There are some homework assignments that come home that make me roll my eyes because they aren’t homework for the kids, they are homework for the parents.
I’m not complaining about having to help my kids with their homework- I feel like that’s part of a parent’s job. But I do think that kids should need minimal help or the assignment isn’t appropriate. Homework should be a practice of skills already taught.
Projects tend to be the worst. Like my first grader having to make a t-shirt with 100 items on it for the 100th day of school. He doesn’t sew and so this ended up falling more on me than him(even though I don’t sew either- we had to get creative).
For most projects like this with my boys, I’ve tried to find ways that my boys can do as much of the work as possible since they are the ones who are supposed to be learning from these assignments. And besides, in grades K-2, the kids’ report cards only show if they are on grade level, below, or above, based on individual assessments, with the projects simply being for experience.
But my oldest is in third grade, the first year of letter grades. The year when if I just let my son go ahead and do these things on his own, his grade will be lower than the kid who sits next to him whose mom does his entire project.
And it made me reconsider a little bit. I don’t have to do the whole project, but maybe I should help out more so he can get that A.
But I shook it off and decided with his latest big project, I’d offer my help, but only with what my son wanted help with, only if he really needed help.
And with his latest project(a Living Wax Museum), he did the research himself(his nickname from the librarian is “the biography king”), wrote his speech, planned his costume, and put together his power point presentation.
He asked for help in finding where the timeline templates were on power point, but then he completed it himself. He asked me to find him a bow tie and white hairspray. But that was it.
He had the rest of it. He even told me that he went through the grading rubric and he had everything he needed to have.
He practiced his presentation with me and I had to squelch the urge to make suggestions for other things that he could add. That would be teaching him how to do a better presentation, right? It would help him learn…
But, no. I didn’t. I let him go it alone because it was his project, not mine. And he was perfectly happy with what he’d come up with.
And he did awesome. Awesome. And the grade he’ll get, he earned all on his own. Even though I think he deserves an A.
How much do you help your kids with their school projects?
Since my middle son is now in third grade and he just had to do a balloon powered car project on his own, it brought to mind this post, so I’m resharing it now.
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