>Who learns more from kids’ projects?


Today we helped our son with a project for black history month.  I know.  Officially black history month is February and this is March.  The timing is not an issue for me.
I’m going off topic here but, I feel very strongly that black history, women’s history, and all other non-mainstream cultures should be studied year around.
To me, designating a specific month, week, or day can minimize massive gifts made to society by many of people.  Of course, I’m not naïve and know that in some instances, if specials like black history month weren’t officially recognized, many young people would fail to learn about our rich history.
A diverse history should be intertwined throughout the school curriculum.  The more students learn about other cultures, the more likely they will be open to others who are different from them.  Our (in general) children’s literature, history, and science books are in desperate need of modernizing.  They are so outdated it’s gross. 
Okay, back to the intent of this post. I’m not sure where all that came from, but it presented itself, so it stays.   Anyway, I’m glad that his teacher and the school (a private one) recognize the importance of African-American history and the enormous contributions made to society.
After working with my hubby and son on this project, I wondered who learned more, our son or hubby and I.  We all learned from the project and that’s my point.  In our quest for an African-American Achiever, we looked beyond the typical historical figures studied.  We discovered Benjamin Bannecker (1731-1806). 
A lot of parents (I was one) cringe at class projects, especially if your child is in early elementary school.  The projects are designed to involve parents, to be fun, to be hands on, and to promote a positive educational experience.  Don’t laugh at me; I’m serious.
Time is always a factor and typically isn’t in the parents favor.  In between music lessons, dance lessons, or athletic practices, completing any project can be challenging.    The challenge often results in the parents doing the work and putting their kids name on it.  Come on now!  I’ve seen projects that were allegedly completed by a first grader that look like a college professor completed them.  It’s hilarious that the parents can even look the teacher in the eye.
Nope.  Our rule is that our son must do the work.  Cutting. Writing. Reading. Drawing and more.  That’s how he learns.  We oversee the project and guide him, but the project is his baby.  Whether the project has crooked lines, smeared glue, or other perceived defects, it doesn’t matter.  He put forth his hard work and, in the end, we’re all very proud of the end result and we are all a tad bit smarter.  

3 thoughts on “>Who learns more from kids’ projects?

  1. >I am sure my husband did much more work on the projects than he should have. lol I remember I had a student who got a C on a project (3rd grade). She did everything herself, and another student got an A because her mother did all the work. My student was so upset–it encourages students to cheat or should I say get more help than they need, yeah, I guess cheat was the right word.

  2. >As a parent, it is a natural response for us to want to help our kids do their best. Sounds like your husband enjoyed the projects. :0) Yeah, cheat, that's pretty much what it is. Unfortunately students learn very early the benefits of getting the extra help… it's perceived as harmless in 3rd grade, but can get a student expelled in college. Hmm…

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