Omigosh, you guys, KIDS.
I just got back from my 3rd grader’s biography fair. It was the CUTEST THING EVAR. The kids were all dressed up as their chosen biography subject, standing on their desks like wax sculptures. You pushed a ‘button’ on their desk, and they would give you their oral report, starting “I am $FamousPerson.” In cute, tiny voices. So when the room was full of parents, you couldn’t hear what the kid in front of you was saying, but they said it with incredible earnestness.
There were little Cleopatras and Marie Curies and Annie Oaklies. There was an Einstein and a Neil Armstrong and an Elvis. ELVIS, omigosh… little Hispanic kid with a huge smile and an Elvis pose. It was the most adorablest thing in the WORLD. There was a teeny tiny Coco Chanel and a little George Lukas. And the stories, omigosh… when they got to the part where they said “I died in XXXX of XXX” it was delightfully horrible and I was about ded of cute.
But you guys.
My son has been working on this project for three months. I know, because that’s how many times we had to renew his checked-out-from-the-library biography of Thomas Edison. He did most of the reading at home, and most of the report at school. Last week he had to brush up his written report at home. And thus I discovered that he had only read HALF THE BOOK. Because his report had a TON of stuff about Thomas Edison’s early life, and nothing. NOTHING. About his inventions.
THE INVENTIONS, GUYS. The whole reason Thomas Edison is famous.
Me: “You don’t have anything in here about his inventions.”
3rd Grader, looking sheepish: “Well… I didn’t get to that part.”
Me: *shakes fist at sky*
So we skimmed through the end of the book together and wrote a quick list of some of Thomas Edison’s inventions and he added a paragraph that was essentially that list written out. (I have a policy of helping and encouraging, but I won’t do the thinking or doing for him, unless I need to be a scribe because we’re out of time.)
On Monday, he had to take his costume to school to show his teacher. Sunday night we pulled something together. (Really, Thomas Edison wore a suit jacket and a bowtie. It’s nothing like crafting Cleopatra’s dress. Thank heaven.)
On Tuesday, at bedtime, he told me: “I need to have an oral report and practice it. By tomorrow.”
Me: *stare at 3rd grader*
Me: *shake fist at sky*
So I had him summarize what he knew about Thomas Edison from writing his report, and I wrote down what he said verbatum so he had a sheet to practice from. He got to bed late (and lost some priveleges because he had insisted he had no homework after school and could play at a friend’s house), but he had what he needed
The 3rd Grade Biography Fair was this morning. They sang “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and a cute song about how you can be anything you want to be (if you’re willing to pay the price/sacrifice). They invited us to their “museums”, and then we parents got to walk through walls of kids, pushing their buttons to listen to their earnest reports.
Behind every one of those kids was a parent like me who scrambled to help their kid…