that relates all that well to college work habits. 

 

If I put myself back in my 5th grade self, I am reminded that that age is a time of moral dis-ambiguity, unlike adulthood. I'm not sure if this is personal or if it is developmental (I can look that up). There are certainly times in late childhood/early adolescence that a child needs to bounce ideas off their parent and get feedback. Of course adult children do this as well but it is normally more transparent. Strong feedback from a parent in late childhood about moral questions like this can have an enormously important impact and can help take some of the stress out of this age. 

 

Of course it's up to the OP to know if this was an effort on the child's part to bounce ideas off her mom, but I feel like that's part of the equation at this age and, therefor, comparing a 5th grader to a highschool/college student is not especially relevant. 

 

OT, but I am in college right now and I can tell you that it is considered a form of intellectual dishonesty to write a reflection on a reading without reading the work - not that I think college and 5th grade are a great comparison. Because I don't consider the OP's child to have committed an act of dishonesty because I think honesty is processed differently in late childhood. I would say that the child is in the process of understanding her values about honesty, work ethic, learning objectives, and etc. For that reason, I would say that the individual act of not reading the book is not a big deal at all but the act of figuring out how she feels about the bigger issues is important. She certainly can decide that there is no moral infraction to not reading the book...but as a parent I would encourage getting a bit philosophical about the issue. 


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#20 of 22 Old 05-18-2014, 08:49 AM
 
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And, OneGirl - I hope you don't mind a bit of exploration on this thread. I certainly don't mean to imply that this is a big deal for your DC. I think the issue of how we balance having perspective with knowing when and what to take seriously is super interesting as a parent. I think that's really, really personal and depends on our kids. Most of my response is a "If it were my child..." type of response and I recognize that may not apply well to your child. 


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#21 of 22 Old 05-18-2014, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The morality of it is hard. Learning to skim for information is an important skill for research but so is doing your work. This makes it hard to balance reactions.

For my dd work habits also play into this equation. What actually works best, and what my therapist recommends, is a low key response and keeping most of the control in her court. This seems counter-intuitive but she actually pulled most of her grades up to a B last quarter when I put things back in her court. We talked about how she felt about her previous report card and she made goals for herself. I pulled off most of the focus on efforts to get her motivated and switched to asking her if her homework was completed. Getting involved by having her redo a completed assignment just pits us against each other and leads to less effort on classwork. Even though I'd like her to do the actual assignment or get caught at faking it it isn't in her long term interest as a student for me to do so. I have to focus on the big picture and for her that means feeling in control of her education.
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#22 of 22 Old 05-18-2014, 05:49 PM
 
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I have to focus on the big picture and for her that means feeling in control of her education.

I think that's the ultimate goal - good on you for finding the best way to support your child as she finds her way.  


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