I have mixed opinions about school projects. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don’t.
LIKE because it helps our kids absorb the lesson more and it does encourage (or should I say force ?) us, parents, to spend time with them. You know, work together as parent and child to reach a goal. That’s the whole idea, right? And then children feel a sense of accomplishment afterwards. A sense of pride that they’ve created something they haven’t done before.
That is, if we really let them do the job.
Because the crazy truth is –
Most parents do the projects of their kids. ?
I’m not here to judge though. I totally understand! It’s much much faster that way!
If you also tried to make it look like ‘child’s work’?, kudos to your efforts. Don’t feel guilty. Who hasn’t?
The only thing I’m trying to point out here is, this is extra work for us. And we are very busy parents who actually have no time for it.
So what I don’t like about projects is when they are not age appropriate.
I remember when I was in elementary, we were asked to make a parol (Christmas lantern).
My small hands could not bind two bamboo sticks together with a wire. I tried but even my mom was not strong enough to do it. All the more form a star frame and make it look 3-dimensional. So she asked a neighbor to help us.
Funny thing was, even our neighbor struggled to put it together. That neighbor was a man and he looked strong but he worked up a sweat trying to assemble it. Perhaps we were using the wrong rods. Or perhaps we should have used something else and not wires. I don’t know.
But anyway, the only part I did was glue the colored cellophane on SOME sides of the frame. Not even all.
Let’s evaluate this real fast.
Did my mom and I bond? No.
Did I learn how to make it? Not really.
Did I feel proud? Not so.
Was I able to use this skill now that I’m an adult? Not at all.
Did it give my mom a problem finding a person to do it? Yes.
Did it cost her money to pay this person? Yes.
Did it add to the 300 parols needed to decorate all the floors of our school? Yes. LOL
As you can see, none of the “supposed” project goals have been met.
And this is what I don’t agree with.
Projects that require 90% adult work and only 10% kid work.
It should be the other way around…
It has to be 90% child work and only 10% help from adult hands.
Better yet, 100% child’s hands!
I honestly feel offended when we are assigned projects that are not doable by kids.
It feels like the school gave ME something to do. Ugh.
And I will be graded for it.
Pagandahan tuloy ng gawa ang parents.
(You feel this?)
But many parents still do it.
Compliance. Grades. Pride.
Some even become overly competitive.
Thing is, I don’t want my daughter to get used to my help.
I mentioned this in my previous post as this can backfire when they become adults. I know of a lot who are still dependent on their parents because they’ve always been served when they were young.
Sure, I’ll purchase the supplies and teach organization / presentation skills. But I seriously refuse to do the bulk of the work.
So we submit “her work”. Even if it looks unpolished and we’ll get a low grade for it.
How I wish teachers grade the effort more than how pretty or how neat projects are.
How I wish teachers would outright say, “Parents, don’t do your kids projects. If you do, we won’t grade it.”
That way, no parent will be worried about their kids not measuring up to other kids with perfectly done projects c/o their parents.
We all win if teachers would just say that!
Parents won’t have to do it. Kids will do it and gain valuable skills. Teachers will be sure it’s really the kids who did it. Yay!
Or… I wish they wouldn’t give projects at all! Haha!
To tell you honestly, it steals our weekends. Instead of being off somewhere, we stay home to get it done. Instead of 2 days of weekend play, we only get one. Or NONE if there are several projects in line.
So while I acknowledge that arts and crafts have big developmental benefits and kids actually learn more from “doing” than just listening in class, I still wish we don’t have to do a lot. Or we at least do the ones that are truly valuable.
What are your thoughts on this? Leave us a comment below.
Related post: How Much Should Parents Be Involved in School Projects?