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Carol Perkins: Christmas Ethics & Cheating

'Cheating comes in many forms and the younger a child learns about cheating the less likely he is to cheat. After all, nobody wants to make God mad...or Santa Claus. - CAROL PERKINS
The next earlier Carol Perkins Column: Carol Perkins: Educational Advance - Cape Day Fridays. Posted October, 27, 2013

By Carol Perkins

Our daughter Carla and seven-year-old grandson came this weekend for the purpose of our traditional visit to Jeff's Florist Christmas Open House. This is one shopping event Guy actually likes to attend because the feeling of Christmas is overwhelming. The results of these open houses are seen in my Christmas decorations each year. I look forward to this special weekend.

Later we were eating at Applebee's and discussing Carla's role as room mom at Joseph's school and the fact that they don't celebrate holidays. "We have fall parties rather than Halloween parties," she said. One of her jobs is to do the office bulletin board, which cannot be them holiday based themes.

She also volunteers once a week to help the teacher. This has been a rewarding experience for the girl who vowed NEVER to be a teacher because she would NEVER have that much patience. Age changes people.

"One little boy wouldn't pay any attention to me at all," she said. "I worked with five kids and he got up and walked around, put his arms behind his back, and would never look at me when I talked to him."

She continued. "Finally, I got him to sit down and work with his spelling words. Just as I thought I had his full cooperation, he said, 'Would you write the words for me?'" I didn't think Joseph was really paying much attention to our conversation, but he was. "If you wrote them for him," he said, "that would be cheating. That would NOT make God very happy....or Santa Claus."

Needless to say, we cracked up!

The little boy didn't understand why Carla wouldn't write his answers for him. "Carla, don't you think that probably he was used to someone writing his words for him at home?"

"But the teacher would know it wasn't his writing."

Here is how it goes. Parents get so frustrated with homework and the kids who hate doing it that in order to get it done, they "help." They write the answers and then all the child has to do is copy what is done for him. Math problems...parents may stand over the child and tell him the answers. Anything to get the homework finished and kids to bed.

Projects done at home? Forget it. If a child does his own, it won't look half as good as the project completed by the family the night before it was due the next day. Jack comes in with his little decorated pumpkin that shows he did it while Trudy's is a masterpiece. If the masterpiece is continually rewarded, where is the incentive to go solo on a project? That is why I seldom assigned homework because 99% of students either didn't do it or had someone else do it for them. That goes back to when I was a student.

I vividly remember a good friend of mine being bombarded by lazy boys before school who wanted to copy her algebra. She couldn't say no because she didn't want to make them mad.

Cheating comes in many forms and the younger a child learns about cheating the less likely he is to cheat. After all, nobody wants to make God mad...or Santa Claus. Carol Perkins

This story was posted on 2013-11-03 04:34:39
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