As soon as we got back from Christmas break it was announced by my fourth grader that she had a science project due. Excuse me? We had just had two weeks off that we could have used to work on this project. But alas, that time was gone and we had to buckle down and get it planned, started and then finished in two weeks. We did a project on density. I have to say it was pretty fun and I think we did a darn fine job. You should have seen the ones that actually got ribbons at the science fair. Augh!
The next project was to make a travel brochure about The Alamo or any other battle site in the state of Texas. This was prompted on the day AFTER it was due by a phone call from the teacher telling us our fourth grader hadn't turned it in. Seriously, I was about to hit the roof. We hustled to get this thing printed out. I did all of the research while my kid was at school. I told said kid to choose what she would like to put in the brochure. Hubby was in charge of getting this thing printed out with what little printer ink we had left in the printer. This was on a Wednesday.
That very next Thursday we were building a piano out of a gift box for the music teacher. Yep! The music teacher had all of fourth grade make a music instrument. This was assigned some time ago, but my fourth grader forgot about it. Until the week it was due. Thank God the piano didn't have to make music, it just had to look like an instrument. I was mad, frustrated, flustered and wondering if there was a rock I could go hide under.
Now I'm breathing down the back of a "Free Market" project. The kids have to come up with a product to sell to the other kids and the proceeds go to a charity chosen by the teacher. Where do I start with this one? The kids make a product and the fifth grade comes around to all the stations and buy their goods if they so choose. Hello? Kids running out school with money? What if the "charity" is the teacher's mortgage company? If this were truly a free market project the kids would have to cover the costs of their product first then any remaining monies would be considered profit.
The kids chose to do sand art. They would provide the sand and the plastic bottles and the kids that want to shell out the money they can make their own designs. I've seen how much colored sand costs. I'm stunned. I've seen the recipe for making my own colored sand and I have no desire to have the leftover 15 pounds of sand laying around the house. Even the least expensive plastic bottle is about $1.19 each.
Dear teachers, I'm projected out. I've had enough. These projects are a little too much back to back. Some of these are middle school worthy projects and we don't have anybody in middle school yet. Like I said, do I just let my kiddo take a hit on her grade if she doesn't get it done? Or, do I jump in and help? When is it too much help on the project, and when is it not enough?
*Winter Break, Christmas Break, call it what you will. I call it what it is.