I have always suspected that, but now it’s confirmed.
Last year my kid was in Kindergarten and the kids were sent home with a paper doll. The assignment was to use whatever they wanted (except uncooked pasta, it attracts vermin) to decorate the little doll and make it “them”. I sat my kid down and we talked about what he wanted to do with his doll. In those days he was very into pirates and he wanted to make his doll a pirate. I gave him the crayons, markers, glue, ribbon, yarn, scissors, etc. and put him to work. I checked in on him to see how things were going, but I never helped him do any of it. In the end he had a scurvy pirate with a mess of yarn hair in his one good eye. He had cut off a leg to make it a peg leg and covered the body in skull and cross bone tattoos. My son was very proud of his work and he happily took it back to school the next day. A few weeks later the Hubs and I were in the school for parent/teacher conferences and we saw a wall where all the dolls were displayed.
My kid’s doll looked like one of the only ones actually done by a 5 year old. Some of these dolls had miniature clothes cut and sewn from fabric, sequins in precise lines, perfectly drawn faces, and braided yarn hair. The hell these dolls were made by 5 year olds!
At that point I felt so torn. I wanted my kid’s doll to look good too (and I could have made that little pirate rock), but on the other hand, do I really want to start doing his homework for him at 5?? Why would a parent do that? Is it a laziness thing? Crap, it takes him over an hour to do it and I don’t have time to supervise this, but I could knock it out in 15 minutes so I’m just going to do it. Shove over, Calvyn, it’s Mommy’s turn. Or is it a perfectionist thing? Oh God! I can’t keep watching her glue her sequins in such a mess, they must be orderly!! Put down the glue and move away slowly, Aighmey!
I think I’m just the opposite. Call me crazy, but I like to see what sort of stuff he can create. My favorite project from last year was a self portrait they did in art class. They drew their self portraits the first week of school and then again at the end of the year after they had learned all kinds of techniques. The first week portraits were a mess of scribbles and mismatched eyes and bad skin tone (if I had any doubt, these portraits confirmed to me that mommy made the paper dolls). When you looked at the portraits from the end of the year you could tell EXACTLY who each kid was. They did an amazing job for 5 and 6 year olds.
No way am I ever going to do my kid’s homework. I did my homework time, thank you very much and the HELL I’m going to do that again. Besides, I’m way too lazy to actually do his homework. And what do you do when you’ve got more than one kid? Who has time for that when I’ve got a new season of Survivor to watch?
Besides, we can’t afford for me to do their homework. They will never get into college if they have to rely on me to do their homework. I can’t remember anything from school. I can help out until about 4th grade and then we’re screwed. I really need these kids to learn on their own, because I can do a bad ass pirate paper doll, but when we get to Geometry, those kids are on their own ’cause I can barely add.
What do you think? Would you ever do your child’s homework? Have you ever done your child’s homework?
Be sure to read my daily rants at People I Want to Punch in the Throat where you’re sure to laugh and/or might be offended (it’s where you can find my R-rated rants).
Read more of Jen at PIWTPITT on Babble Kids.
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