Second graders here in our fair city spend a goodly amount of time in the late fall and early winter learning about First Americans -- formerly known as Native Americans formerly known as Indians. At our school, part of this learning includes a "family project" (and we all know what that means) to construct a model of either a teepee, a long house, or a pueblo. This project is assigned the week after Thanksgiving and is due the week before winter break (formerly known as Christmas break) begins.
I'll let that thought sink in for a moment while you ponder the ramifications.
[waiting, waiting, waiting....]
Is it me or do the teachers have some unrealistic expectations? I mean, who thinks that we families have the time for this? January I could do. Hell, I could even have managed it in early November. But now? Do the teachers really think we parents have the time to go to the stores and track down the materials for this project and then spend a few hours on construction?
And if a teacher were reading this right now, I'm sure she'd say, "Oh, but Mrs. B., you shouldn't have to go to the store. Just use materials you have at home already." Right, because we ALL have sand-colored clay in our pantries, just waiting to be transformed magically into a pueblo.
Last year, Graceful opted to build the pueblo, even though I begged her to go with the teepee. Nope. So I went to three different stores to buy enough Crayola Model Magic in the requisite colors. Graceful and I worked together to construct the dwelling, including using toothpicks as the log roof supports. It was a great model and WE got top marks for OUR work.
This year, Elegant has opted to go with the teepee construction, which we can mostly whip up in an afternoon. Granted, we have to find the time to do so -- what with the insane work week I'm having and the 10-12 hours I'll be working on Saturday. So we'll have to find the time next week.
On the way to school yesterday, Elegant was talking about her plans for her model. She's thinking of creating several small teepees and arranging them in a circle around the communal fire. She plans to get some sticks for the logs and to use orange paper to create the flames. I'm just glad she hasn't tried to figure out how to add REAL fire to her model.
Then she said, "And then I'll put some people around the fire roasting chocolate."
Me, "Um El, Indians didn't eat chocolate."
Her, "Mommy! They're called First Americans!!! And I'll just have them roast meatloaf instead."
I think we need to get some books from the library.