Know where I can rent a Hyppogriff?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dear Emily's current teacher,

You know - I swore I was never going to be one of "those" parents...and to date I haven't. I don't do her homework - at least not with my knowledge or consent. There are times she tricks me into giving up information, but I swear that I am attempting to enforce the "Your homework - Your effort" rule.

And I like how you had the child and parent write out and sign the Plan for the upcoming oral report she will be doing. You made it very clear that this was a project which needed to be thought through - planned for, and rehearsed.

What I think you and I both forgot is that I am, at heart, a teacher. And prep work makes me weirdly happy. So once my kid decided on a topic for "Over the Hills and Far Away", I was off like a shot. Truth be told Emily does know ALOT about the topic of Hogwarts - which was her decided topic. I do too, as a matter of fact. This will help the parent-child connection to be sure.

What you didn't know, and I wasn't externally aware of was my insane need for excellence in Props. There will be no crappy drawings of House crests. Emily now has a beautiful silk banner depicting all four houses.

Did you know that JK Rowling wrote two faux textbooks for the Harry Potter series? I didn't at first - but Emily has those now too.

I can't help but think that the building cards we found to create a Hogwarts will be fun and so impressive. How great the 3-D model of Hogwarts will be to really bring home the visual space.

And Quills. We found Quills and ink in real bottles and parchment. Enough so that the children can give the quills a try with the fancy tips and each get a piece of parchment of their very own...Of course, there will be demo pieces with ribbon tied around, just like the kind the students need to hand in to their professors.

Did I mention the Bertie Bott's every flavor beans? And Chocolate Frogs? For tasting you know.

This doesn't make me one of those parents does it? The 150 bucks I dropped on props?

Sigh. I would SO ace third grade.

13 Baleful Regards:

Mitzi Green said...

you realize, of course, that your kid is now going to be like those kids i was forced to endure during my brief stint in the public school district's "gifted" program--the children of doctors and lawyers, the children of parents who gave a shit about their kids' educations. the children who showed up on project day with light-up displays of cellular division, next to which my own hastily-crafted clay model of a rabbit (from "watership down") paled and withered in comparison.

so i hope you feel good about yourself when 25 years from now some adult is still griping about that silkscreened banner your kid brought in that made their own project seem horribly banal and shattered what precious little was left of their self-esteem. :)

Dawn said...

I know Mitzi - I know....and Yet, I can't help myself. It's a sickness.

Sharlene said...

Dawn,
That may be the hardest aspect of parenting. Wanting so much for your kids and providing too much. Especially when you get caught up in the project. On the flip side my kids have many times brought the "entirely kid thought, developed, and executed" project just to get a C when it paled in comparison to the rest.... Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

toddlerplanet said...

But now I want to do the project too! Let's all do one together now, shall we?

Woman with kids said...

...I want to come play at your house. Or live at your house...

Sara said...

Hilarious, I could have written that myself. Every project that comes along for my daughter brings with it an over zealous and excited me ready to heap tons of props on my daughter and my daughter who just wants to make a "simple sketch"!!!

gurukarm said...

[snort] - from the mom who just finished the tri-fold brochure "upgrade" for DS's geography project ("Iraq for Geo-Geeks" - his title, I swear!) I absolutely have no control when it comes to the desktop publishing type projects.
:-)

Kikilia said...

Hey- where did you find chocolate frogs?!

And where did you find the fake books JK Rowling wrote?

Okay- so I'd probably be writing a letter like yours if my kid picked Hogwarts as a project.... Still, ya can't skimp on props when it comes to Hoggy, Hoggy, Hogwarts- can ya?

Suburban Gorgon said...

You are totally one of those parents. But in a cool way, not a lame and stupid way. It's Hogwarts, for pity's sake. It cries out to be done right!

Apathy Lounge said...

We all do it. It's completely normal. We all want to be the person we would have wanted to help us with our project when WE were kids.

Lisa said...

Seth has to work in a 100th day of Kindergarten project. And I was FAR more excited about it than he was. SO yeah, I completely know what you are getting at here. heehee.

Jaelithe said...

I think parents are sort of expected to help out with these projects. My reason for thinking this is that when I was Emily's age, I aced every test I ever took (well, okay, except the ones in math) and I wowed 'em with a basic book report. But, dang it if I didn't get a B minus or even a C on every single presentation project involving props.

Because, you see, not only did my mother not have the money to spend on pre-made props, she didn't have the inclination to help me make props on my own, either. She wouldn't even go so far as to help me plan. I was lucky if she even asked me what it was I was supposed to make. I don't mean to imply that she wasn't interested in spending time with me-- she was-- she really just showed no interest whatsoever in my schoolwork.

And so, I (like a few other unfortunate souls) would come in with some clearly "hand made by a child" thing I had labored hours or even days on with no help, and get an average grade, and all the kids who came in with things that were clearly beyond the ability of a small child to construct on his/her own would all get As.

The game is rigged, I tell you. RIGGED.

Fraulein N said...

That project sounds exciting. I don't know how they expect you to be able to hold yourself back. I think as long as you're not doing ALL the work for your kid, things are pretty kosher.

 
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