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I hate parent homework, preschool, I can't do it, I am not creative


Elisabet1
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I am so awful every time. And this has gone on for years. When my 20 yr old was in kinder, they were doing this.

 

Wednesday, the preschool sent home a cut out gingerbread man and I am supposed to decorate it. Well, I already know this means a big huge competition in decorating. Every time they send something like this home, the other parents make it in to a competition. While I am cutting out construction paper to make clothes for the person, the rest seem to sew outfits. I do not know how to sew. Every time, my project looks stupid. I had someone comment last year "wow, you must have been in a hurry." referring to my person. I felt so dumb. And I had spent a lot of time on it. 

 

Honestly, it makes me feel like a horrible mother because I simply cannot do this. And no one ever helps me. I have no one at all that can help me, at all. Why do schools even do this? We only have him in preschool because 1) I am a complete fail at creativity and hands on stuff and 2) he has autism spectrum disorder. 

 

I am sitting here crying over what an epic fail I am at this. I just cannot do it. And it is due today in 5 hours. To top it off, I spent Thurs and Friday on the funeral stuff, I spent Sat and Sunday and Friday night on Nutcracker, and I had a trip to labor and delivery in there too. I am a fail!!!

 

 

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It happens all the time. At the beginning of the year, they gave us a cut out of a person. We had to decorate it to look like our child. I cut out a photo of him and put it on the face. Then I cut out construction paper for the clothes. I worked some time on it. Get to school and everyone else had actual clothes made for the cut outs peoples. Mine was the worst. Even if I used sparkles this time, mine will still be the worst. 

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You are not a failure!  It sounds like things have been absolutely crazy on your end lately and you are doing the best that you can and that is all you can do.  There's nothing wrong with construction paper.  Throw some glitter on there if you have it or glue some candy on if you have that and call it good.

...Honestly...with the things you've mentioned, I'd probably consider not doing it at all.... /hide

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:grouphug: :grouphug:     I'm sorry.  I hear your struggle.  I don't understand why the parents are doing it, but :grouphug: :grouphug: .

My husband says if he had no other reason for home schooling, it was to get away from all the parent homework.

 

We get way less at this school. It happens maybe twice a year now. At public school, it happened at least monthly.

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Give it to your child and have him color it.  Done.

 

You graduated preschool long ago.

 

When my kids just turned 3, their preschool teacher started sending home worksheets to be completed and returned.  (Tracing letters etc.)  I told the teacher that I would give my girls time and space to do it, and she would receive back whatever they did.  I do not do preschool homework.  Teacher said she was fine with that.

 

Do not engage in the parent competition.  If they want to be silly about it or have nothing better to do, that is their business.

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I have to tell you, I don't think I'd even do it. When my kids were in preschool they did stuff like that, but they did it WITH THE KIDS AT SCHOOL! All we had to do was send in a photo. 

 

If you think your kid will mind that he doesn't have one there, then construction paper is TOTALLY fine! Mentally remove yourself from this petty competition, mama. It's so not worth it. I consider not having to do that cr@p one of the perks of HSing.

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My husband says if he had no other reason for home schooling, it was to get away from all the parent homework.

 

We get way less at this school. It happens maybe twice a year now. At public school, it happened at least monthly.

 

I was just telling my Dh last night how much I am glad we are homeschooling this time of year because I don't have all of those stupid preschool/elementary parental holiday obligations to fulfill. Drove me nuts. As if we don't have enough extra stuff to do in December.

 

I understand. Not sure my DH got it. I must have shielded him from it too much. LOL. 

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And this is why I have a rule for my elementary teachers that all projects must be done in class. The parents are crazy sometimes. We used to have a Christmas locker decorating contest for the kids but the parents went so berserk and it became so competitive that we stopped it entirely. We also no longer have birthday celebrations in class because of the nutty parents that go overboard every time.

 

I feel for you. I'm not crafty either.

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Is it really assigned to the parents, or do the parents just take the project over from the kids?  I'm sorry, I shouldn't bug you for details when you're distressed but I simply do. not. get. it.    Maybe someone else has had similar experience and can explain it to ignorant me.

 

My kids had a little preschool before we started homeschooling.  Then we did some things with other homeschoolers.  All the work was done by the kids.  So I don't get why moms are decorating gingerbread men.

 

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This is why I only coordinated the homeschool science fair once. It's not fair to those kids who actually do their projects on their own to have a parent with a degree in engineering do the work and a parent with a degree in interior design do the display board.

 

I've seen the same thing in my DD's online classes-when there's an artsy project, it's really, really obvious which parents took "parent involvement" to mean more than "remind your kid to do the project and drive them to Michaels to get supplies".

 

I think I'd hand your son some fabric scraps, paper, glue, etc-or some crayons-and let him do it himself. I'm guessing that was what the teacher really wanted when she started doing the project 10 years ago anyway-but has given up fighting it in the interest of having something to display.

 

 

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Yeah, I never got "parent homework" in preschool.  The most we got was when my kids were 4s (?) we were supposed to send in a bag of items for counting, sorting, and talking about letters.  So one week it would be something beginning with c, 3 of something, something yellow, and something square.  I would have my kids do this, but I'd guide them (or else it would take all day).

 

What's going to happen if you don't do it?  Other fools will gossip?  Not a good enough reason to care.

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Give it to your child and have him color it.  Done.

 

You graduated preschool long ago.

 

When my kids just turned 3, their preschool teacher started sending home worksheets to be completed and returned.  (Tracing letters etc.)  I told the teacher that I would give my girls time and space to do it, and she would receive back whatever they did.  I do not do preschool homework.  Teacher said she was fine with that.

 

Do not engage in the parent competition.  If they want to be silly about it or have nothing better to do, that is their business.

 

These two things - exactly.  Why are you wasting your time and mental energy on something so utterly inane?

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I happen to be a particularly crafty person who likes crap like that, BUT what I don't like is parent homework or parent projects or parent science fairs.  So I just don't play along.  Does this mean my kid's project is less than amazing and award winning?  You betcha.  Growing up my parents never helped me with that stuff.  It never even occurred to me they were supposed to.

 

Even some of the groups the kids have been in (which we didn't last long at) were basically the parents doing the work while they dragged the kids along.  What's the point of that?

 

 

 

 

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And while you do the homework, what does your child learn? Have him do his own gingerbread man, and then if people comment on it look down your nose at them and say "I felt it was more important for my child to have fun doing his own project than for me to show off my crafting skills. It's about the process, not the product." You aren't a horrible mother. Anybody taking away opportunities from their children is a horrible mother*.

 

* Well, they're sub-optimal.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  Elisabet1, it sounds like this is the straw that broke the camel's back. Please do not waste one more minute being upset at this stuff. We are unanimous in this thread - you are excused from the Gingerbread Man Mommy War! Ain't nobody got time for that.  :glare:

 

Now, go do something nurturing for yourself.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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I used to take my oldest to a preschool art class at a museum.  I think he was 3ish (I can't remember exactly).  I remember other parents sitting down and doing the entire project.  What the heck is the point of that?  I remember some parents getting upset if the project didn't look good.  Who cares?!  The kids are 3 and they are there to have fun and make ugly macaroni art!! 

 

 

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I AM crafty, and I still wouldn't sew clothes for this. I'd give the thing to the kid, provide whatever craft materials I had on hand, and let him do it. And if anyone said anything, I'd say, "Johnny was so excited to decorate his himself!" And I agree, it's ridiculous to have the parents do their children's homework. Help if needed, provide gentle guidance (like steering them toward the toy elephant instead of the raw egg for the letter "e"), but that's it.

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I just wouldn't do it. What would happen if you just tossed it? Is it really meant for the parents to do? If so I would just politely explain I'm not in preschool and therefore won't be doing preschool work. If it is really meant for the child to do, I would ask my kid if he wanted to color it. If yes, then fine, he could color it. If he didn't want to that's fine too. I don't think preschoolers need to be given homework.

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With the decorating the person to look like our child at the beginning of the year, they did specifically say it was for the parents to do to send in and represent the child on the wall all year. This project came home and said we are supposed to do it at home. It did not say the parents specifically, but it seems, as far as I can tell, to be the same thing as at the beginning of the year. This is our third year there and every time this sort of thing happens, the other kids have perfect, well sewn outfits. First year, this one woman ticked me off as she would speak loudly all the time and talk on and on about her nanny doing it. That is just a little side thing.

 

I went ahead and sent an email to the teacher saying I cannot do it, I do not know how to sew, and I am just not that creative. I think I added something in there about the stress of parent home work.

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The snarky side of me would reply, "I graduated from preschool a long time ago.  This is Jr's chance to do arts in crafts at preschool.  What kind of parent would take away their child's preschool experience just to show off their adult level art skill."

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I don't want to bother Elisabet about this, since it's clearly upsetting her. But I will admit to being awfully curious: Is this a common thing? For preschools to actually give parents assignments/projects?  I mean, I know folks sometimes refer to school projects generally as "parent homework," since it's clear the expectations for those projects are not age appropriate for a kid to do on his or her own, but I've never heard of a school actually, outright telling parents to do a craft project like this. 

 

Granted, I've had exactly one child in preschool, and that was 17 years ago. So, I'm not up on the latest in preschool trends. Can those of you who've been there more recently enlighten me?

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Elizabet, I don't sew either, but in cases when I had to decorate something a little nicer than with paper, I would use felt and still glue it on.

It's a little nicer than paper, and it doesn't have to be hemmed, and it comes in a lot of colors.

 

Is this a Waldorf school?  Because I know that they emphasize making parents make things out of cloth for their kids, in which case I guess the glued on felt probably wouldn't pass muster.  Still, it would be better than paper.

 

 

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I don't want to bother Elisabet about this, since it's clearly upsetting her. But I will admit to being awfully curious: Is this a common thing? For preschools to actually give parents assignments/projects?  I mean, I know folks sometimes refer to school projects generally as "parent homework," since it's clear the expectations for those projects are not age appropriate for a kid to do on his or her own, but I've never heard of a school actually, outright telling parents to do a craft project like this. 

 

Granted, I've had exactly one child in preschool, and that was 17 years ago. So, I'm not up on the latest in preschool trends. Can those of you who've been there more recently enlighten me?

 

Yes I believe it is common.

 

I think some teachers might look at it as a parent/kid project/bonding time?  I don't know.  But I find it annoying as all get up.  I wouldn't bite. 

 

I find a lot of "kid" projects aren't age appropriate.  I recently bought a science project type book for my younger kid.  He is 9.  So far there hasn't been a single project that he could even help much with.  I find this incredibly annoying.  Last one I did was so complicated there wasn't a single thing he could do to help.  I gave up about halfway through.  And halfway through was an hour wasted.  I'm done with that book. 

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Yes I believe it is common.

 

I think some teachers might look at it as a parent/kid project/bonding time?  I don't know.  But I find it annoying as all get up.  I wouldn't bite. 

 

I find a lot of "kid" projects aren't age appropriate.  I recently bought a science project type book for my younger kid.  He is 9.  So far there hasn't been a single project that he could even help much with.  I find this incredibly annoying.  Last one I did was so complicated there wasn't a single thing he could do to help.  I gave up about halfway through.  And halfway through was an hour wasted.  I'm done with that book. 

I feel exactly the same about lap books.  They are a lot of trouble for the parents, and typically by the time the kids are old enough to do them themselves, they are too old for lap books to be an age-appropriate presentation tool.  So annoying.

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I don't want to bother Elisabet about this, since it's clearly upsetting her. But I will admit to being awfully curious: Is this a common thing? For preschools to actually give parents assignments/projects? I mean, I know folks sometimes refer to school projects generally as "parent homework," since it's clear the expectations for those projects are not age appropriate for a kid to do on his or her own, but I've never heard of a school actually, outright telling parents to do a craft project like this.

 

Granted, I've had exactly one child in preschool, and that was 17 years ago. So, I'm not up on the latest in preschool trends. Can those of you who've been there more recently enlighten me?

It happened to me. A cutout person was sent home for me to decorate so the class could get to know my child. I forgot to do it.

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We had to decorate a turkey for Thanksgiving.  Some of the Moms really went all out.  Others let their kids actually do it....so coloring, painting, pasting fruit loops on it, whatever.

The best ones (to me) are the ones that the kids do themselves.  It's for their benefit, not yours.

 

Give your DC some mini marshmallows and glue and let him go to town.  Or some cheerios.  Or whatever.  And a bunch of crayons/markers.  It will be wonderful.

 

I guarantee you that the preschool teachers wants the kids to do these, not the parents. :)

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It happens all the time. At the beginning of the year, they gave us a cut out of a person. We had to decorate it to look like our child. I cut out a photo of him and put it on the face. Then I cut out construction paper for the clothes. I worked some time on it. Get to school and everyone else had actual clothes made for the cut outs peoples. Mine was the worst. Even if I used sparkles this time, mine will still be the worst. 

 

So don't worry about it. Accept that everyone else will be different and feel theirs is the best. Let your child do their homework and don't worry about it.

 

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S/O..... when my oldest was in preschool about 10 years ago, he was sick the day they decorated the paper gingerbread men, so they sent it for him to do at home. I gave him the supplies and he decorated it proudly, all the way down to a glitter-glue p*nis "because it's a boy!" You bet I sent that gingerbread boy in to hang on the wall....which it did....luckily for all involved DS wasn't a great artist and it perhaps wasn't clear what the glitter glue represented. :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  

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All of my six kids have been to preschool and we've never had a project or homework of any sort, so I guess I should feel fortunate, because I hate stuff like this.

 

Even if we did have such a project, I really don't care what the other parents think; why should I.

 

Friday night, ds11 tells me he's playing the role of Aslan in his class play and could I please arrange a lion costume by Wednesday.  Knowing my sewing skills are very basic, he says, "it has to be really good."  Thanks, ds.  I'm over being irked by this particular teacher and thankful for Amazon Prime.  I have more important stuff to spend my energy on this week.

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I remember 'helping' my kid with a solar system project. When everyone brought in projects on the due date, the ones the teacher gushed over were the gluey, kid done projects. Good lesson! But I was far from the worst parent. Some has hired professional designers to complete their kids' projects.

 

In retrospect, it was funny.

 

My personal pet peeve was shoebox projects. Manolo Blahnik, Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana -- you name it. I never saved our (Stride Rite) boxes and was always the recipient of a charity shoe box.

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I absolutely refuse to do more than a reasonable type of adult assistance for any kind of homework -- preschool or otherwise. So, yeah: remember that you own your own time and no one can give you 'assignments' without your permission.

 

But...

 

Please take this gently... It sounds like *you* have a bit of the competitive spirit yourself. It's *you* that notices a best-to-worst scale of these projects. It's *you* that cares about where you rank on that scale. It's *you* that imagines the other parents are showing off and trying to "win" and/or outshine others. If not exactly 'competitive' that's at least a 'comparative' spirit.

 

It is entirely possible that other parents are involved in these projects because they are having a blast! Because they enjoy handicrafts and rejoice every time the school gives them an excuse to get involved in these very special wonderful times of creativity-bonding with their kids! It am be that they didn't choose cloth because "it's better," but because it was the first thing they thought of, and it sounded fun.

 

Some people just actually LIKE glitter. The same way I actually LIKE sledding, and am happy to have kids as an excuse to do such a childish thing for the first time in years.

 

You don't have to let their pleasure in handicrafts turn you into an emotional competitive mess. Just assume they liked the assignment so much that they got a bit carried away. Be happy for them that they had such a nice time. Be sentimental and hope that they get lots of chances to enjoy these young-kid opportunities that fly by so fast. If crafts are so much in their line of interest, why should they deny themselves?

 

I've been accused (MIL) of showing off because I like hosting "fancy" dinners when I have people over. I make nice things because I like cooking. I'm not competing against what the other people offer me, I'm just having fun. Not everybody who likes nice things is being competitive, though, apparently it's easy to imagine that -- from the other perspective.

 

I would no more think of a preschool craft as a competition than I would think that the person ahead of me in the grocery store was competitively trying to have the best cart full of food. She's buying what she needs, wants, and likes. Her cart has nothing to do with my cart. Similarly, other family's gingerbread people have nothing to do with yours. You can just peaceably do whatever you please, and glance at others, and be pleased for them.

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I'm not sure this helps, but I have been in your shoes: when I was pregnant for DS5, DS9 was in preschool. I was traveling for work, still experiencing morning sickness, and got home in the middle of the night from a four-day work trip. My husband has a pile of stuff from preschool, and lying on top was a "research report" that DS (he was three at the time, just turned three) needed to do on Douglas squirrels. WTH? I know NOTHING about squirrels other than to not run them over with my car. Straw that broke the camel's back. Well, I started crying, which turned into hysterics, which woke up my husband and our downstairs renters, and everyone is thinking something is going wrong with the baby because I'm totally freaking out, loudly. I'm wailing, "I don't know what a Douglas squirrel even is!" It was a bit of a watershed moment. When things get tense at our house, my husband will ask about squirrels.

 

Deep breath. 

 

Your little one is in preschool. He doesn't care. Do the homework, don't do the homework, it's cool. If you want to be the best mom ever, make some hot chocolate, get out the glitter, and let your DS have a ball with it. If someone makes a comment, tell them that your son did it himself, and ask how much their kids did. Forget the competitive parents. They just aren't worth it. 

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I absolutely refuse to do more than a reasonable type of adult assistance for any kind of homework -- preschool or otherwise. So, yeah: remember that you own your own time and no one can give you 'assignments' without your permission.

 

But...

 

Please take this gently... It sounds like *you* have a bit of the competitive spirit yourself. It's *you* that notices a best-to-worst scale of these projects. It's *you* that cares about where you rank on that scale. It's *you* that imagines the other parents are showing off and trying to "win" and/or outshine others. If not exactly 'competitive' that's at least a 'comparative' spirit.

 

It is entirely possible that other parents are involved in these projects because they are having a blast! Because they enjoy handicrafts and rejoice every time the school gives them an excuse to get involved in these very special wonderful times of creativity-bonding with their kids! It am be that they didn't choose cloth because "it's better," but because it was the first thing they thought of, and it sounded fun.

 

Some people just actually LIKE glitter. The same way I actually LIKE sledding, and am happy to have kids as an excuse to do such a childish thing for the first time in years.

 

You don't have to let their pleasure in handicrafts turn you into an emotional competitive mess. Just assume they liked the assignment so much that they got a bit carried away. Be happy for them that they had such a nice time. Be sentimental and hope that they get lots of chances to enjoy these young-kid opportunities that fly by so fast. If crafts are so much in their line of interest, why should they deny themselves?

 

I've been accused (MIL) of showing off because I like hosting "fancy" dinners when I have people over. I make nice things because I like cooking. I'm not competing against what the other people offer me, I'm just having fun. Not everybody who likes nice things is being competitive, though, apparently it's easy to imagine that -- from the other perspective.

 

I would no more think of a preschool craft as a competition than I would think that the person ahead of me in the grocery store was competitively trying to have the best cart full of food. She's buying what she needs, wants, and likes. Her cart has nothing to do with my cart. Similarly, other family's gingerbread people have nothing to do with yours. You can just peaceably do whatever you please, and glance at others, and be pleased for them.

Good points.

 

I also notice parent involvement is highest with the first child, then steadily declines.

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