Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rebellious artists and rebellious parents

I was never much of a rebellious child, and hadn't planned on becoming a rebellious parent. But then my left-brain children entered our right-brained schools.

Fresh out of last week's contentious meeting about my son's backpack, I finally pulled out the latest assignment out of my daughter's backpack.

The dreaded diorama. It's only 2nd grade, and the dreaded dioramas are already upon us.

My daughter loves arts & crafts. She spends hours per day on her own projects--paper dolls dressed up in paper clothes and laminated with clear packaging tape; a tiny family made out of meticulously molded, painted clay, complete with pet bunny.

But assign her a project and her enthusiasm vanishes, along with her artistic talent and her ability to execute complex directions.

So, after three hours of screaming and crumpled papers, and after our last shoe box was rendered unusable, I rebelled once again.

And this morning, my daughter walked into school empty handed, her depiction of her favorite scene of her favorite book rendered not in 3-D cardboard, but in words on two sides of a sheet of paper tucked neatly into her backpack, along with a note from yours truly.


Anonymous said...

My son started failing math and science when he hit 9th grade. He never put much effort into his work, so I told him he could take as many music electives as he wanted but if he wished to graduate he would have to go to adult school for math and science. He excels in music - plays several instruments. So he's enjoying school. We are not concerned anymore with graduating and he is auditioning for a music conservatory (cello). In return I get hours of listening pleasure.

My daughter is very similiar only her focus is art and that's an entirely different story - so we are considering other options to high school.

I'm not sure if that helps, but I was tempted to do what you did, I just couldn't bring myself to doing it and I enjoy my kids more that way.

Standards-based instruction takes away electives, it forces students to take remedial classes. You have a remedial track in school and most of these students don't get to graduation, worse they don't have a career.

Mrs. C said...

Awww... poor kid!! What are they going to do, fail her? Good grief!

Lori said...

2nd grade teacher sending home a diorama assignment as homework?!?!? I understand your frustration, Lefty. Here's another side of that.... what about children going home to situations where there simply is no one to help them?! Perhaps a better assignment might've been to demonstrate your knowledge of "insert topic here) in a variety of ways. Perhaps choice would fit nicely here. For every project I assign there is always a paper/pencil option. I can tell this school year can't end fast enough for you and your family!