Gulper eels....why do teachers assign little kids "projects" that they know damn well the parent are going to have to do?

by SnakesInTheTower 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • SnakesInTheTower

    I gotta vent...I am sitting here at my computer, using my nice, much faster 18 MB internet (vs my old 1MB)....and what am I doing (other than posting about the qualities of toilet paper)?....I am looking up crap about "gulper eels".

    You see, my 8-year-old soon to be stepson says to my fiancee and I last Thursday...

    8YrOld: "I have a project due." Hmmmm.... SnakesandFiancee, looking at each other suspiciously: "when is it due?" 8YO: "the 17th." S&F : "what is it on?" 8YO: "an animal, I have to find facts about an animal and pictures and print them on a poster board" as he pulls out of his backpack a large sheet of paper that has been folded more times than an accordion. Yeah, that is not going to work, as I am mentally adding up the cost in time and money of this little project....

    Snakes: "so..what animal are you doing?" ..please dear Flying Spaghetti Monster, let it be an easy animal. Noooooo...

    8YO: "I have a list of possible animals." Excellent, let's see the list. List is pulled out...nice animals, such as blue whales. Piece of cake...lots of info on the internet about that.... "I am going to do that one." as he points down the crudely scribbled list of animals. There, buried between regular, easy to research animals, is the entry: GULPER EEL. What the hell?

    Now, understand, that my fiancee and I are desperately trying to get her apartment packed and moved and cleaned before the 30th of the month. Neither of us owns a truck. Neither of us can afford to rent one. Thankfully, we live 1.7 miles apart. We are depending on the kindness of friends....of which we are both in short supply. I have a great friend whose husband has a truck...she just had foot surgery so cannot help move furniture...but she can do something the 8-year old....

    But, back to the homework. Not only does the 8YO have to have a picture and facts on a poster/display board, but he has to have facts on index cards for a presentation in class. I know this is a gifted program and all but my goodness...between his other homework (so much for 10 minutes per grade level per night) and us moving and our jobs (hers involving a recent schedule change to 6 am instead of 7 or 8 or 9am) and lack of sleep, when are we supposed to help with this?

    Ah, yes, the underemployed so I had the 8YO sit next to me last night while I did some quick searches...found a picture of that ugly ass eel on National Geographic site...facts on another...had him type some of them into a seperate document...then I copy/pasted the rest. I then printed out 4 pages of information...that became his 15 minutes of reading to his mom last night. I will help him put it together tonight.

    my question: why do these teachers assign stuff that requires a lot of adult supervision and expect the parents to pick up the slack.

    anyway...I am off to meet the fiancee at her work for breakfast... then back to gulper eels in between a trip to my office for a training update.

    Snakes (Rich )

  • JWoods

    It is sorta like soap box derby racing - we all know who really builds the car, but the hope is that father and son will at least do it together - to some degree.

    My stepson still has a little balsa wood Indian canoe that "he and I" made when he was in the second or third grade.

    It is an American rite of passage in the finest sense of the idea.

  • snowbird

    He's in a gifted class - they're expected to do stuff like that.

    I know you mean well, but let him handle his business.

    Later on, he'll thank you for it.

    My youngest daughter was in a gifted class from kindergarten onward. The only help her dad and I gave her was when he made an abacus for her to use in a third grade presentation.


  • SnakesInTheTower


    I know you mean well, but let him handle his business.

    you know what...if they intend for him to do it all by himself..then they need to give the kids time at school, where they have art supplies, computers, internet, printers and teachers who are trained as Educators to supervise this stuff.

    Left to his own devices, the 8YO will sit and play games on instead of researching gulper eels. I supervised some of his online research the night before ...I am using the sites he found ..I am going to have him find the facts out of what we printed out last night..then he gets to copy it to the poster board and mount the pictures and the little drawing and he gets to copy his notes to the index cards for his presentation....

    Last night fiancee was so frustrated with the project and everything else she has to do that she said to me, "normally I wouldn't say this, but I wouldn;'t care if you just did it for him, at this point I am so tired I don't care." I don't think she was kidding.

    So TV, no internet, no games for the 8YO, ....only this project and any homework he has until the project is done. I refuse to eat up my entire evening with this. I will be available for help...not doing it for him...and we are not going to be up until midnight finishing it either...

    I am off to get supplies and go to the photo lab machine to print out his 2 gulper eel

    Wish me luck y'all...welcome to parenting 101...Karma is finally getting its whack at me for all of my antics as an 8-year old boy.

    Snakes (Rich )

  • snowbird



  • nelly136

    that is one ugly mo'fo eel thingummy,

    welcome to being a parent with all the joys it brings by the way

  • kurtbethel

    It is a contrived way to get parents involved. It usually works and is actually a good way to get them to connect on what is happening at school. What is pathetic is when the tyke is not so little and they are a senior in high school, then Helicopter Parent does entire homework assignments for them.

  • SnakesInTheTower

    no worries about me (or toni) being "Helicopter Parents." I just got back from brunch with her... we have a game plan for the 8YO...he doesn't know it yet...heh heh.

    poster board, foam board ..check and check... already have index cards, tape, glue, markers, etc.... going to get the pics now..then off to the office..

    and contrived way to get parents involved...hell, they need a room parent I am happy to help if I can. raisers where the kids go out and drum up sales...hell no...the PTO already started one this semester.... we have no time for it..and no money. just started 3 weeks ago...give us a break before introducing fundraisers and projects...

    welcome to being a parent with all the joys it brings by the way

    Despite my bellyachin' I am looking forward to it... I asked Toni if I could carve a Jack-o-lantern with a WT symbol and the big red O with the X through it and leave it on the front porch next to Santa... lol

    Snakes (rich )

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    Nonsense. It's not about getting parents involved. It's a massive parental ego trip and sense of superiority. What pisses me off are the parents who do all the work and then step back and say their kid did it.

    At a law firm I used to work at, this attorney had a paralegal and another lawyer do massive research for his son's law school papers during the school year. Then he'd give them to me to edit and type up. Ridiculous.

  • JeffT

    If you do the work for him, he'll never learn to do it himself, which presumably is the point of this exercise. By the time I was eight I knew the answer to the question "What's a gulper eel?" It was "Go look it up in the encyclopedia. Wash your hands first."

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