Friday, 8 February 2013

The Mummy Project

I used to live in a giant Rice Krispies box.

Cross my heart and hope to die, but as of today I swear that I am NEVER going to do my children's projects for school ever again.

Yesterday I heard in the playground that the 'house' project was due in today, and when I asked her teacher about it, it turned out that either we hadn't been given a letter about it, or Orla had lost it. The teacher helpfully suggested that 'we' give it a bash anyway. Orla on the way home started wailing that she HAD  to have something to take in, as she COULDN'T be the only one without a house. Scouring the internal Pinterest boards of my brain, I figured we could rustle something up relatively quickly using a cereal box, and if I couldn't find my paints (still in one of the many boxes in the living room) then we would use the emulsion we're using to paint the house. Easiest building to make? - Berlin apartment block.

Unfortunately, I still had a lot of de-siliconing to do on the shower cubicle which I had propped upside down in the spare bedroom, and Orla had to do a piece of writing about her house, so time allocated to the making of the model was an hour. Squidged in between the writing part and the completion of the making of dinner. But of course, Orla started getting tired and distracted and very quickly the writing was abandoned, and I got left with the making of the house.

Let me just say, it is so much harder to make something that looks like it has been made by a 5 year old. (And I doubt any 5 year old would have the patience to be bothering with 27 windows) And I am vowing that I will never do it again. I could see that a lot of mothers had also been up late making houses, but when I was at school I never thought that was fair, especially as I had parents who weren't very good at this sort of thing. Anyway, I will do all the fancy dress costumes and such that are required of me, but that's it.

But it's so hard to say "Tough - you either get on with it, or you have nothing to take in" when there's a wee sad face looking at you in the rear view mirror.

What's your view on mothers doing their kids projects/homework?


  1. You seriously need to rethink your house work ethic. The highlight of my school Mummy career (so far) was when Sofie (age 7) let Emily (age 5) do her cursive handwriting homework, despite Emily barley being able to write her own name in block letters.
    Sadly I didn't notice this 'redistribution' of homework, until the teacher returned the homework as unsatisfactory.
    It was a proud moment in our home.....not.

    Your apartment block is great btw.

    1. That is EXACTLY what Orla would do. I can see that Hamish will be negotiating payment in chocolate at some point for spelling homework, as Orla seems truly rubbish at it. I said to her yesterday that when she is writing "this" and "that" they should start with "th" and not "v", so in the sentence writing part of the project we ended up with "This is an apartment block in Berlin. It is THery tall and THery old"....aarrgghhh...

      I haven't worked out yet whether you are meant to just let them take homework like that in with all the mistakes (I did) or whether I should have made her rewrite it so that she is learning? God, I am starting to hate school second time round. It's so confusing!

      BTW, did Sofie learn a lesson in 'Finding the right people to delegate to' after that incident?

    2. The confusion with the 'th' and the 'v' is so sweet, not to mention totally understandable...
      And Sofie did indeed learn her lesson. These days Emily is only allowed to do the colouring in portions of her homework, and sometimes I just turn a blind eye. What else are younger siblings for, if not to exploit ;-)

  2. This is an interesting question. My parents never helped us with our homework so I always assumed that kids did their own work and made their own mistakes. I think that from the perspective of a teacher homework becomes rather pointless if the parents are doing it. And you know the teachers can tell what children have done their own work and what children have done it themselves. I mean, that house looks fantastic!

    1. I am sure that you are right and it is patently obvious where parents have done work. What can be less obvious is where parents have supplied all the ideas behind the work, or contributed in small ways that have a beneficial effect. I can mostly only remember feeling thoroughly annoyed with seeing other people bring in 'made' objects that I knew their parents had helped with. When I was at the Scottish College of Textiles, I had peers who had artistic parents who had told them exactly what to put in their portfolio (and given 'help' with those pieces) in order to get into university in the first place, and there was someone in my year who did very little work during the week but went home every weekend returning on Monday with completed projects. His mother was an art teacher, and it took years before he really couldn't continue in this vein. Seems pointless to be honest looking back, as had he qualified and become a designer he would have had to hide his mother under his desk in the workplace.

  3. If I were to ask my kids mother,she would not agree ;-)In all cases, the kids projects are "delegated" to the father, ie me !
    I agree though that the projects are meant for the kids to learn how to think imaginatively, use available/cheap resources, learn to use scientific principles while having fun. Not much point if they watch(as long as their favorite show is'nt on) while the parent works. Who's going to bell the cat though ? In my kids school in Singapore where I live, almost all the projects that I see submitted by my daughters classmates must have been "ghost-constructed" by some adult, looking at the level of finish.

    1. Yup, there's a lot of it going on! I've got to ask though, what does the phrase "Bell the cat" mean? That's a new one for me!


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