Tuesday, April 21, 2009


So Edie (4 years old) had some homework last week. Her daycare gave her a big poster board, with her picture in the middle, with the instructions to put things on the poster that she likes, doesn’t like, whatever makes Edie Edie.
Awesome. Puffed up with pride because she was like her big sister now, getting homework, Edie got to work immediately. I did help a bit. I pulled magazines for her to look at pictures and pick some she would like to cut out to glue to her poster. I wrote the words she wanted on the poster (“I like tomatoes!” and did the cutting of the pictures. Edie glued (apparently 4 year olds do not have much faith in the power of glue sticks, which explains why Edie used a quarter of a stick for each image). Edie used her keen eye to place the images on the poster in an aesthetically pleasing way (I did have to fix the pictures of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse – Edie would have left them in a 69 position). The result was an endearing poster, with pictures of tomatoes, balloons, the number 4 and lots of letter E’s (4 and E? Nothing is better than 4 and E. NOTHING). As mentioned, also on there, a slightly debased Mickey and Minnie, Edie’s name written in her own hand, and a big ole picture of her Auntie Lesley’s dog, Bogart. All in all, a wonderful effort, reflecting the spirit of an awesome little 4 year old. We handed in the poster last week, anxiously waiting for it to be hung with those of her peers.

Well, the “installation” took place yesterday.

My God people.

I’m pretty sure some parents stayed up way past their bedtime working on some of these. Trips to Michael’s had been made, 3-D images were glued, poster board had been replaced by better quality, different coloured poster board. Layouts were meticulous, small essays had been written, stenciling took place and I’m pretty sure one was wired for sound (well, I’m exaggerating on that one).

This makes me kind of sad. In no way do these efforts reflect a 4 year old’s talents. I know the parents mean well, and kudos to them for caring so much to turn in such wonderful works of art, but this was a project for your child to embrace! To have fun with a glue stick, to pick pictures that spoke to them, pictures that made them happy. It was meant to give them an opportunity to shine on their own – not for you to show off your made craft skills.

Of course I like Edie’s the best, she’s my kid. But I also think we are going have the better keepsake, a good memory of what was inspiring our child at the tender age of 4.

Sigh. Let your kids be kids.


mare ad mare said...

I have to admit, I'm a little in the middle on this... not for a 4 year-old mind you - heck yeah, let them have fun!
For my 9-year old, I've been helping 'guide' her to create organized presentation boards - but she picks the pictures to print, she writes all the information, she puts it all together.
So I hope there's some middle ground, but yeah, some go WAYYYYYYYYY overboard!!!

alison said...

I don't know what the other kids' 'hero' projects looked like, but Leah's project on Nellie McClung looked like a 9-year-old's project. I helped her do the research online, and I helped proofread the text portions, but the layout and captions and placement of pictures was all her, even though the editor in me was itching to 'tweak' it a little. How else are they going to learn?

raino said...

i'm stuck back at 'homework - 4 year old'?! wow ...that's young but i'm glad it made her feel proud.

~*Jobthingy*~ said...

you will have the better keepsake cause she actually did it