DC1 has a lot of homework at hir new school. One of the homework things is that ze must read for at least 30 min/day at least 4 days a week. Ze has a log that ze has to fill out that says how many pages and how many minutes and what the title of the book is and then we have to sign it.
Research on intrinsic motivation has found that with good readers, intrinsic motivation decreases when kids are paid to read. With poor readers, their intrinsic motivation actually increases as they become better readers.
This regular homework assignment is not for people like DC1 who already read a lot and are already excellent readers. This regular homework assignment, is, in fact, really irritating for everyone involved at home. DC1 began by bringing a timer every time ze started to read and would try to remember to turn it off and the add the minutes etc. Ze would get very frustrated when ze forgot. Or when ze didn’t remember the page number count. We kept not being able to find the timer when we needed it for say, cooking.
The final straw was at 3am when DH was gone on business and DC1 somehow rolled over the timer after falling asleep with it in bed and set it off. This happened two nights in a row before I figured out where that @#$32ing beeping was coming from.
At that point I decided it was time for DC1 to learn that not all assignments have to be followed to the letter. Sometimes you need to just get the spirit right and/or to show the minimal when you’ve checked off a box even when you’ve actually done more.
So we’re estimating. Every time ze reads, ze puts down at least 30 min, that have been estimated. Ze guesses (based on past reading) how many pages were read. Ze puts down one of the book titles that ze read that day. No need to be exact. No need to record everything. No need to put down a session less than 30 min.
I’m not sure if this is a good life lesson for DC1 or not, but it does fit in with our grand theme of lazy parenting and fixing things when they make our lives more difficult. In an ideal world we would have checked with the teacher to make sure it’s ok, but we know this assignment really isn’t for DC1, so it’s just easiest to you know,
bend the truth estimate than it is to explain why our kid is a special snowflake.