Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Ringer


Pocahontas gives a sly wink, knowing full well she is just the hook Jake needs...

Monday was Jake's oral presentation for his Year Long Project. The YLP begins in October when each child must choose an ecosystem to study. They then spend the next 7 months learning not only about their choice, but also the Native American tribe which originally settled the area.

There is a model of the ecosystem due mid year and it must incorporate Native American models and dwellings, as well as various flora and fauna.

Finally, in June, each child gives an oral report on their project. These reports range from Power Point presentations to videos shot on location. There are games and prizes and all and all it is the last damn thing I felt like doing at the end of the year.

Hugh and I told Jake, look, we're getting a posterboard, you're writing a report and that's all...

Well, that's all unless you count the very cute 2 year old who dressed up like a little Pueblo girl and handed out popcorn and beef jerky...

He got an "A".

*** Update ***

Internet, because you asked, let me tell you, the YLP was the biggest pain in the ass. An epic proportion pain in the ass. You have no idea. Every month there were 3 or 4 little assignments that had to be completed and I just want to say that I know more about the Pueblo Indians and Lake Mead, AZ than is really necessary.

I have "helped" make crossword puzzles, word searches and a leather medicine pouch. I know that, on average, 7 million people visit Lake Mead National Park every year and that the Zebra Mussel is a particular problem this season. I know why the Bighorn Sheep is well suited to the extreme heat and dryness of this area and I know that, although the women owned the homes of the Pueblo people, they still couldn't go into the Kiva.

In other words, this was a bit more than your average 3rd grader could do on his own and "parent participation" in a gross understatement.

Jake did a wonderful job but, I am less than thrilled to go through this again next year with Jack.

Hooray for summer!

40 comments:

Lisa and Tate said...

What a great little Pocahontes (sp?) Eva is!!!! Jake could have never done a thing and still gotten an A!!!! But I am sure he worked hard and desired that A too!!!!

Lisa

Kristi said...

Super cute! Is that a little wink she's giving? Like, "I'm not really Pocahontas...who are we trying to kid?" This looks like a fun homeschool project to think about.

Mel said...

Awwwwww!
I have a secret fondness in my heart of hearts for little tinies dressed up as pilgrims or injuns.
I have no idea why. :)

Stephanie said...

OK, I don't think I could do a YLP! Sounds cool though!

InterstellarLass said...

She looks fantastic! I'm sure his report deserved the A!

Painter Beach Girl said...

OH that is classic!!! Very cute and a good idea. Wait til the 2 year old is 14 and sees photos!!!

Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Wow, did you have to help a lot? I am afraid of never being able to help my son with his homework when he gets old enough. I feel like I have forgotten everything from school.

Lisa

Jodie said...

You made me laugh when you said it was the "last thing you wanted to do at the end of the year"! My son is at bottom of the alphabetical list to do these "All About Me" posters in his 1st grade class...we had to throw one together last night. Tomorrow is the last day of school! What the?!!

If I were Jake's teacher, I would have given an A+++

Nicki said...

Ok, cuter than I imagined!

Joannah said...

I think Eva should get some preschool credits for her part in that academic success!

Wow - a YLP sounds like an awful lot for elementary school. I usually give my kids two take home projects per year, and I give them about six weeks to complete them.

Lisa said...

Awwww. What a cool idea!

Kel said...

Actually, that sounds a lot like our end of year projects - and we have exit projects required in 5th, 8th and 10th grade for graduation -

the end of the year projects in the lower grades are more like what you described and not as big as the exit projects, which include community service etc. but I do remember oral presentations with poster boards as early as 1st grade -

and that of course is aside from all the term papers, investigations and research projects with models that you have coming down the line :) (several each term)

Yeah, good thing we got out of school when we did!

carrie said...

Big sigh of relief that the end of the year is officially a half day away for us! Cute and clever to use Eva's adorableness in the project!

I've learned so much about Native Americans this year, I should have my doctorate by now! I feel your pain!

Mega Mom said...

Holy crap, I'm not ready for all that. Thank God I have a few years (and don't live in CA :))

That picture is priceless.

Enjoy the sanity of summer!

Holly said...

Isn't it amazing the crap they can dump on the kids sometimes?
Your a pro at it now, tho!

OMG, I Eva is precious.
What a great selling point, the whole Native American thing...
see I CAN be PC!

Izzy said...

Jake got an "A" Yayyy! And yay to you for being such a super and involved parent!

And Eva is absolutely adorable in that photo!

Gen said...

She is too cute! - and by the way - I like your blog picture thing! That nasty email could only be pure jealousy..what a bee-awtch!

A YLP!!! That's a little much isn't it? Maybe a group YLP, but not an individual one...

Jake deserved an A+++!

Egan said...

Did you learn more than Jake did with this year long presentation? It does sound really interesting, but that's a tough time for a little one to stay focussed. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Angry Dad said...

Why the hell is it that we have to do so much homework ourselves for our kids projects?

Lisa said...

And I thought my ballet recital pantyhose assignment was tough!

Eva is hands down the cutest Pocahontas I've ever seen!

Pendullum said...

Congrats on the Family 'A'. Jake must have worked very hard. As well as the entire cheering section and it is an 'A' well deserved! Could the Pocahontas be any cuter????
I do know the feeling about these 'wee' projects...
We all want to encourage and gently remind our kids that learning is an 'ongoing process'. So, we end up travelling the journey with them. Listening to their facts,proofreading with them, not to mention all the trips to the library...
Learning is an ongoing process... But family life, is an ongoing process as well!
And there are never enough hours in the day...
And sometimes you just want your kids to learn, do,something your family group may be interested in...
and on a side note... I just want to know...
How often you can incorporate zebra mussles or bighorn sheep in cocktail conversation???
It's a juggle.

Suburban Turmoil said...

I am 'bout sick of the projects given to kids now that pretty much require parents to all but do it for them. I started noticing in my stepdaughters' school hallways all the projects on the walls that clearly had been done by their parents. And with all these great presentations, how can you risk letting your kid do it on her own and get a b or c because it doesn't look as good as the others? *sigh*

hautemama said...

Just found your blog..beautiful!

Kevin Charnas said...

DAMN IT KRISTIN!!! I just want to SQUEEZE your ADORABLE little daughter in my arms!!! AAAHHH!! I don't mean hurt her, you know...I just mean hug and hug and HUG HER!!! She is so frickin' CUTE!! You know what? I think I'm gonna print that pic of her and put it on the fridge...is that weird?

Anonymous said...

She is SO CUTE!!!

Alexandra

Lisa & Jeff said...

Eva looks adorable! OMG I hate when the science fair rolls around every year! I think I hate homework/projects more than the kids!

mamatulip said...

I'm not looking forward to school projects. I mean, I could barely finish my own...how'm I gonna do my kid's? ;)

Jessi said...

She is gorgeous! Congrats to all on the "A".

Lotta said...

I think I see an actress in your future...

J.D. said...

Why do teachers give these bleeding insane assignments? Some of the assignments I have heard of have been so monumental that even Dan Rather would have to do a ton of legwork to get them done and reported on.

When I was in school, we had one of those YLP's about a southern author of our choice. Part of the project was to actually INTERVIEW the author, which was somewhat difficult, since most of us didn't know how to navigate the maze of agents, since most authors are unlisted and live in various regions of the country not adjacent to our own, compounded by the fact that some of us were not technically old enough to drive.

I managed to get mine done, but only because my mom sounds pitiful enough on the phone when she wants to.

By the way, Eva as Pocahontas... seriously, Kris, this is a potential child model you have here.

Nikki said...

end of the school year is so bittersweet isn't it.

Good job Mommy, Jake and Eva!

Bonnie B said...

I just finished the first grade, and I know all about the Liberty Bell, ants, bridge building and rotting apples.
I almost know how to print my name correctly. It's a little messy and it's not quite the right font, but it is almost acceptable.

sweatpantsmom said...

What a cutie, and a clever presentation. He deserved an 'A' just for costume design.

Gracencameronsmomy said...

I am glad to have deferred all of this another year!(By not sending him to K)
Congrats on the A!
Lisa

sunshine scribe said...

Hooray for Jake. And could she be any cuter in that costume?!? I love it

~d said...

Kristin,
I am amazed at the projects children so YOUNG are assigned these days! That is remarkable! I don't think I ever had an assignment that detailed...ever!
You must be so incredibly proud!
(thank you for passing by my post the other day...)
Best to you!
~d

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Congratulations, what an interesting complex project for a kid.

Jenny said...

What a FABULOUS picture. The wink...the wig...the adorable little Eva. The cuteness is blinding me.

mollymcmommy said...

what a cute pic, love little girls dressed up :)

m

ciodude said...

I keep coming back to look at that photo. It's simply great. I hope you have it framed somewhere and can look at it often.