Author Topic: Question about childrens school projects.  (Read 4032 times)

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Cami

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2013, 03:29:22 PM »
My parents never helped with school projects.

That said, the requirements back in the Dark Ages were nothing like the rubrics my dd brought home that often required large amounts of time, money and computer skills/access. We encouraged her to do it on her own whenever it was possible, but often that was simply NOT possible. So we did often help, if by no other means than by driving her to stores and buying the materials she needed or giving her access to our computer and its software programs. As an example, in 6th grade, she was required to give a PowerPoint presentation -- a piece of software to which they did not have access  in school and which she had never used. So she used our software and we taught her how to use it. Sometimes we helped her because the projects needed four or six hands.  And yes, I believe that such requirements are terribly unfair as they put the kids whose parents don't have or won't give them such help at a distinct disadvantage.

We did see MANY projects, however, that were clearly done by adults. It was a great frustration to my dd that those projects got top marks in the class every single time.


Not only their morals & ethics, but really, their independence and abilities. When does it end? Will Mommy & Daddy follow them to college and do their work? To the office?

The earlier a child learns to be independent and do their own work and to take responsibility for the failures and pride in their successes, the more likely they are to be successful as adults.
We were on a college tour a few weeks ago and one of the professors talked about the problem of parents doing their college-age kids' work for them. So yes, it never stops. One wonders if those kids than farm out their jobs to their parents later in life as well.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 03:35:01 PM by Cami »

jaxsue

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2013, 03:30:35 PM »
This thread reminds me of a mom I saw in a Walmart this past week (I am a vendor).

I saw a frazzled lady who was desperately looking for "shiny stickers." That's all the info she had from her son. His project was due the next day. I know stuff happens, but she said that was typical for her child.

No one's perfect, but if this is par for the course then it's not helping that lady's son develop skills. It takes work. I know; it took work to get DS #2 out of that rut.  :-\

Slartibartfast

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2013, 03:33:24 PM »
I'm pretty sure my parents looked at the scope of my projects, mentally subtracted out all the parts I could do, and offered to help with the rest.  As I got older, the parts I could do got more extensive.  That said, they usually let me pick the scope of the project within the school's guidelines (I've always been an overachiever  ;D) so sometimes I wanted to do stuff that was way more complex than I would have been able to do on my own.  They still encouraged me to do all the planning, design work, layout, etc. but then they were always willing to help with the shop tools or the sewing machine or the more dangerous aspects of working in the kitchen.  As a result, I ended up with a lot of really awesome projects I'm proud of, but which were things I could still explain and demonstrate because the ideas (if not all the labor) were mine  :)

RebeccainGA

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2013, 04:06:31 PM »
As a result, I ended up with a lot of really awesome projects I'm proud of, but which were things I could still explain and demonstrate because the ideas (if not all the labor) were mine  :)

This is the key, I think - if you can explain how it was done, and why it was done that way, then you understand it. Now, if dad put it together, and mom painted it all, and you were off watching TV while this happened, that's a whole other kettle of fish.

artk2002

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2013, 04:12:11 PM »
I'm the judge for a middle school science fair and I can tell you that there are lots of projects that had an excessive amount of parental help. My preference is that parents do little or nothing other than being encouraging. He doesn't like his handwriting? Print it by hand or use the computer and paste the printed title on. Far better to have a project that is less than perfect, but done entirely by the child, vs one that looks fantastic but is not the child's work.

That said, helping with suggestions ("why don't you take a look at website X for more information") or grunt work (10000 popsicle sticks? Go for it!) are fine in my book.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Twik

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2013, 04:16:10 PM »
I once got a phone call at work from a woman who wanted me to provide her a list of a certain type of court case, all the records of such cases and their disposition for the past 3 years. When I told her I had no way of doing that, she had a fit. See, her daughter needed that for a report due the end of the week. The report was for her law school class. The mind boggles.
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Layla Miller

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2013, 04:16:21 PM »
As I recall, my parents didn't help with projects unless it was something I honestly couldn't do on my own.  By which I mean buying supplies, driving me to the library, etc.  I do remember help with my regular homework, like helping me figure out how to solve a math problem when I was struggling with one or reading off words for me to practice spelling.

My own daughter is only five months old, so I can't really comment from that side of things yet.  :)
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Sebastienne

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2013, 04:22:35 PM »
I liked doing school projects up to a point, so the only time I can remember my parents stepping in was when my crappy junior high science teacher gave us three days to "build a simple circuit" to demo in class. This wasn't in our textbook, or something we'd gone over in class, so we were all flying blind. My dad found me near tears, staring at a battery and a string of Christmas lights, and decided that the guidelines were fairly impossible. He went to the hardware store, built the thing, and actually taught me how it worked. Which is way more than our teacher did.

In the end, not a single person who brought in a project the day it was due made it herself--because I'm pretty sure there aren't that many 12 year olds who instinctively understand basic circuitry. But, at least at my school, that project was the exception and not the rule.

Sharnita

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2013, 04:24:53 PM »
I would agree that at  12ish a parent shouldn't be writing things out. Maybe being there to consult on spacing but he can print, use the computet, etc. And habing taught that age - the teacher knows what his handwriting looks like so a title in somebody else's writing, while pretty, is not impressive.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 04:35:03 PM by Sharnita »

MOM21SON

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2013, 04:33:03 PM »
I only provide the funding, the ride to get supplies and the hounding to get it done!

MrsJWine

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2013, 05:02:58 PM »
I got less and less help as I got older. But when I was old enough to start with school projects, my parents or sister would help me with things like the layout of the board, or they'd draw light lines in pencil so I could write without it going all zig-zaggy.

They never did anything that interfered with the point of the project, though. For example, I had to make a contoured map of Norway one year as a kid. My dad helped me mix the stuff that went on it, but I did all the sculpting. It wasn't very good, hah! But I think if he'd done it for me to make it look right, then that would have taken away the point of it in the first place.

When I got older, they would proofread my papers and essays, but only for grammar, spelling, and the more technical, objective elements of style. For instance, if something was grammatically correct, but worded in a very confusing way, they would mark that but let me figure out how to fix it.


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SiotehCat

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2013, 05:45:01 PM »
I would agree that at  12ish a parent shouldn't be writing things out. Maybe being there to consult on spacing but he can print, use the computet, etc. And habing taught that age - the teacher knows what his handwriting looks like so a title in somebody else's writing, while pretty, is not impressive.

Oh, I'm sure the teacher could tell that DS didn't write  the title and I  don't expect her to be impressed.

I don't expect it to matter much though, since all of the actual science stuff was done by DS. He will be able to explain everything thoroughly, so that will show that he knows his stuff.

I also don't see much of a difference between a computer printing out the title and me writing it.

onyonryngs

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2013, 05:47:40 PM »
I would agree that at  12ish a parent shouldn't be writing things out. Maybe being there to consult on spacing but he can print, use the computet, etc. And habing taught that age - the teacher knows what his handwriting looks like so a title in somebody else's writing, while pretty, is not impressive.

Oh, I'm sure the teacher could tell that DS didn't write  the title and I  don't expect her to be impressed.

I don't expect it to matter much though, since all of the actual science stuff was done by DS. He will be able to explain everything thoroughly, so that will show that he knows his stuff.

I also don't see much of a difference between a computer printing out the title and me writing it.

If he typed it into the computer then he did the work.  There is a difference between that and having mom write it for you.

Alida

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2013, 09:48:01 PM »
I did my own schoolwork and my daughter did her own schoolwork. Neither she nor I wanted to earn credit for something parents did.

Sharnita

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2013, 10:04:09 PM »
Having taught kids who were in an inner city environment, many with single oarents or raised by people other than parents I can verify that there are a whole lot of kids doing all their work, inludinding projects with no help from any adults outside of school. Now I don't know how many kids in your son's class get no help, how many get minimal help, how many get dome help, how many get a lot of help and how many kids only sign their names.

If you are writing his title and decorating his posterboard it sounds to me like you are venthring into the "too much" territory.