Stupid AR points

Our school runs the AR program.  AR stands for Accelerated Reader.  Basically, it is an easy way for teachers to know kids read a book and knew enough to pass a 5 or 10 question quiz.  As an employee of the school, it is a keen way of keeping kids (and their parents  **ahem**) accountable for all the “reading” they do in the evenings.

As a parent, I have a love hate relationship with AR.  On one hand, I have a daughter who, instead of getting her required 60 points for the year, has decided nearing 500 would be sufficient.  She is the one who tends to be OCD-ish and landed on AR as her area of fixation this year.  (In fact, as I type this, she is sitting 3 feet from me talking all about how she not only reads a ton, and has a bazillion points, but also she rollerbladed backwards from one place in the hood to our house and only fell 5 times, so proof that she doesn’t only read all day.    She is so happy about life at the moment.)

On the other hand, I have a son who

1.)  Hates to read

2.)  Hates to take AR quizzes on books he has supposedly read.

Put the hate of reading and the lack of ability to pass an AR test together with a mom who says, “We are done with AR tests this year” at the end of the 2nd trimester and you get a kid who hasn’t read or taken a quiz for oh, something like months.  What is the point if he rarely passes a quiz – let’s learn repetitive failure.   I have given up the dream of the Crazy Man becoming a book worm.  (He likes magazines and newspapers.) But then it is hard to read books while climbing trees, drumming and blading.  Ya know what?  I don’t even care.  It is ok not to like to read…perfectly ok.  But I never said that.

So last week, we found out that he has a minimum requirement of 20 points for the trimester or else he drops an entire letter grade.  We don’t have enough wiggle room to drop a grade.  And yes, I just said “we” since I gave him the go ahead to never take another AR test as long as we both shall live.  I feel slightly responsible for the pickle he is in.

Getting 20 points isn’t all that hard if you can sit still.  He chooses not to have that ability.  I like him that way.  Yesterday, he was told he needed to read a book and take a quiz.  He told us he did.  And then he went on a 10 mile bike ride with Dad.  Uh, does he know I can check?  No test taken…Crazy Man’s wings clipped for today.  Oh, the horror.  He had to read.  He chose to clean his room instead, what does that tell you?

Bill and JP decided to go on a 15 mile bike ride (this is all about getting ready for the 50-mile Scout bike ride in a couple weeks.)  I went flower shopping with Princess.  That left the AR queen with the No-read Boy here to get some AR-ing done.    It is like a really positive number and a negative number being at a tug-of-war on a number line and hoping the dot lands in positive land.

Guess what?  He took a bunch of quizzes tonight.  On American Girl books.  WHAT?!?!?!  Yeah, seems the AR queen tipped him off to the fact that they are only 29 pages and each worth a point.  Better yet, she was around and willing to assist in the reading and testing of each book.  (According to them, she team read the books with him and then read the questions on the quizzes to him but he picked the answers.)  See, they do love each other after all.  I wonder what his teacher will think when she sees all the American Girl books listed.  AHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Let’s see if he gets accused of cheating.  What?  Are you saying a 100% boy-ish boy wouldn’t read books about:  (According to Wikipedia) American Girl is a line of dolls, books, and accessories based on ten-year-old girl characters that originally focused on various periods of American history from the viewpoint of girls and has now expanded to include dolls of and stories about contemporary girls

At this rate, he will have his 20 points,  I will not have to deal with guilt, and Curly will be a hero.  A real American Girl hero. 

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicolle D
    May 17, 2011 @ 21:48:00

    hahaha! I so can relate!!

    Reply

  2. Ben
    May 18, 2011 @ 16:44:07

    We have an AR store where you get all the points and then can spend them every thursday. There are things from soccer balls to ipods in there…it has been a huge success….

    p.s. I got a job in MHD for next year 🙂

    Reply

    • debpieper
      May 18, 2011 @ 16:56:14

      Can you come present that at a staff meeting? 🙂
      So glad to hear you are moving back!! Dont be a stranger.

      Reply

  3. Trackback: Good-bye, elementary school « Our Piep Show

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