Sunday, August 17, 2008

School Contract Time!

It's contract time again!
Contract? You might ask?
What contract?
Why the Back 2 School Contract of course... silly!
Okay... before you think I have gone off the deep end and channeled June Cleaver, let me explain.
Every year, I write up a contract of responsibilities and expectations for my men to read and sign. Sort of a written form of all my yelling.
I spell out what is expected of them during the course of the year regarding homework, grades, chores, service hours, TV/Xbox time (or the fact that there won't be any) free time etc...
Conversely, they get to make a little contract of their own, requesting certain things they would like, and I take them into consideration.
Last year, Johnny liked the contract the way it was except he added a snack upon arrival at home before homework and emptying his lunch pail. I was more than happy to oblige.
William requested an Ipod to listen to music during homework... Uh... No. That didn't happen.
Alex didn't have any addendums.
They each have to sign and date the contract and it is in effect until the last day of school in June.
When things get a little lax, and they start trying to change the routine too much... I bring the contract out and remind them it is binding.
I have been doing it for the past 5 years, and they have become good negotiators.
They REALLY think about the impact of signing a "legal" document.
We all sit around our table, I read the contract, then give them each a copy for them to read for a little while, with blank lines for them to make any changes they want to negotiate.
They have bartered, offered substitutions, traded chores, and just all around put thought into their school life.
I like them knowing exactly what is expected of them, and I know they like it too. I put down an entire list of rewards they can choose from for staying the course all year through.
These last few precious weeks of summer vacation, I encourage them to get all the
frivolity out of their system.
What do they want to see? Where do they want to go? What do they want to do?
Is there a place they haven't seen yet, within reason?
About a week before school, they have to go to bed at their regular school bedtime.
THAT is always the first thing trying to be negotiated.
They need to finish up their reading quotas, brush up on the spelling I request from the next teacher, and...
and start getting up at 6 A.M..
Harsh? Yep. I am making men... a heady responsibility.
In my opinion, kids expect of themselves what is expected of them by their parents.
I ask my kids all the time if they think I am too strict in the school dept.
They emphatically say NO.
I am always shocked. So I have someone else ask them for me, at a time they least expect it.
Just for general information. Same answer.
No, I won't change my opinion or what I am doing... I'm just curious.
They know they have to put in hard time from Monday thru Friday, but Fridays I ease up a little unless there is a test. Then they get a true weekend... and if there is homework on the weekends, as there frequently is, they need to do it on Friday so they can have a stress free 2 days off to just chill.
Will's school has had and the younger boys school now has a computer system linked to my home where I can moniter, get reports, request reports and look at homework and grades online. SO COOL!
It's how I got Will's class schedule, Football game schedule, report card grade for Health class, (B+, no Shine Phone), document request for admission etc... There is a way for Will to get his information if he forgets it too.
Oh Gosh... I'm babbling again.
I forget the brain can only stand what the butt can endure!
Sorry for writing so long again!


  1. I really like the idea of a contract. I have never heard of anything like that but it sounds like a very good idea. I might just copy this idea from you. I hope that you don't mind.

  2. That would be great if our school was linked to my computer.

  3. Love this idea. I told my mom to read your last comment. She is nervous about having her knees done, and I'm sure it will make her feel better knowing you mom is so pleased with the results!

  4. Angela... It is sooo great! I am the first to know everything that goes on, before they get home from school! So when I ask them what they have for homework, if they say "nothing', I know if they are telling me the truth!

    Adrian - My Dad also had his done, and he is thrilled... They walk so much better and as long as they did the therapy machine diligently, everyday, they healed very quickly. My Dad is 70 and my Mom is 60.


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