Saturday, December 11, 2010

12/11/2010 Tree-getting

Today we got our Christmas tree, but that hasn't been on my mind as much as Julian's "Heritage Figure" project. I hate these projects.

Next week is so busy that I asked his teacher to send it home this weekend with him, instead of Monday when the rest of the class will get them, so we could get a head start this weekend. Just what we want to be doing over the weekend when we're getting our Christmas tree and hosting a party: schoolwork.

Here's the project description, with a hand-written sample of what sort of things the kids would write.

Once again, the directive "Be Creative!" What pressure! Some of us just aren't! And, we should dress this figure together "as a family." Do they have any idea what it's like for us "as a family" on weeknights after we get home from work and CDC? OMG.

I know kids should be proud of their heritage and families and ancestors -- but not all can be. I tried to convince Julian to do an Irish farmer, since family rumor has it that my grandfather's grandparents came to the USA from Ireland during the Potato Famine. I described the story to him, but he wasn't very interested. And no wonder, by now we have no connection to that heritage.

I have to wonder how the emphasis on "heritage" and "passport to the USA" would play out in schools with primarily African-American children or children of illegal immigrants. It's a lot different when that heritage is recent, and primarily from affluent Asian families who came to the USA for a particular PhD program.

We fall somewhere in the middle; other than what little I know about my French heritage from my mother, I'm not very in touch with any of it. Dave's ancestors, what we know of them, assimilated centuries ago.

Aside from the challenge of the content, projects like this that kids can't do on their own are a serious pain for me. Maybe it's harder for us since our kids so far aren't great at doing them. Gabriel actually does well with writing, but anything that involves drawing or crafting take so much time and guidance from me -- from me! I'm no good at this either. Without my scrapbooking practice, I'd be completely lost. And Julian doesn't show much interest in the writing part.

Today, thanks to getting our tree, Kung Fu, and putting up lights and such, we didn't get anywhere on the school project, other than talking about it. Julian wants to do a kid with a USA T-shirt and wasn't taken by the Irish farmer idea.

It's always fun for kids to run around the tree lot.

It's never fun to stand for a photo! That isn't our tree, but the one we got is fairly similar. It wasn't hard at all to find a nice fluffy tree, which is now in our living room awaiting lights.

Party tomorrow! Finally, some sanity.


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