Monday, May 16, 2011

Project Hell

Here we are, winding down the school year: both The Kids and me. One might think, since there are fewer than 10 days left of school, that life would be settling down some. Study guides would be issued and grades finalized. At least, it is at my school, and it is for The Girl.

Alas, that is not the case for The Boy. He has already turned in one small project and is now finishing two major ones. The first major project is to design a zoo. Yes, design a zoo. The heading on the project says Become a Zoo Architect! I think the teacher's husband is an architect and needs new ideas! Essentially, The Boy has to design a zoo from the ground up. He has to draw the map of the zoo and have specific types of animals. This has to be realistic and he has to have things like restrooms, phones, first-aid stations, concessions, gift shop, etc. Additionally, he has to account for what animals can and cannot be near each other.

Now I normally would not complain about a big, meaningful project, except that this one is lacking one element: meaning! What, exactly, is The Boy to learn from this project? Seriously. I don't understand. Now, if the assignment was to create a diorama with a realistic habitat for a specific zoo animal, I'd understand that. They could have to label either end with animals who could share the habitat and on the back, an animal who couldn't, all along explaining why. That, to me, is educational. Drawing a zoo map? Not so much. The Zoo must be cleverly named, colorfully and creatively decorated, and is due Thursday.

The second major project has meaning. The Boy is to research a country and write a 10 paragraph paper on it. Additionally, he must include two maps (and I can't remember what about the maps needed to be labeled) and some photographs (can be from the internet) that are relevant to the country as a whole or the history of the country. The Boy wrote that paper today and now only has the other stuff to do. That project is due Friday.

In addition to those projects, there was a test today, a quiz and a test tomorrow, and another test Thursday. Then, they have exams.

Have I mentioned The Boy is only in seventh grade?!?! I'm not sure we're ready for eighth!

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