3.21.2011

Books a plenty


Just because I had a week full of fun in the garage, didn't mean I was excused from my other duties as Mom.  One such detail is HOMEWORK.  Most of the time I can muddle through with only the occasional eye-roll or weird glance from my kids.  What I hate the most is long term projects.  My kids are procrastinators.  They come by it honestly.  I was just the same in school.  I have tried to instill in them all of the lessons I learned as a child, but sadly they must never believe anything I tell them.  I think it is in the official child handbook.

Last week was "assign a book as a project" week.  Okay 2 or 3 weeks ago, apparently,  was assign a book as a project week, I don't know I never got the memo.  Both Mark and Emma had to make books.  Jack was relieved of this assignment.
Emma's Excellent Examples title page
Emma's assignment was to create a book using fractions of her life.  Let me explain.  Emma's teacher is phenomenal.  She is full of new and creative ideas for teaching her kids.  For the math unit dealing with fractions Emma had to go through her daily life and find fractions.  For example: Emma is 1/5 of our family or a 1/1,000,000 kid.  The catch was that Ms. Jones wanted the book to be "creative."  Creative is never a good word when used around me.  I tend to get a little out of control.  This book was no exception.   Emma and I brainstormed of ways to make her book. We had LARGE poster-board book or the tiny little notebook book.  What ultimately she decided on was the Fabric book.  I thought this would be a good project for her.  She is constantly asking for a sewing project. And we tend to have a steady supply of fabric around here.
Explaining a fraction

I tried to explain one or two possibilities for using fabric.  All of my explanations were followed by a blank stair and a "WHAT?  I don't get it.  I don't see how that will work."   After several attempts I said, "Don't you trust me?  This is what I do.  This is my job and my hobby.  You never question Dad when he gives you an explanation."  To which she replied, "Yes, but he has a real job."  Nice.
Emma is 5/6 the height of Mom

I helped her with several of the pages.  Dragged her upstairs multiple times to try to get her to finish one page or another.  But my attempts were futile.  Consequently, the day before THE BOOK was due there was much crying and hysteria.  The boys both took off to their rooms to try to avoid the volcano that was sure to irrupt at any moment.  It was not pretty.  The book was finished at well past bedtime and she was sent to bed much to the relief of the neighborhood.
Emma has visited 18 of 50 states in the US

Mark's book was much simpler. His assignment was to write a "biography" of sorts, in journal form, for a specifically assigned American during the civil war.  The journal was supposed to cover the entire life of the person, with pictures, drawings and it needed to "look OLD."
Matthew B. Brady
 He finished the typing the project the night before and had me proof read it while he was at soccer practice.  At 9 pm after a shower and another meal he was ready to argue with me.  He proceeded tell me I knew nothing about computers, not a good place to start. "Do you want my help?"   After I lectured him about respect for his mother and the possibility that there might be more than one way to do something, he tired enough to let me help him. I say "tired"  because certainly he would never admit to being wrong. At last we had it printed it out in the format he wanted.

The next day the book was washed with coffee grounds, something we have plenty of around here.  Once the pages were almost dried the pages were crumpled and the edges frayed.  After it was completely dried he punched holes into the paper with a nail punch and bound it with a single ply of hemp rope.  We even managed to avert the catastrophe that would have happened had he used the nail punch on the wood floor instead of outside on the deck.  I can just here him now as he exclaims, "WoW.  Mom I punched all the way through the paper into the floor.  Now I can't get the punch out."

Amazingly 2 out of 2 books were turned in on time.
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