Wednesday, June 10, 2009

do it yourself

When it comes to helping your child with their homework and assignments it's a fine-line. I remember when our daughter was in kinder checking out some incredible dioramas and flip-top contraptions revealing the insects the children were meant to be writing about. Our child had a sheet of cardboard with wonky insects pasted on and some words written in her own, cute hand. That'd be it. 

Each year I watch with interest and see the kids whose parents obviously dive on the assignments with joy, seeing them as a chance to fulfil their childhood prophesy; the ones where the parents obviously reluctantly assemble the projects the night before; the ones where the kids have primarily worked on it themselves and the poor little ones where the kids have had no guidance at all. This is where it's tough, trying to guide, but not lead.

Our daughter has an assignment at the moment {she's in year 4} where they have to come up with an imaginary country and imagine all the different aspects of it {climate, mapping, flora and fauna... heaps of stuff} it's pretty cool - but hard to find the time on top of regular homework, netball, dancing and playdates. However, yesterday she stayed home from ballet cos she's got a cold - and snotty tissues and ballet don't mix - so we got started. I wrote out all the questions in a word doc, and she sat there and typed - while I tried to keep my gob shut. Luckily she decided to pretend to be Dr Seuss and came up with the coolest ideas ever. She has the best animals and insects, cool flowers, an amazing flag, national dish, sports... and all through her own imagination - with me only asking the odd question. Phew.

I want her to be creative and imaginative - but how do children know what's out there without a little subtle guidance? Hopefully by pointing her in the direction of inspiration {for example she checked out things like the population of Iceland - which is just near her 'country' Winter Wonder Land for guidance} I'll help her develop new ways of thinking that'll see her through her schooling. She knows we're happy to help - but is dead keen to do as much as possible herself. Gotta be happy with that.


  1. hiya
    i am going to be sending your pif gift soon, so if you could please email me via girl.ferment[at]gmail[dot]com confirming your postal address that would be great

  2. It's funny how some parents completely take over. I knew someone who did their kid's assignments right up to year 12! I think there's a big difference between guidance/helping and doing it for them!


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