Here's Why I Refuse To Do My Kids' School Projects For Them

Throughout the year, your kid probably comes home with assignments for a science or another class project they have to complete that's a big part of their grade. I'm happy to help my kid decide which project to do. I'm happy to buy them the poster board, and the glitter glue, and the modeling clay, and the little plastic animals they can use for their dioramas, or help them find an old shoe box, but there's no way I'm going to do their project for them. And judging from what I recently witnessed at my kid's school, I may be in the minority here. 


When I recently visited the school for an open house, I was floored at how professional some of the annual literature dioramas were. There were beautiful depictions of Little Women showing the March sisters' parlor. I saw a volcano complete with pyres for human sacrifices. And there were numerous other projects that in no way were completed by a sixth grade kid, unless that kid attends Pratt Design school in their spare time.

I don't believe that parents should art direct their kid's big homework assignments for them until they resemble something that could be displayed in an art or science museum. My kid was assigned the homework. I wasn't.

Also, what parent has time for this? 

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I think kids who complete their homework projects on their own learn a whole lot more than those whose parents help them complete them. I want my kids to solve problems, to work independently, and to have their projects reflect their own personal vision, even if that vision involves a whole lot of glitter and some wonky pipe cleaners. My kids' projects may not look as fancy or as perfect as their classmates' who had parents help, but I'm okay with that. The parents aren't getting graded, the kids are. I want my kids to learn the pride that comes with following through and executing a project without me hovering over them and snatching the glue gun from their hands. I think they learn better that way, and I can only hope their teachers appreciate the fact I didn't do the work for them. 

Image via © Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Corbis


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