New year's resolutions -- as homework?

22 posts / 0 new
Last post
Spacers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104
New year's resolutions -- as homework?

My 9yo came home yesterday, the first day back to school after winter break, with an interesting assignment: to write an essay about her new year's resolution and how she came to make the decision about it. She had no idea what a new year's resolution is or why she would want to make one. Neither DH nor I make them, and we pretty much view every day as a great day to start making changes, kwim? DH told her to just pick one of the most common ones, like eating healthier or being more active, but she said she already does those things so how could that be a new resolution. I told her that it's a writing assignment, not a quiz, so write an essay about why she doesn't do new year's resolutions. She didn't like that option because she didn't want to get in trouble for not doing the "right" assignment. Then DH, trying to make her laugh, suggested "drink more vodka" and "perfect my graffiti tag" but those ticked her off. She's very upset that the teacher, in her words, gave her an assignment that she can't do. We told her to ask her teacher today for an alternate assignment but I'm starting to think, what we should do if Tiven didn't ask, or if the teacher said no. (Which sadly wouldn't surprise me.) And I'm also wondering if this is an appropriate assignment for a 9yo. I mean, a 9yo can make all kinds of great resolutions (learn to drive! sleep late every morning!) but they don't mean anything if the parents aren't on board, kwim? Your thoughts?

Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3348

I don't think it's that tough of an assignment. She can honestly write that she didn't make a New Year's resolution, but she can certainly write about something she wants to change or start doing or stop doing, or she can take your idea (which I like) and get the teacher's permission to put a spin on it. (I used to do that stuff in school all the time; teachers liked it.)

I certainly don't think it's an inappropriate assignment! My kids can make resolutions that don't involve me easily enough.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6803

I do not believe there is anything wrong with the assignment.

Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2256

I think it's kind of a cool assignment, get them to write and think critically and all that and I don't make NY resolutions either.

What if she wrote about how she doesn't make any resolutions and the reasons behind it?

Spacers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I don't think it's that tough of an assignment. She can honestly write that she didn't make a New Year's resolution, but she can certainly write about something she wants to change or start doing or stop doing, or she can take your idea (which I like) and get the teacher's permission to put a spin on it. (I used to do that stuff in school all the time; teachers liked it.)

I certainly don't think it's an inappropriate assignment! My kids can make resolutions that don't involve me easily enough.

To the bolded: I used to do that, too. My teachers never minded because, as I do, they saw the assignment as a thinking & writing exercise, not as a quiz about your thoughts. Tiven's teacher is.... hmmm.... kind of a control freak. Like there was a math problem where you split up two 8-slice pepperoni pizzas between you and two friends, how many slices will be left over for the dog, Tiven did the problem, showing her work, and then wrote, "I don't eat pepperoni. The dog got the one slice left over plus my five slices, for a total of six." With a smiley face next to it. The teacher marked her wrong. Didn't give her any credit for actually working the problem and coming up with the correct answer before adding her smart-*** veggie commentary to it.

Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1763

"Spacers" wrote:

My 9yo came home yesterday, the first day back to school after winter break, with an interesting assignment: to write an essay about her new year's resolution and how she came to make the decision about it. She had no idea what a new year's resolution is or why she would want to make one. Neither DH nor I make them, and we pretty much view every day as a great day to start making changes, kwim? DH told her to just pick one of the most common ones, like eating healthier or being more active, but she said she already does those things so how could that be a new resolution.

That is really easy! Her resolution could be to eat healthier by saying she is going to drinking an extra glass of water and swapping a glass of water for a less-healthy drink she may otherwise have had. Kind of like the swaportunity commericials with the yogurt.

I told her that it's a writing assignment, not a quiz, so write an essay about why she doesn't do new year's resolutions. She didn't like that option because she didn't want to get in trouble for not doing the "right" assignment. Then DH, trying to make her laugh, suggested "drink more vodka" and "perfect my graffiti tag" but those ticked her off. She's very upset that the teacher, in her words, gave her an assignment that she can't do. We told her to ask her teacher today for an alternate assignment but I'm starting to think, what we should do if Tiven didn't ask, or if the teacher said no. (Which sadly wouldn't surprise me.) And I'm also wondering if this is an appropriate assignment for a 9yo. I mean, a 9yo can make all kinds of great resolutions (learn to drive! sleep late every morning!) but they don't mean anything if the parents aren't on board, kwim? Your thoughts?

I had the exact same assignment when I was 8 YO. Resolutions about money are always easy - save $ .25 a week; donate a portion of $ to charity.

Really, all NY's resolutions are are goals for self-improvement. Not a bad thing at all.

mom3girls's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I think it is an awesome writing assignment, as really great writing assignments challenge you to think about things that you dont normally think about. If Tiven cant come up with something then she can write about why she doesnt do resolutions.

Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3348

And if you're worried about the teacher giving her a hard time, include a note with her assignment explaining the problem and how you guys thought she could solve it, with a way for the teacher to contact you. Then she won't have to worry about getting in trouble.

ftmom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I cant remember where you are located, but this assignment sounds like it might be part of the curriculum that deals with goal setting as well as a writting assignment. (I want to say the CAP program, but I think it is something else in elementary) Anyways, the teacher may not give her an alternate assignment if that is the case, or might just say any goal she wants to achieve. I do think it is pretty crappy for the teacher to give the assignment and not explain it to the kids. If I had given this assignment I would have brainstormed a bunch of ideas with the kids and then let them talk to a friend about their goal plan. Often that is all it takes to give the kids a 'Oh yea, I want to do that too' moment.

Spacers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

Tiven finally opted for the "why I didn't make a resolution" option but she only wrote five sentences. She was super upset with her teacher last night and didn't want to do anything so I was glad to at least get that much. She lost ALL FOUR recesses in the TWO DAYS she's been back at school since winter break AND she was kept after school yesterday which made her late meeting DH for something. And the kicker is that three of those four recesses she lost, were lost because of other kids' behavior, not her own! And the last one was lost because she didn't turn in the resolution assignment. Tiven said it was due on Wednesday, and there was no written instruction saying otherwise, so WTF??? And the reason she was kept after school? The teacher wanted to keep the whole class for some sort of discipline reason and Tiven said she needed to leave to catch the bus to meet her dad. So the teacher let everyone else go, and kept Tiven behind so that Tiven could explain why she needed to leave before everyone else. WTF??? She didn't want to leave before everyone else, she just wanted to leave ON TIME. She was supposed to meet her dad somewhere at 3pm but she was late because she missed the first bus. Grrrrrrr...... :evil: I sent a very long email to the teacher and the principal last night after I finally got my girl settled down and into bed.

Spacers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

"ftmom" wrote:

I cant remember where you are located, but this assignment sounds like it might be part of the curriculum that deals with goal setting as well as a writting assignment. (I want to say the CAP program, but I think it is something else in elementary) Anyways, the teacher may not give her an alternate assignment if that is the case, or might just say any goal she wants to achieve. I do think it is pretty crappy for the teacher to give the assignment and not explain it to the kids. If I had given this assignment I would have brainstormed a bunch of ideas with the kids and then let them talk to a friend about their goal plan. Often that is all it takes to give the kids a 'Oh yea, I want to do that too' moment.

I'm in California and, if this is the case, then the teacher should present it in that way, not as a new year's resolution project. That would have been a much easier project, I think, because Tiven understands setting goals and working towards them. Off the top of my head, completely at her own initiative, she's saving her allowance for another American Girl doll, and she's practicing in the off-season to try out for competitive soccer teams.

Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1763

"Spacers" wrote:

I'm in California and, if this is the case, then the teacher should present it in that way, not as a new year's resolution project. That would have been a much easier project, I think, because Tiven understands setting goals and working towards them. Off the top of my head, completely at her own initiative, she's saving her allowance for another American Girl doll, and she's practicing in the off-season to try out for competitive soccer teams.

It sounds like her NY's resolutions are to save enough money to buy another American Girl doll and make the competitive soccer tems.

Change Black Friday into Buy Nothing Day, and don't take your credit cards to work on Cyber Monday.

Shift Your Shopping from mass marketers & big box stores to your local independent retailers & small artisans.

Practice a Buy Nothing Christmas. Instead of buying more things, give gifts of your time, your energy, and maybe even some unwanted things around your home; organize a used items gift swap among your family and/or friends.

These could easily be written into resolutions also.

Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1763

"Spacers" wrote:

Tiven finally opted for the "why I didn't make a resolution" option but she only wrote five sentences. She was super upset with her teacher last night and didn't want to do anything so I was glad to at least get that much. She lost ALL FOUR recesses in the TWO DAYS she's been back at school since winter break AND she was kept after school yesterday which made her late meeting DH for something. And the kicker is that three of those four recesses she lost, were lost because of other kids' behavior, not her own! And the last one was lost because she didn't turn in the resolution assignment. Tiven said it was due on Wednesday, and there was no written instruction saying otherwise, so WTF??? And the reason she was kept after school? The teacher wanted to keep the whole class for some sort of discipline reason and Tiven said she needed to leave to catch the bus to meet her dad. So the teacher let everyone else go, and kept Tiven behind so that Tiven could explain why she needed to leave before everyone else. WTF??? She didn't want to leave before everyone else, she just wanted to leave ON TIME. She was supposed to meet her dad somewhere at 3pm but she was late because she missed the first bus. Grrrrrrr...... :evil: I sent a very long email to the teacher and the principal last night after I finally got my girl settled down and into bed.

Did she miss the school bus or city bus?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6803

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

It sounds like her NY's resolutions

Haha, I kept reading New York when I should have been reading New Year. I kept looking at the screen wanting it to make sense.

Spacers's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

She was riding a city bus but I don't see why that matters. A school bus (only for disabled students) would have waited for her, the charter bus to JCC would have waited for her, and the YMCA van would have waited for her, but she had to wait 15 minutes for another city bus to come. The only important points to me are, if a teacher is going to keep a child after school, then they should notify the parents, and they should only keep a child after school if THAT CHILD did something wrong. We actually got Tiven a cell phone because she's riding the bus more now, but it has to be turned off at school and she was so upset about being kept after school and missing her bus that she forgot to call DH or even turn it on so he could call her. Lesson learned there, of course, but I'm still pissed that the teacher wanted to hold the entire class because one boy hadn't put his things away.

mom3girls's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

"Spacers" wrote:

She was riding a city bus but I don't see why that matters. A school bus (only for disabled students) would have waited for her, the charter bus to JCC would have waited for her, and the YMCA van would have waited for her, but she had to wait 15 minutes for another city bus to come. The only important points to me are, if a teacher is going to keep a child after school, then they should notify the parents, and they should only keep a child after school if THAT CHILD did something wrong. We actually got Tiven a cell phone because she's riding the bus more now, but it has to be turned off at school and she was so upset about being kept after school and missing her bus that she forgot to call DH or even turn it on so he could call her. Lesson learned there, of course, but I'm still pissed that the teacher wanted to hold the entire class because one boy hadn't put his things away.

Do you know for fact that she kept them because of one boy? As a teacher there are a lot of situations where kids think something happened a certain way and the reality is way different. I call it kid perception. They are not in fact being dishonest, they just see things different then we do.

Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1763

"Spacers" wrote:

She was riding a city bus but I don't see why that matters. A school bus (only for disabled students) would have waited for her, the charter bus to JCC would have waited for her, and the YMCA van would have waited for her, but she had to wait 15 minutes for another city bus to come. The only important points to me are, if a teacher is going to keep a child after school, then they should notify the parents, and they should only keep a child after school if THAT CHILD did something wrong. We actually got Tiven a cell phone because she's riding the bus more now, but it has to be turned off at school and she was so upset about being kept after school and missing her bus that she forgot to call DH or even turn it on so he could call her. Lesson learned there, of course, but I'm still pissed that the teacher wanted to hold the entire class because one boy hadn't put his things away.

This has been a rough year for my daughter too. I've already met with the teacher and principal about being held after school. Nothing has really changed.

If she doesn't ride the school bus, the teacher can keep her up to 15 minutes after school. If she rides the school bus, she can't keep her long enough that she would miss the bus.

Rivergallery's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I would have suggested my daughter write an essay titled the same as your daughter.. too bad it wasn't longer.. that was the reason for the LIKE on that post.. not for the keeping after by the teacher.
I find NYR fundamentally wrong.. heck I could have even helped my child find how they would have been against my religion because God say his mercies are "new every morning" if you go to Biblegateway.com and type that into the search.. it is HOW you and your husband live your life. :).

Maybe a Good goal for her now would be to learn how to eloquently rebut her teacher when she disagrees with her/them. As it sounds like you are raising her to have her own mind.. next plan is to teacher how to back up her beliefs ;).

Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 20 min ago
Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1763

"Rivergallery" wrote:

I would have suggested my daughter write an essay titled the same as your daughter.. too bad it wasn't longer.. that was the reason for the LIKE on that post.. not for the keeping after by the teacher.
I find NYR fundamentally wrong.. heck I could have even helped my child find how they would have been against my religion because God say his mercies are "new every morning" if you go to Biblegateway.com and type that into the search.. it is HOW you and your husband live your life. :).

Maybe a Good goal for her now would be to learn how to eloquently rebut her teacher when she disagrees with her/them. As it sounds like you are raising her to have her own mind.. next plan is to teacher how to back up her beliefs ;).

It is against your religious beliefs to set a goal for self-improvement? Can you elaborate?

Rivergallery's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I do think they are fundamentally wrong in a sense that they leave it all up to self and most of the resolutions are short sighted and are self-centered and guilt ridden.. hence the reason most "gurus" theses days set goals instead of resolutions.. And for me I am more about living day to day.. it gets rid of the mistakes that might happen during the day.. and you can start each day new! I would not say setting a NYR is a sin... but it could be focused so much on self it takes your mind off of the true meaning of what you should be focused on so for me.. I choose to live my life in the Mercies of the Lord.. instead of the guilt brought on by not being able to live up to failed resolutions.. Wink
Also ...
You did see the word "could" right? Smile

And this is the verse in context I was referring too..

Lamentations 3:22-24
English Standard Version (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

and if my daughter had felt that way about writing the paper I COULD have helped her write it in that way.. instead that she instead was not going to make resolutions but instead going to try and do her best everyday just like she always has because that was how her parents had taught her etc.. and used .. the verse I posted as my reference back up Smile

I do make goals.. but they are usually not for self.. they are usually to help others.. one right now I and another friend right now every day are texting each other one thing we like about our husbands daily.. as we were getting a little grumpy about them.. we did not set an end date but said we had to do it for at least a week. I join groups to help me lose weight too for example like the biggest loser but instead of us earning the money it goes to kids at Reece's Rainbow or another orphan organization. So yes goals are fine.. but if I have a bad migraine day.. I live my life by that scripture instead by by the resolution.. or goal to lose weight.. does that make sense?

I forgot to text my friend because I had to go to the neurologist.. instead of feeling bad I just texted her two things.. today.. And was grateful for the Lord's Mercies..There was a whole week where I could barely move because the migraine was so bad.. I didn't lose any weight that week of course.. I did not feel bad at all... because I have learned that scripture it is a freeing thing... I think that NYR and goals etc etc can bind us to the point that we become so self-centered we actually lose ourselves.

I am grateful for the Mercies of the Lord.. that after I mess up that I can wake up and feel ok about it, and go on the next day.

Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3348

I think it's easy to get hung up on the idea of "New Year's Resolutions" and miss the point. My yoga teacher also doesn't like the resolutions; she thinks they're about judging ourselves harshly and then belittling ourselves if we don't "succeed".

I generally don't make them myself, on New Year's Day.

BUT...I think the general idea is to come up with something you think is important to do, that will make you better or happier or kinder or will benefit someone else, and then to talk about it in the assignment. Just remove the words "new year" and there isn't really an issue. We all set goals or have ideas of things we'd like to do that will improve our lives or our general states of mind.

Rivergallery I don't see how this violates your principles either. A goal doesn't have to be selfish. I think the saying nice things about your husbands falls perfectly into a "new year's resolution" category, you don't have to do it on January first and you don't have to think that you did something "wrong" if you miss a day or a week or anything. Personal goals aren't about never faltering, or only benefiting yourself. My goal could be to do charity work every week, and if I miss a week, it doesn't diminish the goal or the thought or me as a person, or "wreck" a resolution.

I think some of you are getting hung up on the label of it.

You can always just have a goal, strive for it, and do your best. I think that's the essence of what the teacher is getting at as well, with the assignment. Your daughter seems to already have resolutions and goals, so she can write about those, it doesn't matter if they are not connected to January 1st or 2014.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

Life isn't about enjoying or liking every homework assignment. Perhaps she could have written about challenging herself this year with a resolution. Nobody is perfect, there is always room for improvement and changes.