Andrea took home her first "homework" 2 weeks ago. Her school gave each student a notebook and each Friday, they all get to bring their notebooks home to show their parents. The notebook will contain teacher's notes re your kid's progress in school, some stuff they have to bring, important reminders, etc.
The first homework was actually for me... it says I am to cover the notebook with plastic. Easy enough. It also says we can allow our kids to customize their notebooks if they wanted but with a few reminders:
- Do not cover the school's logo in front.
- Do not cover the spine (color coded pink or blue for "girl" or "boy" and kid's name is written on the spine).
Again easy enough. Andrea loves stickers and we still have a few at home so I asked Andrea to pick some stickers and "helped" her stick them onto her notebook.
Yey! Andi's first project! :)
Ok, to be honest, she wasn't that interested :( I had to force her to stay on my lap and stick the stickers on the notebook while she kept squirming trying to free herself saying "Mommy, you do this!!
Anyway... Daddy saw the notebook later that afternoon.
"I don't understand how you can spend all that time on your scrapbooking thing and you can't even help Andrea properly with her notebook."
Oh no, he didn't!!! I explained the rules... the teacher said we are to let our kids customize their notebooks.
"Have you forgotten your own experience with school? Some people don't follow rules. Some parents hire professionals to do their kids' projects. What if Andrea shows up at school and all the kids there have pretty notebooks? You don't want hers to be the only one looking like a 2-year-old decorated it."
I was torn. Sadly, what he said about our school experience was true. I grew up envying my classmate's amazing school projects, only to find out that their parents paid professional artists to make them. And sadly, our teachers back then didn't care if we did the projects ourselves or it obviously looked like someone else did. They gave higher points for the prettier projects anyway. Sometimes, my mom helped me and she was really, really good at art, but the truth was, I enjoyed working on those projects myself, and my mom had to work, so I usually don't ask for help. And my project always ends up looking like a 10-year-old did it, because you know, I was 10 years old when I did that. And I got lpwer grades for those projects.
Back to my daughter. The homework will not be graded. I don't even think they will be graded. She's 2! And she goes to a progressive school where the "grading" system is different. I want her to work on her own projects with my help but my old insecurities about school work from my childhood suddenly surfaced. I didn't want her to experience that.
I'll cut most of the soul-searching part out. In other words, Daddy won.
This time, Andrea was more eager to "help" since the scrapbooking supplies I had scattered on the floor interested her. She "helped" pick out the button stickers I used... and the rest, she used to decorate our airconditioner and the living room wall :-/