Son Left Homework at Home - What Would You Do?

Updated on March 01, 2011
L.B. asks from Metairie, LA
30 answers

My son is 14 and in the 9th grade and I am really trying to get him to "man up" about school work.

So I realized that my son left his English binder on the kitchen table this morning. Normally, I would shrug and let consequences be consequences. But, he has a project due today, that he has diligently worked on the past two nights. But it is sitting in the binder on the table.

So do I bring the binder up to the high school before his 4th block English class? Or do I let it sit here and flee the house so the guilt doesn't overwhelm me?

Yep, I am going to bring it to him - and he will owe me a ton of chores this weekend!!!! Yippee, I will not have to mop the floors nor do my own laundry.

What would you do? Leave it on the table or bring it to the school? Am I doing too much for him by bringing it to the school?

ARRGGHHHH after all my posts about making teens be responsible I am staring at the darn English binder. LOL

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your responses. I shared them with my son this evening - he of course thought the Moms who said not to bring it were "harsh". LOL I thought all the answers were absolutely wonderful!!! You all rock.

As I stated, I did bring the binder to school and left it at the front office for him. When he got home the first words out of his mouth were "What do I owe you?". Too funny, he knew he was gonna pay for that binder delivery. So, tomorrow the floors get Swiffer Wet Jet and Shark steamed, the dishes were washed tonight, and I am gonna give him all my laundry to wash and fold tomorrow. Plus we had a conversation about his being more diligent in the mornings and double checking his things before he catches the bus.

I do have to add that is the first time all school year that I have brought him anything at school. There have been many a Monday that I eyed his trumpet case sitting by the front door and just chuckled.

Thanks again!!!!!

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Normally, I would say leave it and let him deal with the consequences, but if he's been working really hard on a project and it was within my power to help, I would get it to the school.

5 moms found this helpful

J.P.

answers from Stockton on

I would take it......only because it is a big project.

I am wondering how long it is going to take him to realize that he doesn't have it. LOL

4 moms found this helpful
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J.B.

answers from Phoenix on

My son has done this as well. And I have both brought it to him and left it at home.
If it is not a normal thing that happens, such as he is not abusing it I would bring it to him. Yes, we need to teach them responsibility but we are also here to support them through these growing pains. How many times have you gotten rushed and forgotton something at home? If he doesn't do this on a regular basis I would take it to him. it's you supporting him knowing he worked so diligently on this project.
It can really help him have confidence that though mom & dad may be strict sometimes they are reasonable people and do care. Which is just as important as teaching him a lesson in responsibility.

4 moms found this helpful

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J.S.

answers from Boston on

If it were regular homework, I would definitely leave it there but a project? I'd bring it up to school and let him know that he owes me big time and make him work it off. And I would let him know that the only reason you're doing it is because he was doing the right thing by working hard on the project - let him see a tangible reward for the fact that he had been working hard on this. I'm all for responsibility and natural consequences, but I'm also for surprising kids - especially older ones - with some extra kindnesses every now and again. Set your conscience free and bring it up to school!

6 moms found this helpful
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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

.

4 moms found this helpful

A.G.

answers from Dallas on

If it was just homework/daily work, I would let him suffer the consequences, but since it is a project that he has worked diligently on for two nights, I would take it to him. I may be biased because I am an English teacher. :)

If you have had to rescue him often for leaving his binder at home, I would change my answer, though. If he has a problem leaving his binder at home and you have made a habit of taking it to him, this is an opportunity to teach him a lesson.

Good luck with your decision!

4 moms found this helpful
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S.O.

answers from Chicago on

I figure we all forget things once and awhile so I would take it to him. If he is forgetting something all the time then I would have to think a little more about it. I once forgot the birthday present on the way to the party so I had to stop at the store and buy a new gift. It happens to all of us. You could look at it this way, you are teaching your son to be helpful to others.

4 moms found this helpful
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K.P.

answers from New York on

Really tough one... the "educator" in me says "leave and let the consequences fall-out", but the mom in me says "take it to him".

I think there's a middle-ground here, though. Is this a major part of his grade? Seriously, if this is a huge project and taking the "late points" is going to ruin his semester average, then by all means take it to him and then I would have chores lined-up for more than the weekend.

If this is something that isn't going to overly impact his grade, then I would not take it to him. I would, however, email the teacher and let him/her know that the assignment is completed and in the binder in front of you. Let him/her know that your son will be discussing it with the teacher tomorrow and you will support the teacher in whatever consequences he/she thinks is appropriate.

When your son gets home this afternoon and the binder is on the table, take the opportunity to talk with him about the need to advocate for himself with the teacher and explain that "handing it in" is part of the assignment, but that most things are negotiable. Have him come up with a plan to "earn" the lost points... what a great question to ask the teacher that shows your son's value for the class and his performance!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I'd put myself in their shoes. If he worked really hard on the project and just forgot it, once he realizes it he'll be panicked! The fact that he put in the effort with this project shows he's trying to "man up." Even if it was a regular homework assignment, I'd still bring it to him (grades are important in high school!). I understand the importance of responsibility, but when he gets home, just have a talk with him how he should be more careful about these things. Then have him double check his stuff in the morning before he leaves for school. Soon enough, he wont need you to remind him to check, and he'll start doing it on his own.

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B.B.

answers from New York on

I would bring it because of the project. I've forgotten things at home that I needed at work in my adult life...sometimes you just forget!

If it were just a regular old HW assignment, I wouldn't bring it and I would make him just suffer the consequences.

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D.S.

answers from Houston on

if he does it on pupose i wouldnt but if its not normal for him I would. but he would owe me big time. you have forgotten things before and 9th grade failure can effect when he graduates. if its that big and accidental i would take it to him

3 moms found this helpful

S.J.

answers from St. Louis on

I would bring it to him.

3 moms found this helpful
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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I have done it. When my husband forgets his key card he can come home and get it. My kids can't just hop on a bus and get home. I have brought Chem notebooks, math books, orchestra binders, lunch.
People forget thigns. If it becomes a real issue then no I wouldn't bring it, but a couple times a year is no biggie.

And good for you, clean floors are nice and so is getting out of the laundry. :o)

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M.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I would have brought it in, especially since he has worked hard- BUT if this becomes a repeated habit I would not bring it in.

My oldest is in second grade. I give HER a hard time about forgetting her homework at home. LOL. I have brought in a project for her (and lunch), but if she forgets her "everyday" homework, its her loss. She is very bright and already very concerned about her grades (she gets high scores on everything at school), so it really does get to her if she forgot her homework. She hasn't forgotten anything for a while after the teacher gave her an "incomplete" on her homework. That really got her upset.

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M.K.

answers from Columbus on

I would probably take it to him as long as, like you say, this is not a regular occurence and it's a project and not just every-day homework. When my kids were younger I would take stuff to school ONLY if I knew it was very important. For "not so important" stuff they'd have to suffer the consequences, i.e, missed recess, etc. Now that they're older (and in high school) they've gotten MUCH better at not forgetting things by getting their backpacks ready to go the night before. Hope he got a good grade!!!

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M.V.

answers from New York on

Everyone forgets things from time to time! I have "been there, done that" from time to time with both my kids - if I know that the item left at home is very important, I bring it. If it's just a random homework assignment, I let it go. As long as it's not habitual, I think you're doing the right thing. Enjoy your clean floors and laundry :)

3 moms found this helpful
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J.J.

answers from Milwaukee on

Ha ha I had to take my daughter her binder last week! She gets herself up early and is ready on time, & doesn't forget things at home so I took it to her. It's just a few blocks away.

3 moms found this helpful
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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

allowed my daughter two "homework rescues" per school year. That's two times that I would bring items to school that she forgot at home. After she used up her two rescues, she just had to take the 0 for not having her work to turn in.
After the first time being told, "Sorry, you've used up your rescues" and having to actually take a 0 on an assignmnet, she made sure that she had her work, her ID, her supplies, etc. before she walked out the door every morning.

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B.J.

answers from Kansas City on

If this is a really big project, bring it to him. Would you ask your spouse/significant other/friend to bring you something hugely important at work if you forgot it? I would (and have). If this is a daily problem, let him start suffering the consequences with his regular homework. If this is a once in a while thing--just bring it to him. That's part of what friends/family are for. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't lay out the consequences of this behavior for any future episodes--I would do that today!

3 moms found this helpful

K.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

Take it this once. Tell him you know he has been working hard on the project so just this once you are making the specail trip to drop it off. After that he is on his own.

Maybe help him make a check off list so he has a reminder on what he needs to have. Sounds like you are doing a great job in teaching your son to be responsible.

2 moms found this helpful

K.M.

answers from Chicago on

I would bring it to the office, have them let the teacher know it is there and allow her to decide if she will allow him to retreive it from the office or not. I agree with both sides of the arguement he does need to learn cause and effect and I have a feeling his teachers are wanting him to "man up" as you say about school work and his teacher may have a good idea on how to handle the situation. Personally if I were the teacher I would let him know his binder is in the office waiting for him however he will be docked points for tardiness and written up for disturbing the class. I think this is an effective punishment because it effects his score for that DAY not that assignment and he has a choice, miss the assignment/get points off for turning it in late OR accepting a tardy for the class and a write up ... That is what I would do as the parent and as the teacher. Hope it all works out well, meaning I hope he faces some sort of a consequence from school and you.

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M.R.

answers from Chicago on

Scroll through the posts and look at the one where the 19 year old man is too lazy to go to school.

http://www.mamapedia.com/questions/6425329579065475073

Do you want to be the parent who enables and saves all the time? Or do you want to be the parent who allows her son to learn the consequences of his choices when the consequences aren't *that* huge of a deal so that he gets his act together and makes changes for the future?

2 moms found this helpful
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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

This happened to me and my 4th grader last week. I would take it to him. He did put alot of work into it and these things do happen. If it were a regular homework assignment I'd let it go.

M.

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

I'm going against popular opinion here. He is in 9th grade. I would not bring it to him, sorry. As a Mom it is not easy to watch your kids have to take a loss for something they did work hard for, but if you want him to be a more careful high school student, college student, and working professional someday, don't rescue. Likely the teacher will dock his grade for the project being late, that is not the end of the world. Even one zero is not the end of the world. He will have other opportunities to bring up his overall grade. I don't mean to sound cruel, but I would not miss this opportunity for him a lesson in responsibility.

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B.W.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I have two grown children ages 29 and 32. They both have excellent jobs and graduate educations. Understanding that we are all human, I gave them 2 free passes a school year. So, they knew they had better use them wisely. I'd say a major project would be a good reason to take the assignment up to school. Nobody is perfect and if the child is generally responsible, that is a fair thing to do!

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D.G.

answers from Dallas on

I would take it to him just because it was a project and he had worked hard on it. BUT I would also have the chores as a consequence and I would let him know that this won't happen again and wouldn't have happened with regular homework. Not critical or ugly - just letting him know the expectations for next time.

2 moms found this helpful

L.M.

answers from Dover on

If this is not an every day occurrance, if he needs a near perfect grade to pass, or since it is a project and not just regular homework I would take it too. If it happens constantly, I may not if it was just homework.

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L.

answers from Mobile on

I think if you can get him to do some kind of penance as you describe, then you kind of get the best of both worlds--there is a consequence, but it isn't so harsh. He's still in training. :)

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Y.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

What would be the must loving act for his future is to leave binder at home.

When we do what's right for our kids it generally hurts as more or as much as them. It will have a HUGE impact because it is something he worked hard on. Please I beg you this is such a great opportunity! Do you really think the grade on this project is going to determine which college he gets
into? The real world does not bring our laptop to us when we forget it for
the big power point presentation at the board meeting.

Trust me if I had to do it all over again I would have done less rescuing. It's no fun teaching this stuff when their 18.

Be strong your son is worth it! and "Man up" he will.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

I just saw this a bit late and truthfully I brought binders with projects all the time. oh well...

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