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Summer Overloaded – School Projects & Projects Unlimited

BANG… BANG… BANG…

Holidays

Holidays

Okay… So finally today the schools reopen after the summer holidays…

As I drive out early in the morning I see children of all ages standing on their bus stops… in the cars… scooters… bicycles… everywhere carrying bags of tonnes of art and craft work. Well! I must admit there’s an excitement on their faces and happiness is drooling all over. This happiness was clouded a few weeks back…

As the holidays begin the first thing that starts looming on their heads is not how to enjoy but how to finish the looooooooooonnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg list of holiday homework… So starts the criticism of the school, the system and the huge list of work to be done… and a series of dialogues… “Mom, I’m so tired… hungry… sleepy… Can I please play outside for ten more minutes… Just let me finish this game please, Mom”…. Blah… Blah…Blah…!!!

Even though there is a month and a week to do the homework yet somehow (please don’t ask how) one day prior to the opening of the school, we are loaded with all the left over work… So the days and nights are spent in a frenzy… surrounded by thermocol… chart papers… colours… pens… scrap material… decorations… ribbons… and laptops… !!! Kids are nowhere to be seen and the parents are neck deep in work… Hee Hee…!!!

Then somehow we do manage to drag the kids to do their work and finish in time ..

The debate however is that whether schools should be giving so much homework or not!

And on a public forum I come across an update by a friend of mine – Sonal Mattoo, which eventually turns out into an interesting debate I so loved…

Sonal writes…

Loads n Loads

Loads n Loads

“Dear Schools of India,

I write on behalf of most parents. If paying the school fee wasn’t enough, you now test our skills by assigning project work, that requires time, money, application of mind, engineering skills & minimal contribution by the kids.

A 3D model of mars/computer/phases of the moon/plant fibers, etc. are futile! We have spent endless days & much money creating models that will be junked in a week.

I write this surrounded by chart-paper/styro-foam/plaster of paris/fevicol/bits of fabric/pins/ice-cream sticks/glitter/toys/print-outs/cut up family photographs & paints.

Besides resources, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

She further writes — Can we create a data bank of projects, open a website and give them to staff/chauffeurs who have limited resources. I’m sure there are many like us who have stuff lying around in the house.

People had views like… “Humongous amount we spend on these useless activities, which mostly… the parents, especially the mothers, do. What’s the point…What a waste of time, money, effort and junk is collected over the years.”

There were so many parents suffering from the same stress along with their children. They had the same queries as I had as to why do the schools do this … and is there a way out…???

And more so I would say that if the homework could be made more interesting than being like studies itself, it would be so much easier to do it. As you grow higher in studies, difficulties in the level of the homework increases. I seriously do not blame the kids as they shirk and sham … who would not…!!!

But alas! They do all that they have to as the schools have allotted marks for all these assignments so it practically ruins the whole summer holiday thing totally.

HAPPINESS

You know children, when we were kids (I still haven’t grown up yet) … things were so different… studies were fun and though I always hated homework, yet I was the first to finish it… and it was never so complicated. We did take out time for a whole lot of fun times and creativity grew in abundance. One plus point was that we did not have any electronic games and television to take up our time… we sure were loaded with music though and did manage to get a lot of time for ourselves.

Times are surely different now … but teachers are still the same… some we loved … some we hated… the best period was the ‘Games’ period … and holiday homework was a drab man…  another aspect also could be that as my parents did majority of my homework too so I did have fun holidays I guess… hee hee… !!!

As this is an unending topic … I should end now, but I would love to get some feedback by parents who have similar kind of stress and children please do write up as to how would you like to change this scenario…

May You Welcome Your School With Open Arms And A Smile…

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  • rupali gupta

    Dolce Far Niente.. The art of doing nothing is certainly missing from our lives….. I pity the kids and I pity the parents more as the kids seem to have taken the stand ” We dont care”.Unfortunately the parents are all in hyper mode (including self).I had my son come home and tell me once ” I have bad news for YOU… my marks are not to good”.I did tell him that it was bad news for him and not me…
    not to much result.

  • http://carldagostino.wordpress.com Carl D’Agostino

    For my grand children, as a retired teacher, I help them with their projects . I usually come up with the appropriate ideas and then let them choose a topic. We plan together and I guide them but my hands never touch the materials for creation. They must do that. One teaching dynamic of doing projects is the fact of just doing it. Fewer than half on my students ever made a project so a sense of responsibility is cultivated by just doing it. And then there is the matter of pride to put craftsmanship into the creation- a very important life skill.

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