Twice in the last two weeks, I have had to face my failings as a teacher in the work my daughter is doing. I have no choice but to admit that I have been way too lax with both the kids when it comes to requiring neatness and even to letting them off the hook for mistakes. I have always pointed out their mistakes, but haven't always made them correct them.
Just for the record, that was a bad idea!
Now that Laura is getting older and her work is getting harder, I almost feel like apologizing to her for not being more consistent when she was younger and the work was easier. But, as I have had to face many times before, I cannot change the past and all we can do is move forward from where we are now. And, sometimes, that means we may have to step back and evaluate where we are before we can know how to move forward.
With that in mind, I have come to the conclusion that we will not be moving as fast in grammar as I would like so that I can stress the importance of turning in neat, accurate work. I want her to be responsible for checking to see that she has spelled words correctly and started every sentence with a capital letter and ended it with a correct punctuation mark. I hope that it won't slow us down too much, but I really think that it will serve us both well for her to learn this now. Hopefully a few times like today, when she had to completely redo an assignment, will help her to remember to do it correctly the first time.
The benefit for me is that I hopefully won't make the same mistake with the boys that I made with Laura. Poor thing, she has been my trial run for a number of years now. Maybe one day I'll get it right!