Friday, February 25, 2011

Armadillos, John Glenn & Tiger Woods

My boys are 8 and almost 7. Both have been assigned reports in the past few weeks. They are pretty simple projects. At least they look simple when I read the information sheet.

For the armadillo report, we had to create as a family (code word: parent) an armadillo. Can you imagine what this would look like if I let Kyle create it on his own? I should have. I Googled armadillo art projects (yes, you can find everything on the web) and found one that I could get started and he could make his own. I definitely let him do the work once we had the bare creature created.

The John Glenn report will be done this weekend. I am not sure if there is enough strength in my body to get to it on a snow day. But, the baby is asleep, the boys keep fighting and I need to keep Kyle busy. He has trouble staying focused so I am sure the five sentences we need to write will take at least an hour and some chocolate for mommy.

Tiger Woods was done last week. Ryan did an excellent job on it. He didn't read the book I bought him, he went straight to the internet. I was a little worried about what he'd find out about Tiger so I warned him ahead of time. Ry didn't really care, he just needed to find the answers to write his simple report.

Kids this age are not ready to really write reports. I have to keep reminding me that it is the PROCESS not the actual report they are doing. I get super frustrated that most of the school projects feel like parent projects. I completed my Masters. I will not be doing extra credit in primary school for my children. I feel that the teachers really expect too much out of children on these reports. If you walk down the hall and look at the animal report exhibits, they are amazing. Children are not completing the assignment. Their parents are.

I think a better requirement for the reports would be to keep them simple and let the children draw a picture. If a child has trouble reading about a subject, how is it possible for them to internalize and communicate about the subject on paper. It is impossible at this age. But, it is required. My children are bright and are good readers. So, it will get done.

As I work on these projects, or I should say, work with my children on these projects, I often wonder about the parents who are barely getting by. I often feel that I am barely getting by but what about the parents that are working two jobs, grandma is raising Johnny or dad is drinking? Is it fair to these children? I guess it isn't in all respects.

So, now I will shut down my computer and look up some info on John Glenn for Kyle. We will sit at the kitchen table. I will make a cup of tea and find a snack to keep me busy. And I will help Kyle figure out what he can share with the class about Mr. Glenn. And I will be grateful that I am not the one that had to create the pinewood derby cars for Boy Scouts. My poor husband! Another family project that took every bone in our bodies this week.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have had a busy few weeks. I agree that the kids at that age are not ready for those types of projects. Dreading when my kids start having projects like that. Just trying to keep food on the table and underwear clean.

Cristine said...

I feel your pain - have done too many reports and poster projects, trying to make them 'his' and not 'mine.' And Boy Scouts is not even up for discussion. He already does three sports and other misc. things. I told him we need one night off per week!

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