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Five on Friday...

1. My FIL wants us to meet him at the Botanic Gardens on Sunday. Now, I love flowers, and I love taking pix -- so I know I'll enjoy this. But I must admit that I'm getting worn down. We've had family events every weekend for the past...wow, a long time. I need a break, and it looks like it's not coming anytime soon. *sigh*

2. DH is contemplating a couple of bike trips. I think it'll be good for him (he's been working his tail off for months now). AT the same time, I kind of wish I could find a way to get that kind of break. ;)

3. D's class just finished up with a huge project. It was interesting because we've been working on helping D relax a bit with his personal expectations -- and he actually did it. Part of me was a little disappointed that he left aspects of his project undone (silly me), but mostly, I'm glad that he was able to do what we'd hoped. Still, it's a constant balancing act, because we don't want him blowing off school...we just want him capable of doing work without insisting on everything being perfect.

4. E also has a huge project going on -- with her, it's the opposite. We have to work to get her involved enough to even attempt her best work. *shakes head* Perhaps because I was a teacher, I believe pretty strongly in not intervening with their work. If they ask for help, I'll only give the help they specify (ie, sewing ears on a sock puppet). I try not to give ideas or suggestions unless they direct me. That definitely means that some of the results aren't quite up to what others turn in (I have to laugh at the sophisticated quality of some of E's classmates' work -- they were obviously done by a parent). I'm not a huge fan of at-home projects for this very reason. I think it's almost impossible (as a teacher) to grade them, and all you're really doing is seeing which parents step in and take over and which don't.

5. My mom and I were talking about that type of thing the other day: how parents often live through their kiddos vicariously. I can really see which parents of my kiddos' friends are able to let go and allow their kids to find their own expressions and tastes; it's also obvious which kids are being clearly propelled in one direction or another by their parents. It's not easy finding that balance between guidance and acceptance, no?

Happy Friday!


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 20th, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
The whole concept of parents living their dreams through their children (who may not have the same dreams) makes me crazy. As do homework assignments that are either intended for the parents, or that get done by the parents. No, no, no, no, no!! My 1st grader recently had an optional diorama project. She did it all herself (well, I think her sister helped some--but after buying some playdoh, I certainly didn't!) I was so glad when we brought it in and ran into another mom who said, "Well, ours doesn't look as professional as some, but it's my kid's project, so I wasn't going to do it for her."

So, there are some of us out there... :)
Apr. 20th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
I must admit, I'm not surprised you feel similary :) It *is* frustrating, though, isn't it? My daughter's sock puppet looks like it's been tortured, but she did it all (except the sewing part) -- and I know there will professional quality puppets there. It annoys me because she'll probably feel bad that hers doesn't look as good -- and yet, she did the work herself and *shouldn't* feel bad for that!
Apr. 20th, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
RE #2 - tell DH that weekend he gets to stay home while you take a break ... only fair ;o)
Apr. 20th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, that would be nice...*schemes*
Apr. 20th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
you're right, it's not easy to find that balance between guidance & acceptance... as an educator, I struggle with the issue of at-home projects. So many kids do not have the resources or family support to do them ... yet, in the best case, they can provide some extension of classroom learning, or let kids make a connection (ie those who perhaps don't express themselves well in traditional classroom ways). It might be nice if teachers specified to the adults, "I hope you can use this project to hear from your child what he/she is learning in class," or, "I'd like this to be a child-driven project," or whatever the teacher's goal is. Unfortunately, in some cases the teacher doesn't really have a goal/outcome in mind.
have a great weekend!
Apr. 20th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of teachers letting the parents know exactly what their goals are for the various projects -- so simple, yet it would clarify so much :)
Apr. 20th, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
It's not easy at all, but it is important that they try on their own in my opinion.

Even if activities are nice, too many nice activities still is stressful. Maybe a weekend with no one but you and your imediate family is what you need?
Apr. 20th, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC)
I would *adore* a weekend just to ourselves -- and funny that you mentioned it: I just started thinking that I need to assert myself more that way, as there's not only nothing wrong with wanting that, it would be good for all of us! :) Hope your weekend is lovely!
Apr. 21st, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
Thank you! I think it will be. I have absolutely no plans and that is exactly what I need. :)
Apr. 21st, 2012 03:12 am (UTC)
I'm the same way with the kids- I don't step in unless asked on projects for school. As a homeschooler, this wasn't an issue, but I really think the kids got graded down on projects they did themselves, like for science fairs and stuff, in public school. And if the kids won't do the work, at the age they are at, then I believe they need to take their lumps. I get calls from Jo's and Iain's k12 teachers about them not handing in their work. Yeah, I know. And you don't want me emailing you everytime they dig in their heels and don't want to do an assignment. I just give them 0s when we homeschool when they pull that stuff. Then they have to work doublehard (or triple or quadruple hard, depending on how bad they acted) to make up for it. I think it teaches them more to have to learn to do the work on their own.
So good on you!
Apr. 21st, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
Thanks, Amy :) I do try to help them see that making mistakes at this level will do them more good in the long wrong...and really, who cares if they don't get a perfect grade now?
Apr. 21st, 2012 03:13 am (UTC)
And I really hope you can find some you time, too. You need that.
Apr. 21st, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
I think so too -- I'm working on it :)
Apr. 21st, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
The only time I ever had help with homework was in third year university when my father helped me eavesdrop (yes, really!) for a sociology project. People would move away or lower their voices if they thought I was listening to their conversations.

My father offered to go to a bar with me to help me eavesdrop. I couldn't hear the people at the end of the bar, and my essay was due the next day. My father said, "Don't worry. I heard them and I'll tell you what they said.

He told me; I wrote the essay and got an A. About a month later he told me he couldn't hear either and made it all up!
Apr. 22nd, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
LOVE that! Good thing you got an A, though. ; )
Apr. 22nd, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks! My mother always said that my father got the A! :-)
Apr. 22nd, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
Ha! That's great :) I remember my dad trying to help me with math -- just basic homework help -- and I wouldn't let him. I didn't understand his way of figuring it out, so I asked him to just let me do it on my own...I don't think they ever stepped in with projects.
Apr. 22nd, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
1. Enjoy the gardens, and please take lots of pix! When you get home, mark on your calendar, on the next free weekend day, "Plans" or "Busy" or "Family Day" or whatever it takes for you to be able to decline an invitation without feeling guilty. : ) Works for me, when I remember to do it...
2. Tit for tat. Wow, that looks really wrong when you type it out, but being that you are so generous in recognizing his need for time to himself, wouldn't/shouldn't he be equally generous in realizing that you have those needs, too?
4. We just had a situation like this: my eldest daughter's 5th grade had to do an essay and a poster, both to be judged separately in a contest. I did not intervene, other than to suggest that, for the poster, she sketch it out on a smaller paper beforehand, to get the layout the way she wanted. She was heartbroken when neither effort won her a prize. At the recent assembly that recognized the winners, it was clear (and really frustrating) that the winning entries had been either written or really coached by the parents. How do you tell your child that doing the right thing is its own reward, when doing the wrong thing is recognized as being "the best"?? SO frustrating!!
Apr. 22nd, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
That's a good idea (filling in something) -- I'll have to try it :)

And your daughter's contest? That's a shame...it really frustrates me when things like that happen. I feel like teachers should know better and be able to qualify it somehow (even though, I remember being a teacher and wondering how on earth to fairly grade projects and such when half were done by parents and half weren't -- why I stopped assigning projects for a grade).
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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