Amanda is in fourth grade. I've been quite pleased with her school thus far. She is progressing socially and academically, and her homework burden has not been hard to manage. This week, she came home with some information that I thought might change that.
"We're doing a non-fiction book project. I'm studying the Titanic, and I'm going to make a diorama as my visual. You know--a box with the ship in it hitting the iceberg and sinking. I'm going to put penguins on the iceberg."
I held my tongue, but I was thinking, "I'm no good at this sort of thing. Can't she make a poster or something?"
This morning before school, two days after she mentioned this to me, she said, "Mom, I need a shoebox for my diorama. I need it today. A big one."
"You're working on the project at school?" I asked, thinking that this was turning out much better than I thought. I gave her the shoebox.
Today she came home from school with this requirement: "Mom, we need to go out and buy clay today for my project so I can make the Titanic. We have to have it finished by Monday. I need it tomorrow."
Okay, now this was shaping up more like the projects that I remembered doing in my day. I balked at her request, and I'm still not sure how it's going to turn out for her. I'm a little inflexible when it comes to leaving the house after we're all nestled in when she gets home at 4:00pm.
One thing is certain. Regardless of the last minute shopping excursions and home scavenging required to procure the required materials, there will be no screaming at each other at the kitchen table, no tears, and no doubt about who really put the work in on the project--parent or child.
It actually makes a lot of sense. I'm sure that when she goes to intermediate school it will be a different story. I've heard that's when homework begins to ramp up. Well, that and trumpet practice.