Wednesday, November 16, 2011

once upon a class project

let me first just say that i really appreciate public education. before i had my gaggle of kids, i taught high school. as a general rule, teachers are underpaid and under-appreciated. they work tremendously hard to teach and help raise our kids and i truly am thankful for all they do.

that being said, i now must share a frustration for mothers across the world over. for some strange, incomprehensible reason, teachers feel the need to assign class projects to school kids that only a parent can complete. i am currently in the process of creating a catawba indian wigwam diorama for my third grader's class. let me just tell you how much fun that is. don't get me wrong, my son is working with me every step of the way, cutting out papers, helping glue, painting, gathering sticks...still, there is no way he could get this project put together without the help of a grown-up.

what ever happened to coloring a picture? does he really learn more sitting for hours creating a three dimensional project instead of just drawing a wigwam and labeling the parts? he could do that on his own and i have a hard time imagining that he learns more doing a longer, harder project. i, on the other hand, feel like i've retaken third grade social studies. i know more about an indian wigwam than i think i ever learned in elementary school. while i appreciate the extra knowledge, i'm pretty sure i completed third grade many moons ago. i really have no desire to repeat it and the thought of doing this same project five times as each of my kids eventually hits the third grade is enough to push me over the edge.

i know i can't be alone in this frustration. maybe we should organize a revolt...a mommy strike, if you will. who's with me?


  1. I have had this same thought, many, many times. I am almost tempted to recycle these larger projects from oldest to youngest. Besides the amount of my time to "supervise", there is the cost. The materials required and then the numerous projects assigned over the course of a year. I have 4 kids which comes to no less then 10 projects a year. I need a small loan to keep them in glue and popsicle sticks. And lastly where do you keep them all once they come home?? I am thinking of starting a museum, or better yet perhaps I can sell them on craig's list.

  2. Ha Ha Haaaaaa! ROTFLMBO! So funny. In CA they make the fourth graders make CA missions, but now they sell kits. I always felt the kids who used the kits were cheeting. Please post photos, I can't wait to see how it turns out!

  3. I totally agree! But, as a former 2nd grade teacher, I have to defend the the reason for these (seemingly) stupid projects...and say that teachers do that to make sure to make the school/home connection with the student and parent. It is more to force the child to explain to the parent and the parent to explain to the child what they are doing. It requires parent participation to force and encourage one on one intentional attention and hard work...which then helps the child to take ownership of the work more than they would just a picture.

    I have an eight week old...and I'm not teaching also remember that many teachers have never been the parent at home doing these projects and someday will be cursing those same teachers... :) Just as you are now! haha! I'm sure I'll be there...

    My dad still has the projects I did when I was little in their basement!