think like a middle schooler

Dad: “Siege towers sound like fun.” Mom: “He has an after school activity every single day next week and I don’t know when we’ll have time to do the written report OR the model. Hadrian’s Wall or an aqueduct seem easiest to build.” Child: “Let’s do a bathhouse! They’re not bathrooms. They’re swimming pools.” Mom […]

Dear elementary teacher,

While it is a perfectly reasonable in-school assignment for a library research project, it is a nightmare to assign a homework project that will inevitably be researched online on the subject of “cougars.” I can’t even use a search engine while my child is looking at the screen. Please remove “cougars” from your list of […]

It’s HIS project

“I want to talk about your business slogan, but we’re going to do something else first. Let’s look at the slogans for some of the businesses you know.” Fifteen minutes of twitchy, fidgeting research later: “Now, think about all the slogans we just read. Would you like to revise YOUR slogan a little bit?” “No. […]

many, many snacks

First attempt Mom: “Don’t start writing. Put your pencil down and let’s talk about this. What kind of business would you like to have?” Sawyer: “Toys R Us.” Mom: “We already have Toys R Us stores. Let’s think about something that we don’t have.” Sawyer: “An Amazon store so you don’t have to wait a […]

Homework Ka-Boom

When one of my older children entered middle school, they surprised everyone by immediately having failing grades in their classes. We hopped on the online grade book and discovered that this child wasn’t turning in homework or projects. Tests and quiz grades were stellar. Homework was a consistent F. Since we knew the homework was […]

Sarah says:

Me: “Sarah, how many pages have you gotten done in your summer sketchbook so far?” Sarah: “I did a lot of other art stuff today.” Me: “Such as?” Sarah: “I decorated my sketch board.”

school projects are for parents

In theory, school projects are a good idea. Instead of just spending weeks learning that A+B=C, students make something that applies the concept. In reality, the projects are almost always done primarily by parents while children watch them and listen to an endless lecture about why they are doing this or that. “…and what do […]

One week till school starts

Me: “How is the summer assignment coming Sarah?” Sarah: “I can’t work on that until I finish my book.” Me: “How is the summer assignment coming Sarah?” Sarah: “I’m thinking about it.” Me: “Do you need help?” Sarah: “No.” Me: “When are you going to do it?” Sarah: “After I finish my book.” Me: “No.” […]