Could You Give Me Those Sales Reports On Posterboard?

Educators beware. I am officially in rant mode.

Why, for the sweet love of Minnie Pearl, do 3rd and 4th grade teachers insist that so much of their homework be turned in as artsy or crafty projects? WWWHHHHYYYYY????????

I complain about homework a lot, I know. Today, it occurred to me that we could reclaim about 70% of our homework time if the teachers would just ask for good, old-fashioned written reports. I KNOW that Trillian is not learning anything additional by doing her book report as a shadowbox. Why the heck is non-artistic Zaphod doing so much drawing on his science reports? If the intention was to make learning a particular subject more fun, they are NOT succeeding. Zaphod and his mother are such perfectionists that it feels like the house is going to explode every time there’s a “craft” assignment.

Can’t we sign an opt-out clause? Both of my children are well read, good vocabulary, fine grammar skill students. They have both told me they’d much rather write or type a more formal report than glue popsicle sticks together, or paste felt letters on foam board. Not only do they have a sadistic math teacher (that’s for another time), but we spend so much time drawing and gluing that we hardly have time for anything else. Most days, my kids start their homework as soon as we get home (about 3:30) and, at least as far a Zaphod is concerned, homework lasts till 6, then a break for dinner, then another hour. Zaphod generally has about 30 minutes a day to just be a kid. Trillian a little more, but even then, it’s bad enough.

What if we adults had to turn in assignments at our jobs as craft assignments? PowerPoint is bad enough.

OK, I feel better now. Rant over.

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2 Responses to “Could You Give Me Those Sales Reports On Posterboard?”

  1. KC Says:

    It’s the “teaching trend”,and I’ve learned so much about it from my Kindergarten Teacher Sister that it makes me never want to have kids. Many of the people who went into teaching this generation are the artsy-craftsy type. They went into teaching not because they loved the subject at hand but because they simply adore making macaroni windmills, snowmen out of cheerios, etc.

    The current view of education is that time-tested methods such as drilling and writing essays are “old-fashioned” and don’t engage the child in “Play–The Business Of Being A Child.”

    So they’ve decided to make “Play–The Business Of Being A Child” into the learning process in general. Ironically, this new curriculum involves giving children so much busywork that they have no real time to “play.”

    But I’ll also let you in on a dirty little secret. It’s easier to grade 30 drawings of a ladybug than it is to grade 30 essays on the biology of said ladybug. So more work for kids and mom and dad means less work for Teacher.

  2. Paul Chenoweth Says:

    Good rant. There is a place for expression beyond the written word into other forms, even three-D forms. A heavy diet of it is just as bad as too much report writing…t assumes that every child learns the same way and that simply isn’t so.

    It is teacher conference time if your children are spending that much time on homework (IMHO).


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