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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Neatness counts.

In addition to all of his nightly homework and weekly tests, Peter has a monthly project.  This monthly project is exactly what it sounds like - the kids get assigned a different project at the beginning of the month and they have until the end of the month to complete it and turn it in.

Peter's September project was to draw (on poster board) the floor plan of the first floor of our house.  Windows and doors had to be marked with certain symbols.  He had to create a legend with these symbols as well as any other symbol he used in the floor plan.  He also had to write directions (using left, right, North, South, East, West) explaining how to get from one room to another room.  And he has to present his map and his directions to the class.

His teacher made it very clear that this was the student's project and not the parent's project.  We could offer direction and advice but the project was to be completed by the kids.

So Dan and I offered direction and advice and Peter finally wrapped up his project this past weekend.  He spent almost 4 hours on this project.  It felt more like 14 hours when you factored in all of the whining and complaining and huffing and puffing but when I looked back it was merely 4. 

When it came time to take it to school yesterday morning Peter said he didn't want to turn it in.  At first I thought he may be nervous about doing the oral presentation but he said it was because it wasn't neat. 

And he's right.  I can't tell you how many times during those fourteen 4 hours I said, "Take your time!  Be neat!"  or my husband instructed, "Use the ruler!  You need to use the ruler when you are trying to draw a straight line!"

So, he's right, it doesn't look very neat.  But it definitely looks like he did the work himself.  And at least he can see that it wasn't as neat as it could have been.  Maybe he'll want to spend more time on the October project so it looks nicer.

Or maybe not.  Because when I asked him on Monday morning if he wanted to redo his project to make it look neater (it's not due until Thursday), he said, "Nah." 

And I hate to say it but I actually breathed a sigh of relief.  It was hard enough to get him to sit down over the past couple of weekends  and do this project.  I knew that I would not be able to get him to sit down after a full day of school and after a full evening of homework and get him to redo a project.  I know his limitations. And I know mine. 

So, here's hoping for a neater October project and at least a couple of other less-than-neat posters in his class so Peter's project doesn't stick out as the messiest.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

As a teacher, in this case, a little peer pressure never hurts. It's always interesting to me when projects are turned in and presented....seems like the messier ones become more neater the next time when the kids see the effort put in by their friends.

But, the super neat "perfect" ones always have parental help. I'd rather grade a messy project done by completely by a child than to give someone's Mom or Dad an A!

Kudos to you for standing your ground and not helping him.