Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Natural Consequences

Jacob and I haven't been very good about getting Vaughn to do his homework, which is to say we haven't been good at all. Every week the blue photocopied packets come home and collect around the house until they are eventually scooped up and recycled. There were a couple encouraging times when we were actually able to get him to sit down and hammer out a page or two or spend some time reading out loud without agonizing protest.

Unfortunately, it became really easy to justify this cycle of inactivity after a parent/teacher conference a year ago when, after confessing to his teacher that we were "really bad" about homework (as if she hadn't picked up on this) she assured us that as long as we were reading to him each day she thought we were fine. Great! We were achieving the bare minimum - we were okay with that. Sure, we routinely said that we needed to start a routine but that was about the only thing being done with any consistency.

This all changed yesterday when Vaughn sheepishly announced yesterday after dinner that he had seen the homework turn-in sheet and noticed he was the ONLY one not turning in his homework. It didn't take the teacher pointing it out or anyone saying anything - he just saw the sheet with checks next to everybody's name but his. We felt bad. We were bad parents. But something kinda cool came out of this - in a shining example of natural consequences Vaughn announced with resolve and determination that he would do his entire homework packed that night and every Monday night thereafter ("so we don't have to worry about it for the rest of the week"). Not only did he crank out the entire packet that night, he didn't even balk when it took him exactly up to bedtime with no time left to do anything else. He even got up the next morning to do all his Valentines so that he no longer needed the packet with the names and could turn in the packet.

I'd like to think that this was all some stellar parenting maneuver and not just the opposite but for now I think I'll just relax and enjoy this new found development.

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