Angry Mom: What'd you do this weekend? I spent mine working on a diorama of a lion's den. Why was I doing this when I'm 36 and well beyond first grade? Because there was no way my kid could pull this off without my help!
When I brought this up at a birthday party yesterday, the other moms chimed in about the projects they'd been working on: a 15-entry slave journal, complete with charcoal illustrations and parchment paper burned around the edges; a Picasso mural; a milk-carton birdhouse. Another mom said she had to type out a four-page planet report for her SECOND grader (!) because it would have taken him about twenty hours to type the damn thing ... and don't even get her started about the bibliography.
WHY do teachers assign these projects, when they know that the parents are just going to have to do them anyway? Is it so their classrooms will look impressive for open house? Isn't this just a waste of time for everyone? (It's also a waste of money -- I spent $30 at Michael's on popsicle sticks and other crafty supplies!)
When I walked into the school science fair a few weeks ago, I had to laugh when I saw the elaborate projects supposedly created by kindergarteners. Yeah, right: We all know who's doing those projects ... and it sure isn't the kids -- who don't even know how to tie their shoes yet!
A mom of a preschooler I know said she will NEVER do her kid's projects .. but that's easy to say before your child actually hits elementary school. I don't know about you, but I don't want my kid to be the only one with a crappy project on display. If she gets a bad grade, it reflects poorly on the parent -- me! -- and could impact the teacher's opinion of her, which could affect her future years, too. (It's a small school, and word travels fast.)
Believe me -- I know it's a complete crock when I'm sitting there hot-gluing sand into the bottom of a shoebox and she's sitting nearby "helping" me. But I let her do as much as she is able to at her young age, and then I help out with the rest.
There is just something wrong with the system. WHY are kids given so much homework? WHY are they given projects that they're not capable of doing? WHY? WHY?
I wish there was a better way. But until someone comes up with one, I've gotta run ... I've got a paper-mache puppet I need to work on that's due Friday.