Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Gold Star Treatment

Only twenty more days of school.


You don't know how happy I will be NOT to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to risk my life in the Houston traffic just to get my kid to class on time. I know I am just jinxing myself here, but the kid hasn't been tardy all year long. I think my new system of going in barefeet and pajamas has made a world of difference.

I will also be glad to put "The Gold Star" behind us.

You don't know what "The Gold Star" is? Well, I didn't either until a couple of weeks ago. I did know about the red stars though.

Every child in every class in every grade at Jacob's school is required to recite a new scripture from memory at the beginning of each month. They then take their turn standing in front of the class and saying it and if they do it correctly, they get a red star on a chart and on their report card. A child cannot be passed on to the next grade until they have all of their red stars. THEN they must recite all nine monthly verses all together to earn "The Gold Star" or else you may feel like crap sitting at the awards banquet surrounded by your classmates who did say it. It was easy-peasy last year because kindergarteners only have to say one verse and I really was expecting a little more work this year, I mean, he is a first grader after all, but I wasn't expecting him to recite the same ten to sixteen verse scriptures as the twelfth graders!

Yes, reread that if you must. Everyone says the same verse.

I don't get that.

Every month when the newsletter comes home, there is a picture of some high-schoolers with a caption underneath that states, "Congratulate these-persons for saying their Gold Star". And for two years I have been impressed by this. "WOW!" I'd think. "That girl must be such a hard worker and so smart to have done those ultra-hard scriptures three months ahead of schedule! I so hope my kids will strive to be just like her" After a little research, and yes, finally reading that dern manual, I find out that ain't no big thing at all! You're eleven years older than my kid who's doing the same thing! You SHOULD do those scriptures! Maybe even the first week of school. It's first grade work after all.

Jacob did his red star scriptures flawlessly. He was usually the first one in class to do so. He recited April's verse in January and was so pleased to be three stars ahead of the rest of his class. Of course, his mama, not knowing anything about first graders being required to say "The Gold Star", ceased practicing them with him after he finished May's verse in March. Because, you know, I have other kids to tend to in the evenings and we like to eat dinner around here sometimes.

So, a couple of weeks ago, the teacher sent a mass email letting us all know that the last day to recite "The Gold Star" would be May 15 and a few of the children had already accomplished it and, pretty much, yada, yada, yada, get your ass in gear and practice those scriptures that you obviously should be reciting at the dinner table every evening so as never to forget them because you'll be so embarrassed if your child is the only one without a trophy on awards day. But in a much nicer tone, of course. Yikes.

So for two solid weeks, over and over and over again, my son is reciting Proverbs, and Colossions, and some other book of the bible that I don't even remember, and he still doesn't quite have it. I mean, after months and months of this you would think I might be able to memorize them too, but no, I can't even tell you this second what's the first word. I know they have something to do with Jesus. Does that count? I am thirty-cough years old, I can't do it. How do they expect a six year old to do it?

My kid has ADD. The smaller verses were easy to him because he only had to concentrate for about two minutes. There is no way his brain can process the amount of words in the fifteen minutes it takes him to get through that whole passage. He tries, damn he tries, and I think for six years old he does a phenomenal job, but I just don't think he's getting "The Gold Star" this year. I hate to be negative and I hope like hell I am wrong, but it's hard. And stressful. And really, I don't like making him feel badly about himself every time we practice it. I'll trade his self-esteem for that stupid gold star, but he wants that trophy because Hummer Mama has offered to throw a party for the kids who get one.

That. Is just wrong.

And it doesn't matter that I offered him his own party, or a new Game Boy game, or a week's worth of Marble Slab, he wants to be included. He wants to feel important too.

So, if you don't hear much from me between now and May 15, just know we are gold-starring it until we get it right.

Lord, help us.


sherrypg said...

That's crazy. There is no need to put that much pressure on the little kids. He gets a Gold Star just for putting up with that crap.

Aunt Becky said...

That's absolutely ridiculous to expect a six year old to do.

good luck to you all.

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

I'm sorry! That sucks. I remember having to do something like that but it wasn't until 2nd grade. It's probably the reason I'm neurotic today:) Good luck to him!! He's a smart boy. He'll do fine. It's just getting there that's the hard part.

Sadie said...

Oh sweet Lord. That's crazy. For 1st graders and seniors to be doing the same thing is just stupid.

Good luck! Tell Jacob we're all rooting for him.

Stephanie Jackson said...

I found your blog thru Momblogs. What a sweet site you have...

Lynsey said...

Jacob gets a gold star from me just for TRYING like hell for the gold star. And tell hummer momma that her car is eating up the ozone, there is no star for that.

Miss Hope said...

I don't miss private Christian pre-school for just this reason. My oldest had to do this and it wore me clean out.

Burgh Baby said...

Why is it that school is so much work for the parents? It's just not fair!

Good luck with the gold star action and Happy Mom's Day!

Amie said...

That's just wrong! Plain wrong. I hope he gets his gold star though!