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HomeBlogFranklySteinSchool projects put too much pressure on the parents — FranklyStein

School projects put too much pressure on the parents — FranklyStein

projectsmealI’m a mom that loathes school projects — especially ones that require something of me. And most of them do.

Last Sunday at 9 p.m. — the night before the kids went back to school following a relaxing two-week holiday in which there was plenty of free time — my son mentioned casually that he had to prepare and serve us a meal for his Spanish class. It was due in a week.

I guess I should have been glad that he gave me a week’s notice, but I wasn’t. It wasn’t any ordinary week. It was a crazy week with barely a second to take him shopping for the items he needed. It was a week with hardly any time to sit down and eat together. It was a stressful week in which I really didn’t want to have to figure out how I would shoehorn in Adam’s Spanish meal project. It was a week after two weeks in which there would have been plenty of time to shop for and make a meal for the whole family.

But it was a week in which there was no choice but to fit it in. So Saturday morning after Lilly’s 7 a.m. lacrosse game and before Jonah’s 12:45 swim meet, Adam and I went shopping. And after Jonah’s meet and during the Raven’s playoff game against the Patriots, Adam and I were in the kitchen making one incredibly labor-intensive meal of chimichangas and Spanish rice. On the upside, it was delicious.

On top of the Spanish meal, Jonah came home the first day after break and announced he had to make a diorama of the Battle of Yorktown. The teacher was nice enough to include a weekend before the project deadline, but she must not have known that it was a weekend of back-to-back swim meets for us. The same weekend we had to make the Spanish meal. There would be no time to shop for whatever items one might need for a diorama of the Battle of Yorktown much less put it together.

I guess projects are a fine idea to help kids learn. If nothing else, Adam now has an appreciation for what it takes for me to feed a family of six, and Jonah has a renewed appreciation for my ability to dig old toys like little cannons and toy soldiers out of the attic. I, however, find them incredibly stressful.

I announced to my household this weekend that from now on, any projects that require my help need to be reported at least two weekends in advance. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone was listening. I wonder if I could make the same request of the teachers.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 16, Lilly, 14, Adam, 14, and Jonah, 10.



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