Thursday, February 19, 2015

Things That Annoy Me Thursday: School Projects (Character Can?!)

Natalie came home from school and I found a can in her backpack.

"Um," I said, lifting it out. "Did the boy who likes you give you a CAN?"

One never knows with children.

"No," Natalie answered and looked at me like I was an idiot. "It's for my character can project."

Immediate dread filled my stomach. Project? No. NO.

"Here." Natalie handed me the paper about it.

"This is crap," I said while reading.

Natalie shrugged. "Blame my teacher."

I hate projects like this. I detest crafting.

"SIX TO EIGHT SENTENCES?" I shouted, because the paper said the kid had to write six to eight sentences about the book. You have to understand, getting Natalie to write is difficult. She whines. She moans. And I had to ensure that she did it SIX TO EIGHT TIMES. And it had to be neat writing and Natalie's writing is not neat.

I sighed and massaged my temples. Why does this nonsense have to happen when Tom is deployed? Tom is good at putting things together. I am not.

"What character do you want to do?" I asked in a defeated tone.

"Little Red Riding Hood. I like how she wears red. I like wolves," Natalie said. Maybe she forget the part in the story when the wolf ATE Little Read Riding Hood? I don't know.

"Okay. Well. Okay. You'll be doing it all. I'll hot glue everything to the can, but the rest is all you."

Natalie looked insulted.

"This is YOUR project. I'm not one of those parents who takes over because of OCD issues. Sorry. You got a non-crafting Mom who curses more than she should," I said.

Natalie did cut out everything. I did hot glue it all. (This was before the thing had hair.)

It LOOKS like a child put it together as it should. It upsets me when I see kids with projects and you KNOW the parent did like 90% of it. Those projects should immediately fail. Or maybe I'm just bitter that some people can create awesome things.

Then came time to write the sentences and guys? I DESERVED the King Sized Twix bar I ate when it was all over. Natalie whined after the second sentence. She messed up after the third sentence so I had her start over again because the project paper stressed that the sentences had to be NEAT.

"I hate this. I hate ALL OF THIS!" Natalie shrieked, banging her fists down on the desk.

"It's only going to get harder as you age. Welcome to life," I replied.

Finally, FINALLY we were done and I made Natalie practice presenting, because a lot of the grade counted on how they presented to the class.

"Enunciate," I reminded Natalie, settling on the couch.

"I don't know what that means," Natalie said, wrinkling her nose.

"It means speak clearly. Don't blend your words together. Don't talk like Six from Blossom."

"I don't know WHO that is. You always CONFUSE me," Natalie replied in a haughty tone.

She presented, and she...well, she stumbled over words in her sentences and claimed her tongue didn't want to say them. So I don't know if she'll get the full amount of points for presenting. At that point I had enough of the character can and wanted it the F out of my house.

So please. NO MORE PROJECTS for the rest of the year. I beg of you, second grade teachers. For my sanity.


  1. Oh god. When I read "pick a favorite book character" my brain immediately screamed Esther Greenwood. Ahh a woman struggling in a patriarchal society, bathtub imagery, suicide future kids teacher is gonna love me! Let's hope my husband helps them do homework....

  2. "The Paper Bag Princess" would have been my choice. Drop the can in a bag and voila, all done... unless you want to put some dog poop in side...:)

    Dumb assignment.. teaches nothing useful.

  3. A CAN?!!!!!!! I don't know which is worse that or the stupid poster board projects they have to do

  4. Aw, it turned out totally cute, though! And I bet she does a great job presenting it. :)

  5. Erica would LOVE a project like this, every single step of it, except she's lazy and a procrastinator and would wait until the day before to do it and then cry because it's taking too long. And then I'd yell because I have no patience for that.

  6. I'm right there with you on all of this - we always had our boys do the work and you could tell that the majority of the projects were actually parent projects. And, Hunter used to be the same way with writing - it was brutal!!!
    No matter what Natalie looks super cute!!!

  7. hahaha I think it turned out so adorable though! But really kids projects are a bit insane!

  8. "It's only going to get harder as you age. Welcome to life" Haha! Love that part! She doesn't know Six from Blossom??? Marathon watching session STAT!!

  9. I do like crafting and I still hate projects for school. I once taught a Daisy girl scout troop and I yelled at a mom who hoovered over her kid and basically did the project for her.

  10. I hate helping my kids with homework so a craft project is downright scary. You deserved that chocolate!

  11. I completely agree that projects that are OBVIOUSLY done by the parents should fail! How are they going to learn if you do it all for them?!

  12. so, one year, my daughter's class had to build a representation of a native american tribe. One of her classmate's ordered a kit and spent $250 on it. She failed. I have never been so secretly pleased in my life :P

  13. It turned out really cute, though.

    But I hate projects like this. And I make my kids do their own work, too. I might help some, if there's something they truly can't do, but in the end, it looks like THEY did their projects.

    When I was teaching, I graded easier on the kids whom I knew did their own and was more picky with the projects that I knew were done by parents.

    Writing is literally painful for my 2nd grader. It's agony. Any time he has to write, I need chocolate. Or wine.

  14. I don't think kids should be assigned work that requires heavy parental involvement. 1, that's not the point, and 2, some kids don't have parents who care.

  15. "Welcome to life." is my catch phrase too. The kids hate it!!

  16. I love that "Welcome to life" thing you said to her as well. This project would annoy me too because why should every kid HAVE to express themselves via a can. I can understand why kids have to write. It's a life skill. But character-can making is not and I'd be mad if I had to make help one. At least Natalie was interested in making it. What if my child didn't? Should be he penalized because his creativity is not into cans? I really hope that I am never that parent that does their kids' projects.

  17. Adorable! I'm wondering how I'm going to be when it comes to school projects. I'm totally one of those OCD parents, but at the same time I think I'm too lazy to do my kid's work. We'll see.

  18. We just finished the science fair and I hated every minute of it. It is like adult homework and don't I stinking have enough to do to add that on top of it?? Natalie's can looks cute, good job Mom and Natalie!

  19. I do not miss doing projects. Ugh. You did great though, and it turned out really cute!

  20. You did well on really for a twix - I'd have opened a bottle!

  21. I have a feeling next year is when I will get to start helping my son with his projects, unfortunately I am that OCD parent though. I will be doing a lot of sitting on my hands and probably drinking my fair share of wine.

  22. hah! If she had gotten the Blossom Six reference I would have flown to Oklahoma just to give her a high five.

    When does this end?? College??

  23. It looks good! I think it's a nice, physical way to try and engage the little ones with books and book characters - and the instructions were very specific. I'm not a good homework helper, though. I think you've gone above and beyond the call of duty with the gluing!

  24. If there had been a service that provided kid with completed projects, I would have been a customer. I know it's not teaching the kids the proper way to accomplish things, but when I go insane and they end up in foster care, how much will those lessons serve them....JK!

  25. I'm slightly OCD...I help too much with my kid's projects. I really need to learn something from you....


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