Jody and I made a deal with them. If they would get on the A/B honor roll for the entire school year they could have an iPhone.
This verbal contract didn’t alleviate my job as a parent in knowing what their grades were. Facebook became second to SchoolView where I would check their grades and learn of any missing work.
An M for missing homework was totally unacceptable. I let them know that an M meant that MOM would come to their classroom and sit next to them. I made good on that promise on three occasions during the school year for both middle-schoolers. I totally enjoyed the experience.
It was amazing to me how Antonio and Crystel would skate a B- seemingly oblivious to the fact that it could drop to a C+ at any time.
I mean, an iPhone was on the hook here.
For three quarters both made the A/B honor roll by a slim margin.
Mid-May, I was concerned that they might not make it the last quarter.
At this point, I wrote the verbal contract and had them sign it. I had to make it clear to myself that there would be no iPhone if they missed the honor roll.
After receiving the grades in the mail, I wrote another contract.
The first rule: I need to receive A’s and B’s in seventh grade to keep my iPhone. Any quarter that I don’t make the A/B honor roll I will lose my iPhone privileges until I am back on the honor roll.
I anticipate an M or two and am envisioning sitting next to two seventh graders at some point during the coming school year. The threat of that is even better than a contract.
And, just in case, we’ve kept the flip phones.