Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's a Helicopter World

Ever since I have had children in school, I've refused to do their homework. My theory is, I've been to school. I did my homework. Now it's their turn.

My role is limited (by me) to purchasing necessary supplies, motivational nagging, withholding of video-game privileges and enforcement of deadlines, as well as occasional Typesetting Tech Support for kids old enough to use computers for projects. Oh yeah--no one without "teen" in their age is allowed to touch the hot-glue gun.

It was disheartening, but not surprising, to see the near-professional-quality "book reports in a box" that Little Brother's 3rd-grade class produced last week. This was some snazzy work that those 8-year-olds did, let me tell you.

Fortunately, Little Brother's teacher is also a parent. She wasn't swayed by flawless gluing and other superficials. A project by a third-grade boy is necessarily going to be less than gorgeous in quality. A couple of decorative bits might even fall off on the school bus on the way to school. Little Brother got a 100 on his obviously-homemade-by-a-3rd-grader project.

Those same parents who do their grade-school kids' book reports and science fair presentation boards move on to high school, where they are overheard saying things like this at report-card conferences: "I've seen all my kid's teachers. I think I'll go stand in line for the 4 teachers he'll have next semester and get to know them." (I'd love to see the face of the teachers when this guy tries that. It's what Back-to-School Night is all about, after all. Not report-card conferences for parents of current students.)


Michelle said...

I've now surrendered the nagging role as well...

And I know what you mean about the hot glue gun! I'm not sure I should be allowed to use it after one particularly nasty burn.

Ellen said...

Oh how I agree. If you don't let them live and learn, they'll be dependent always.

Sarah Oldham said...

What Ellen said.
My kids, fortunately, have great artistic talents and have always told me to "go away, mum! We can do this!" and I go away and return to find they have done better than I thought. It's best to let them navigate these waters, because they certainly won't drown.