Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Darn 4th Grade Projects

As best as I can tell, 4th grade should be renamed "The Year of the Projects."

If it's not a diorama then it is some other project involving recyclables, glue, and countless hours heckling your 9 year old to "get organized."  I might as well be speaking Latin.

In our house, these school projects take on a life of there own.  You may not think a 4th grade project would involves 20 feet of rope, metal clips, lag screws, wood screws, eyeholes, garden ties, plywood, plumbing pipe, and part of an old toilet paper holder, but then you clearly don't have the same vision as my ten year old.

This most recent 4th grade project was to create a simple machine.
The directions were clear.  Create a simple machine (something with a lever, wheel and axle, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, or screw).  Draw the project on paper with clear labels.  The finished project must move a valentine card at least six inches. There must be something on the box that measures 12 inches long, 6 inches long, and 1 inch long.

After reading those instructions, something else became clear. I would be no use to to my son.  I hate projects. I stopped comprehending the instructions after the word "simple."

My creative son quickly got to work drawing a rough draft of his idea.  I saw the sketch.  I thought it was ambitious and would require assistance from a civil engineer.

My hubby, who is not a civil engineer, loves starting projects. He's not as big a fan about finishing them. He just loves starting them.  And he sure loved our son's idea!  I mean really...what's not to love about an excuse to bring out all of your dusty power tools while making multiple trips to the hardware store? Can you ever have too many screws?

At one point, my son referred to my hubby as Clark Griswold.  When I asked him why, he laughed saying, "Because Clark Griswold is always so optimistic, but it never works out for him."

After hearing this, my poor Clark hubby was hell-bent on getting an A on his son's 4th grade project.  Despite its size, I believe my hubby and son nailed it. No pun intended!

I am going out on a limb here by saying a more humongous 4th grade project does not exist.

You have no idea how "happy" this makes me since my son wants to, of course, keep this project for the rest of his life.  Finding a place to store this contraption may require building an addition onto our home.  I voiced this concern to my hubby, but he was too busy playing with his son's contraption to hear what I was saying.   

My fingers are crossed that the next 4th grade project (and I'm sure there will be another one!) will include instructions to keep it smaller than a breadbox.   Please?

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