We’re new at this “school” thing. We’re still learning the ropes. We’ve got drop-off and pick-up pretty much down. We can handle reading logs and math pages and spelling lists. But those special projects really throw us for a loop. Or, I should say, that one special project that we’ve had so far really taught us a lot about how to handle special projects. (Or how not to handle special projects.)
It is not enough, for example, just to talk about it when the assignment is first given. It is good to acknowledge its presence. Even better to decide how to execute. But if you wait until the day before it is due (or even two days before!) to begin the actual execution, well, you will not be loving life.
Also, siblings. They make special projects difficult. Especially when you have a small space. I would have loved to turn on a show and let Oliver and Elsa be hypnotized by the glowing screen for a little while if it would have allowed Simon to work in peace, but Simon was very honest about the fact that if I were to turn on a show, he would be even more unable to work. So we did our best to wrangle the little people during the day and made up for lost time by letting Simon stay up until 11:00 to finish what he couldn’t do with two extra pairs of little hands trying to get in on the action.
(For my part, the day last week that Simon had off from school, in which he did most of his project, was the first day ever that I have felt that maybe it would be a really bad idea for us to have another baby.)
However, it was kind of fun to stay up late with Simon to glue and write and figure out how to put it all together. My favorite part was when he would start talking and go off on some story for a while, and then I would comment on what he was saying and he would remember that he was supposed to be working and then he would chide me for distracting him. My bad! Sorry, kid!
In the end, however, we made a lovely family “tree” which functions more like a mobile. It included all of his cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents. There were 77 people on it. He needed pictures of all of them and he was supposed to write their names and relationship to him. We were all pleased with how it turned out, even if it exposed some glaring weaknesses in our homework skills.
(Many thanks to Nancy, Bente, and Mom Heiselt for helping out on short notice!)