James’s son is good with his hands but not great at school. And he’s fine with that because he’ll be happy doing a trade. But his wife is insistent he needs to go to college and has started correcting his assignments to get his grades up. James thinks this is crazy, so he started changing his son’s work back to the wrong answers.
Ayla Brown: Good morning, James. After briefly reading your email, what happened with your 15 year old son and homework?
James: Yeah. Yeah, it’s. It’s a bit of a mess, but my son, he’s a great kid. I mean, he. He’s really witty and he’s funny, and he is a pleasure to talk to. When it comes to school, he’s not exactly the Mr. Straight A.
Ayla Brown: Yeah, I was never that way either. I get it. I worked hard, but I was not very Booksmart.
James: But there’s like other things that I’ve noticed that I’m not worried about. Like I said, he’s pretty witty. I hate to say this, but it’s not like he’s dumb or anything. He’s really good with his hands and I’ve seen them fix a few things. I think he’s going to be a good engineer or an electrician or something. He really gets that.
Ayla Brown: It’s awesome.
James: Yeah, exactly. But my wife, she doesn’t like that idea of just getting a trade. She wants the standard college, you know, like the going for four years going to community college or the big college, etc. We’ve kind of gone back and forth with it and it hasn’t really been that big of a deal, but I’ve noticed his homework assignments lately have had some extra pen marks on them. And I have found out that she’s been altering his homework a little bit, trying to make sure that he’s got the right answers.
Ayla Brown: Really? So she’s going in and like changing a math equation for him. Wrong to right? Correct. Oh, is it just math or other subjects as well, like writing a paper?
James: So far it’s just been math. She doesn’t like write him any papers but I see like vocabulary words, like, fill in the blank. She’s gone in to do those, but not a full paper or anything.
Ayla Brown: Okay, well, that’s good.
James: I don’t know actually how to check on that, though, to be honest.
Ayla Brown: Yeah, maybe she is. And you just don’t know. So what did you do about that?
James: So once I figured that out, I started to change them back because this is the honesty route, that this is what he was. I mean, you can see what his original answer is. I was kind of filling it back in. And she found out, and we got into a big argument about it. But the way I see it, if he’s telling us this is who he is, these are the answers he put. And I’m not changing it to like ridiculous answers. I’m just putting it back to the answers that he put in. I know I don’t want my kids to start learning how to lie.
Ayla Brown: Right. But then your wife is changing the answers so he can go to a four year school and get accepted into college. Because without straight A’s, who knows these days that might not happen. I don’t know.
James: Because, if he goes to that college, and he’s not actually ready for it, it’s going to be a bad time. With everything else nowadays, it’s not a good idea to be in college if you’re not ready for it. You know, with everything you need to be focused, right? If he feels like he can’t focus in school, that might lead him to other things that I don’t want him to be doing