Wednesday, February 23, 2011

100 day project and why some parents suck

Last week was a big week in school.  Not only was it Valentine's day which I've said before, in elementary school might just be bigger than Christmas, but it was the 100th day of school.  That's right the big 1-0-0.

Which, if you don't have a school age kiddo, is apparently a BIG FRIGGIN DEAL. 

Hats were colored, snacks were counted into groups of 100, parades were held, 100 steps walked, and a 100 item project made. 

The directions came home the week before, have your child group together and display 100 objects, be they paper clips, stickers, what have you.  The directions made sure to say, provide minimal direction and help to your child, this is, after all, their project.

Yeah.  Some parents didn't get that part of the memo.

Dash-1 worked really hard on his project, but I will admit, it did look as if it had been dragged behind the bus for a stop or two.  He chose to take packing peanuts {you can not say that we do not have a sense of humor in our house, packing peanuts for the peanut free kiddo} and recycle and reuse them by gluing 100 of them on a recycled and reused cardboard container that had held water bottles on them.  

He really wanted to use stuff from around the house, recycling and reusing is really pushed in his school so he wanted to recycle and reuse.  I just thought the peanuts were funny, what can I say, he's a better person at 6 than I am at 30.  

We tried a couple different types of glue and unfortunately most of them ate thru the peanuts so after quite some experimenting we settled on the glue gun.  This was really my only role in the project, you know to make sure he didn't burn my house down in a giant pile of hot glue or something equally fun like that.

We talked a bit about the best way to "group" the peanuts for the easiest counting.  Once he figured out groups of 10 was easiest he was off on his way.  

I did what the memo said, I let him do the project.  He glued groups of 10 alright.  Groups of ten this way, groups of ten that way, hmmm, that one didn't fit I'll just squeeze that one right here..... he wrote his title in his best handwriting, but when your a kindergartner, writing on cardboard isn't so easy.  

Nothing too razzle dazzle to it but dammit it really was his project.  He did it.  Start to finish.  He worked really hard on the project to make it his best work.

I was so proud.  

And later when I found dash-2 ripping the packing peanuts off with glee I was pissed, but that doesn't really fit with the story here.

The day after we did the project I happened to be in his school for something and I noticed that some 100 day projects were already hanging up.  

Holy poop batman. 

Now I should say.  I'm a crafter.  I love me a nice, perfect, precise project.  But there were projects there that were, in my opinion, out of my league let alone a kindergartner.  Someone made a picture frame out of paper clips complete with a picture, and not just some simple hook the paper clips together, they were interwoven and whatnot .  Oh and then there is the foam collage of the rain forest.  

Come friggin on people.  

The point of this was for the kids to do it.  Had the point been to show off our parental talents than bring it on, but that wasn't it.  

Did my kid send in packing peanuts glued to cardboard?  Yes.  Was it sparkly and fancy, no, not at all, but he's a kindergartner and again with the exception of making sure he didn't set my house on fire, he did the WHOLE darn thing by himself.  That's a helluva feat for a kindergartner.

Why do parents have to do that?  Why do parents have to get involved to overstep what their role is supposed to be and turn out projects that are way outside the possibility of kindergarten talents?  To prove that they can do it?  Trust me folks, I'm pretty confident with the exception of that tricky ven diagram worksheet that I can do kindergarten work.

And guess what, if you made the best 100 day project congrats, as a grown ass adult you outdid 5 and 6 year olds. 

Before you all say, "but the kids could have done the project!".  Yes, yes, maybe I'm wrong, maybe there are some kick ass talented project making kids in that grade.  However, after listening to some of the parents and seeing them in action, I find it doubtful.  You can pretty much look at a project and tell right quick if a kindergartner or a 30-something did it.

This, folks, is why we raise kids who can't read past an 8 grade level and don't see the need to do homework come later grades.  We don't hold them responsible to do the work that they need to do.  We are raising idiots.  It is their work, make them do it!

Yes, I made that leap from a 100 day project in kindergarten to the dumbing down of society.

I'm just bitter about that picture frame.....

And dont forget about entering my giveaway!!!

13 comments:

  1. Happens all the time and it is frustrating!! I know that when my son does projects they irritate me because I like things to be just so, but they are his projects. I don't even like his handwriting. Or how he writes the #4. But it doesn't matter what I like. And I agree, kids don't do anything for themselves anymore, yet they feel entitled to everything. It's a shame.

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  2. I'm applauding you and totally agreeing. I can think of only one project in any our our school careers where I really thought the teacher assigned the project to my parents, not us. My sister, in 7th grade, had to collect bugs for science class. She had to collect 80 bugs, 80 unique bugs, and carefully preserve them and pin them to a bulletin board labeled with all the species, genus, etc. etc. It was assigned at the beginning of the year and due at the end of 3rd quarter. And she did all the manual labor, sure, but do you know how long it takes and how difficult it is to gather 80 unique bugs when you live in the city? Let alone keep them "good enough" for a whole year to turn in. The whole extended family was catching and keeping bugs for her for weeks. My parents were dreaming about bugs by Spring Break. It was ridiculous.

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  3. I can't believe that! Little Miss and 2 and when we do arts and crafts I let her be the one to shine. And I hang her brown finger painted pictured proudly!! I can't imagine doing my kids projects for them!

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  4. OMG I am dying that you brought this up. A friend on my fb from high school was showing off her kids hundred day project. It was a train made out of candy! There was NO WAY I could make something look that good, and I said that much. She quickly took the picture down!

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  5. My nephew is in pre-school with 4 & 5 year olds & they had the exact same project a week or so ago. All my SIL did was draw the earth which was exactly what HE wanted HER to do & he did the rest. It was darling.

    Out of all the ones hanging in the hallway in front of his class.. I think there are about 4 out of about 10-15 that actually look like a 4 & 5 year old did it.

    I mean.. c'mon! My parents let me do ALL of my projects on my own with the exception of me asking for their help because I wanted to do things WAY too out there that couldn't be done. My fault but.. the kids won't learn to express themselves or even learn to be independent if the parents don't let them try to do it on their own.

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  6. It's sad that parents take over their kids' work. You're right - that's exactly what leads to kids being lazy and irresponsible. Parents just can't step in and save the day whenever things are "too hard" or they do things incorrectly. That's what helps them grow and learn. Theyr're doing their child(ren) a serious disservice by doing everything for them. Sad, sad, sad.

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  7. Yes!!!! That's right! I swear we JUST had this conversation 2 days ago. I had to drop Dillon off at school and all their projects were out on tables. SAME scenario there! A log cabin *perfectly* made out of toothpicks??? C'mon. Yeah right. A 6 year old did that :P In Dillon's case all the projects were judged and awarded prizes too. I was mighty PO'd when his came home without one. I bet you anything the parent made projects were awarded all the prizes!

    I've ranted about this before here. Same thing happened to me when I was a kid.

    The teachers need to put a stop to this nonsense somehow (the parents will never change). It only shows the kids that cheating and laziness are rewarded and they dont have to do what they're told or follow any rules in life. (See, I'll make those giant leaps too. Parent made 100 days project = living in Mom and Dad's basement at age 30!)

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  8. I totally agree with you about this situation - the directions specifically told parents to back off and let the kids do it. I think it would have been really cool to see what the kids had come up with by themselves with minimal direction from adults. They probably would have been much more simple, but more creative in a way.

    That being said, my mom was a helper. I will say though, she did NOT take over my projects. My elementary school always did dioramas from scenes in books, and I will admit, my dioramas on several years were displayed in the school library among the other "winning" candidates whose parents probably helped them too.

    I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing though. My mom and I collaborated, and I think I became more creative through that process and it expanded how I would have otherwise thought about the project.

    Example: one year, my diorama was a scene from Charlotte's Web. I designed the scene - it would be in the barn, there would be a web in the background, there would be Wilbur in the foreground. My mom and I talked about how I wanted to put it all together, and then she gave me some suggestions - like how to make a web out of hot glue using wax paper and peeling it off. She gave me the idea, but I executed it. I was thinking about making the pig out of cotton balls, she suggested paper mache - again, her suggestion, but I executed it.

    I guess what I'm saying, is that I think some parent input is really great. It expands what kids would have thought of by themselves, and challenges them to use skills beyond what they would be inherently capable of. But I agree, a parent doing it all herself and taking it from her kids' hands with no creativity on their part makes it worse for everyone involved.

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  9. My kid took 100 Legos in a zip lock bag. :) kid before that...100 marshmallows. Kid before that...100 Legos. We are original. :) Hey it is what they wanted. Who knows what kid #4 will want to shove in that zip lock bag.

    BTW...the teachers know what is goin' down. This year...#3's kinder teacher had to spell out to parents that the kids had to write the names on the Valentines. NOT PARENTS DOING IT FOR THEM! Love that teacher.

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  10. wait til they do science fair projects... it gets even worse! UGHHH! I am with you, I've already been through school, but here I am doing and teaching the work all over again... and I don't homeschool!

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  11. I know it happens but I don't know why. For some reason her class didn't do a 100 day project. But if they had she would have done it herself. Just like I had her sit down and do her own Valentine's Day cards. I don't think it does any good for a parent to do their child's homework or school projects. I am not doing them now nor will I do them when they are older. I will help when needed but I have my homework to do and the girls will have their own homework and projects to do. I won't do them any good in doing them for them.

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  12. Madeline did teddy grahams....We did help but in our defense it didnt say not to. Mike drew a big bear then madeline colored in and around it then with the help of me (we used a glue gun to) she glued the bears on the poster board where she wanted to. There were a few you could tell the kids didnt even help with.

    You should be very proud of Dash 1 and his poster

    BTW I miss chatting

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  13. Ok...it's like you took the words out of my mouth. You'll LOVE this one... I was volunteering one morning in my daughter's classroom, and the teacher had me listening to kids read out in the hallway. As I was sitting there listening to some darling little 1st grader, racing down the hall comes a frantic mom. She's in uniform, holding a poster board under her arm and toting a craft basket under the other. She stops in front of her daugther's 2nd grade room, squats on the floor and adds some final touches to the poster board. Not only is it about 2 hours after school started, SHE's doing it on the floor, in the hallway, IN UNIFORM! What the HECK???!! I guess she didn't care if the teacher came out and busted her. I was shocked.

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