29 March 2011

School, projects and reports

Yesterday Honey had a project due. She was given it about a month ago. It was in the form of a diary and she had to choose her character from 1670's or something; living life at the Castle of Good Hope. They had to talk about how they got there, what they wore,ate and generally their daily life.

It was a doff project in my opinion. It irritates me when they have to do dumb meaningless things. But annnyyyywaaaaay....it had to be handed in yesterday.

She wasnt finished. She still had to colour her title page and write some screed on the last page about something I cant remember. She freaked and said she wasnt going to hand it in and would finish it that afternoon. I told her if she left it at home on purpose I would bin the thing and she would get zero.

She handed it in; she got 78% for it but would have gotten 90% if she had put more effort into it. (her teacher told her this). She has learnt a valuable lesson.....

Mama aint doing your projects darling.

Apart from that little drama both girls received outstanding reports. I honestly could not ask for anything better (except perhaps completion of said project....but a far more valuable lesson was learnt in this instance).

This was Lulu's first school report and I have been amazed at how she has settled into school life and excelled academically.

We are so proud of them both.


Ness at Drovers Run said...

Yeah - I'm not sure why the need to write it in diary form - but I suppose to try and personalize the experience for them? We would probably have just done a project on it with some drawings and writing etc. I remember, in primary school, definitely that the teachers did not favour those whose parents had clearly helped them with their projects. In fact they favoured those who had obviously done it on their own. At any rate, I remember my mom groaning at having to drive me to the library once, because "We have enough books at home damnit" (we actually did - my dad collected encyclopaedias and other books in a freakish fashion, we actually had a room called 'the library' at home) so I don't feel bad for not being a supermom with my kids projects. We'll see how things progress as they get older.

Anonymous said...

The theme of the project is not as important as the skills learned. Research, planning, using your time wisely - the list is endless. U need to trust your teacher that she knows what she is doing :-)

blackhuff said...

I don't agree with anonymous. What skills do you learn by doing a project like that?
I can see that you are bothered with what anonymous have said because the function to comment with only using info like "username" and "link" and "anonymous" have been removed :)
I am sure that your daughter have learned a valuable lesson. I so agree with the fact that children need to learn that their parents is not going to do their homework or projects for them.

Shayne said...

If you ask me a lot of the projects they have to do are flippin useless.

But, i suppose the teachers have to earn their money somehow?


MelB said...

I have to disagree with Anonymous (i wish you had left a link back to your blog :-) the theme of the project IS important.

You can teach kids research,planning and using time wisely by giving them something CONSTRUCTIVE to do. Not by giving them meaningless annoying tasks that just frustrate them.

lg said...

Personally I agree with Anonymous because, as their projects become more involved as they get older, those ARE EXACTLY the skills that the kids will have learnt through doing the 'easier' ones when younger.

It's good that you don't do their work for them, they need to learn how to research, how to discern what is necessary info and what is not, they need to learn how to document those facts, how to edit,how to use a bibliography, how to manage their time,...

I don't think either that its a dof project. Atleast one day she will be able to display some general knowledge of our history that is not realated to the last 20years.

BTW: Whoever thought that teachers work half day, aint never been a teacher! They work FLIPPIN hard.

OK. My little opinion over... I need to go and prep my lessons for tomorrow... OH and Mel - congrats of their reports, yes, they did SO well!!! Awesome.


allie. said...

I'm going to dodge the debate and just say I'm glad they are working so nicely, and doing so well.

Pats on the back to the mom for the endless hours of coaching too

lg said...

OH and not to mention that they re-inforce things like using their imagination (which is not available much since TV absorbed it), basic story-writing, using direct and indirect speech, getting tenses correct, writing with feeling and using adjectives... Even something as basic as punctuation!

Of course, they could do that out of an exercise book - copy and write it down... but that they may also find boring - so I suppose that would be dof too?

Sorry Mel... but everything they do now with the kids is not because they are bored with what they are teaching, its necessary for later, whether they understand that or not.

lg said...

P.S. (I was referring to the generation with TV, not yours specifically)

MelB said...

i agree with everything LG and Anon have said but I stand by my opinion that content/theme is key.

Give meaningful themes/projects. Period.

karin said...

lol, your blog was interesting reading for a Tuesday afternoon, all the comments more so

Grinleer said...

Interesting, both sides have valid points, i'm not a teacher so i don't always know "why" things are done, but i pay school fees and believe in the school the kids are at so i usually have faith in whats happening. HOwever - themes are generally a good thing, they start at a young age and i'd assume that if that term they were learning about "space" a diary of an astronaut may be an interesting thing to do as it would require much thought from the small person on what an astronaught would do daily, but to send them home with a "bugs" project would seem a bit pointless?...am i missing the point a bit?
I think it very silly of anyone to assume that teachers do nothing.....and if you truly believe that, maybe your kids should be at a different school where you feel the teachers are working? These people are the cornerstone of your childrens education, the start of their lives, they often see your kids more than you do.....to be apathetic about your kids teacher is not the way to go.

Kirsty said...

eish! Projects - schmojects. Do them, don't do them. get 90%, get 0%. Point is: learn from them. Not just the content, but the whole task of starting it AND completing it. AND most importantly: DO THEM YOURSELVES! it's not the parents project....
Well done Mel - stick to the old school of parenting. too much molly-coddling of kids these days.
"If its not broke, don't fix it"
My kids will be let out the cupboard tonight if they're good... and fed dinner, nut only for an hour cos I wouldn't wanna spoil them ;)

Lynette said...

I enjoyed reading this...and no I will not be part of this debate...I am so thankful that I don't have little ones with projects right now. Congrats on the girls reports Mel.