As you can see the girls have been making steady progress on their debt. Only $269.00 to go to pay off four concert tickets. Today I was given an additional $50.00 (birthday money).
They still have to save for airfare, lodging, food, etc. Nonetheless I am proud of their accomplishments thus far.
But earning enough money is not the only stipulation in this contract. Middle must also maintain a B average. Here is the exact wording:
I also understand that my schooling can not suffer. I must, from this point forward, get no grade less than a B. If my grades are lacking I understand the tickets will be immediately disposed of. I will, however, still be responsible for the monies borrowed.
Today the grading period closes. As of this moment Middle has four B's, two B minuses and a C+. Yes. A C+. 1.5 percentage points away from a B. She is hoping to turn in some overdue work tomorrow. She hopes a)her teacher accepts it and b) this is enough to raise her grade. There are also 15 ungraded points pending from another assignment. Talk about walking a fine line.
This C+ also presents a parenting dilemma. Middle's grades are not an accurate reflection of her intelligence. They are, however, an accurate reflection of her ability to turn in homework. And we've been working to remedy this. These grades are a massive improvement from the D's and F's she had at the beginning of this trimester. We've spent a lot of time at coffee shops pouring over geometry texts and reading "A Tale of Two Cities". I can't begin to tell you how many hours have been spent encouraging and cajoling. If we stick to the strict letter of the law her incentive to succeed in school will be removed.
Now I realize she will eventually need a different incentive (to do well for doing well's sake). But I'm hoping the desire to go to the concert will be enough to help her develop beneficial homework habits. And I'm hoping these good homework habits will stick for life (perhaps a bit optimistic but, then again, perhaps not).
So what's a parent to do? Her father and I thought long and hard about this. And we've come to a conclusion. In "real life" contracts are often altered, changed to meet mitigating circumstances. Thus (now don't tell her this just yet) we will let a C+ slide. We will write an addendum to the contract; something along the lines that the challenge will continue. However at least one (if not more) A's will be expected on the next report card to counteract the C+.
I may not need to write the addendum. She might just pull it off. But the truth of the matter is she has been working hard -- both in school and on the incoming earning front. I'd like to reward her positive behavior and continue to help her grow into the best human she can be.
And I'm not yet ready to stop this experiment. Thus far I've seen nothing but good come from it. I'd like to see the trend continue.
Oh, and PS, we have two jewelry bars scheduled for March(hooray!). If you are interested in helping "the cause" you can check out our jewelry site at peculiarfamily.origamiowl.com. Also, if you live in our area I know a great baby and/or pet sitter. :o)