Monday, June 09, 2008

Project Pain

Dante's got another school project to do. They generally have one big one every second term, as far as I can tell. This one's about National Parks. He's got two weeks to do it, unfortunately due on the day that Dan comes home so I'm stuck helping him with it.

I don't know what it is about projects that gets him, but it always involves tears and shouting. ALWAYS. He screams at me, "I HATE my project! I DON'T want to do it!" and I reply, "Fine. I'll tell your teacher to put you back into Kindergarten where they don't do big projects"*. And then more screaming ensues.

Eventually I found the Wikipedia page about the park and wrote up a few questions. He writes the answers in full sentence form in a word processor and voila! One part of the project done. He's happy to type up the answers to questions, and search for the answers on the page in front of him. It's just getting to that point which is so incredibly painful. We've had it three days in a row now.

So what do I do? Continue with my method? It's getting the project done, in his own words (sort of). He's researching somewhat on his own. But is it too much help? Am I becoming one of those parents that does their kids' homework for them?

I've never been particularly good at school projects/uni assignments. I hated them, too. I always left it to the last minute ("procrastination" is my middle name, as anyone who knew me through those years knows). I complained and whinged about the need to do them, just like Dante (although possibly without so much yelling). I know what he's going through, but I don't want him to follow the same path that I did. I once handed in a Psychology essay two weeks late, got a zero, but had to do it or fail the course. That was me at my worst. I really don't want D to be like that. But I'm not sure that I have the skills even now to help him with this.

I guess I should talk to his teacher about it. Still waiting for the parent-teacher interview which we were meant to have two months ago (but was postponed). Anyone got any other ideas?


* Except that I forgot that they do.

Edit (11/06/08): I spoke to Dante's school teacher this afternoon and she is happy for parents to give as much help as they want. "It's all part of the learning process," she said. And also that she wasn't expecting anything flash from the Yr 2 kids. Just a piece of cardboard with some pictures, the name of the park, names of some native and non-native animals and that will do! Dante decided tonight that he wanted to do it in a "book" form rather than a poster so I dug out one of those folders with plastic sleeves. He's quite pleased about it all. I'm very relieved about it, too, and am not so stressed about "doing too much".

1 comment:

red_swirl / ginevra said...

Ummm, would the school accept the project in another format, like a painting or graph or interview with a park ranger or collection of leaves I found at a national park????

Ugh, I guess I'll be going through this in a year or two with my own kids, surely it's too young to stress kids like that? (But I remember school projects at that age, too) Ugh.