I don’t mind homework.
Studying to ensure a lesson is learned, extra practice to make it stick — these are terrific reasons to bring work home from school. But I mean spelling words, vocabulary lists, text books, worksheets… that sort of thing. I’m not talking about assignments that talk about collecting items not already in the book bag. This kind of shenanigans should be illegal.
When teachers assign school projects, they are actually forcing them upon parents.
Let’s be honest here: You’re asking a first grader to create a piece of clothing that has one-hundred items attached to it, in celebration of the one-hundredth day of school. Cute idea, I grant you that much. But can my first grader sew? No, nor can her dear mommy, much to my Boy Scout husband’s chagrin. My first grader can certainly count to one-hundred, with loud and obnoxious ease — but does she have any idea what kinds of items our household carries in bulk that may be rendered into a fashion item? Not so much. Nor, again, does her mommy. I do
not have a lot of “junk” items lying about, now that I’m on a minimalism kick. We have actually gotten rid of our useless “stuff”. I thought about paperclips, but was quickly assured that, “Mommy, that would not be cool.”
Funny, I don’t remember being asked…
by the school if I want to spend additional money on unexpected, last-minute supplies (for school projects) like volcano mix, or helmets, or weird things that require my imagination or wallet to cut loose. Speaking of money… why even charge a school tax (on top of the six- street-village tax), plus require us to provide school supplies, if you’re going to make us buy even more ridiculous items throughout the year?
Never one to make complaints without suggestions for resolution, I have come up with two ideas.
- Charge me a grand total of NO DOLLARS AND NO CENTS, and I’ll have the money to outsource creativity (since my personal supply of this basic human attribute is zero). Just think about how awesome my seven-year-old’s school projects could be, if I paid someone else to do the parental duty portion.
- Come up with one gigantic fee to cover the ENTIRE YEAR, and do the work at school. Cuz I’m coming up blank here at home, forking out cash and motivation left and right. I have two kids, but only one somewhat hampered brain, and only one very empty wallet. Take our tax and school fee dollars and hire a consultant to work with the kids on fashion design. I wear sweatpants and ponytails. Do I look like someone who can easily come up with nifty mock-ups? Not so much.
Some might find they are “appalled”…
at my lack of willingness to sew ribbons to a cowboy hat and call it style. I like to think I’m just more reality-based. You see, in spite of the name of our six-street village (Farmersville), we don’t wear cowboy hats in this part of the world. So this means I’d have to go out and buy one. I don’t even know where to start looking for such a funny head cover — except for those once-a-year specialty Halloween costume stores, and sadly, this is February, so… No such luck this month. And moreover, we don’t carry ribbons about in our purses over here. I don’t shop at Jo-Ann Fabrics, so maybe I could stop by and see if they have something along that line… but then, I’m more worried about paying our utilities and teaching my kids to balance a checkbook — real world skills that will actually mean something in the grand scheme of things — than making sure a seven-year-old is dressed up for a silly celebration that she likely won’t even remember by the time Halloween rolls around and the REAL dress-ups are pressing for purchase.
And group projects? NO.
First off, by assigning partnered-up school projects, you are bossing me around and essentially getting into my personal skadoolie. See, I have this calendar on the wall onto which I write appointments, dates, events, and other activities which are planned via my approval. Telling me that I absolutely must schedule a time for some other kid to come over — or even worse, that I must work out transportation to some other kid’s house — is tantamount to dictating my life. And nobody puts Andi-Roo in a corner. Nobody, man. No pointing fingers in my face, and no writing on my skadoolie because you’re sure to eff it up and use the wrong shade of Sharpie.
I don’t typically invite people I actually like into my home, much less other people I’ve never met. If you’ve seen the current state of my kitchen ceiling, you understand and sympathize. Or, if you’ve ever met me and thus have come to know my social phobias, you know that meeting new people isn’t my bag, baby.
And my kid is SEVEN. Why do I have to suddenly be okay with sending her over to a stranger’s house? Don’t strangers pass out razor-blade-stuffed candies and plot ways to rape kittens? I’m not good with this plan. Not at all.
What is your stance on school projects, group projects, or forced invites? Am I just crazy here?