Friday, September 14, 2007

7th Grade Projects & Other Musings on Life

This entry was written a while back. Since then more searches have come up for 7th grade projects. I hope that kids are reading that entry and learn from my experience.

What is up with all the searches for 7th Grade Science Projects? In the last week since Sunday there have been 50 visits to my website and of those 13 visitors entered through my entry about my 7th grade science project. For those of you who have been reading me for a while know that that’s how I gauge whether I’ve done a good job or not. If I feel like I did in 7th grade then I know that I did a really crappy job on something. Isn’t that funny? A lot of kids must be working on their 7th grade projects and a lot of parents must be searching for ideas. If it’s kids searching I wonder what they thought of that entry. Probably “crazy adult!”

Which brings me to something else. What’s up with all these parents doing their work for their kids? I mean, I know my daughter is only in the 1st grade, but I really try to encourage her to do her own work. Case in point. I go to my daughter’s Open House on Tuesday (I loved her teacher by the way) and I notice that all the papers on the walls with drawings by the kids are real. You know, crazy stick figure looking pictures, etc.. There are a few early Renoirs in the group, but for the most part all the kids draw like my 6 year old daughter.

Then I go outside to see their family trees. A bunch of these were all elaborate with all kinds of added embellishments. My daughter’s was pretty simple, all the names were in her handwriting, one side pink for me and the other side blue for her dad’s family. But about half of the family trees were very fancy. Some had typed names of family members cut out and pasted in place. Some had photos for the family members.

Don’t get me wrong. I was not hating on them. In fact, I was oohing and awing and admiring them out loud. They were really cute! But I couldn’t help but think about how last year every time my daughter did her Spirit Award assignment for the mascot she would tell me how the other kids had their parents help them. I told her that hers were the best because they were done by her.

I want to raise my daughter to be a strong woman. I want her to be smart and I don’t want her to be ashamed of that. I want to teach her to do her own work when possible and to only ask for my help when absolutely necessary. I didn't get any help from my parents and I think it was a good thing. It taught me to be self reliant.

Most important, I don't want for my daughter to feel like she has to follow the crowd. I remember reading about a study done on young girls and how when they were little they were very assertive. Then something happened as they reached puberty and they were socialized to take a more reserved role. I don’t want that happening to her and I don’t think that ever happened to me.

I have to write an essay about my daughter for her teacher. It’s due on the 21st. I’m really looking forward to writing it. I am so crazy about my kids, as crazy as they drive me. They have so much personality it’s not even funny. Sometimes TOO MUCH personality.

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