Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Cereal Box Book Report

Neal took his finished book report to school this morning, one day early, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I should have taken a picture because I doubt I will ever see it in one piece again. His assignment was to create a cereal based on the book he read and then design a cereal box.

This would have been one of those assignments that I would have LOVED as a kid. I adored projects. Say the word project--science project, art project, history project, service project--man, I was all over it. I could even make projects out of simple assignments. Once in seventh grade the teacher assigned the class to make a timeline of our parents' lives (ours had been too short). I went home and spent the afternoon, evening and into the night working on a poster-sized timeline complete with pictures, artwork and big block letters detailing every event in my parents' lives (theirs hadn't been too long either, in fact my mother would have been younger than I am today. Oh, that makes me a little depressed).

The next morning, I handed in my huge project while the other kids handed in their time lines on lined notebook paper. They, of course, received full credit. They had indeed completed the assignment. I received full credit and a strange look from my teacher. He looked at me with that strange look the rest of the year. Hey, my science project on baldness that year took second place at the State Science Fair, but that's a story for another time.

So, fast forward about . . . um, several years and my son is assigned the cereal box book report. He has no problem reading the book or writing a report but anything involving scissors, glue, and markers completely alludes the kid. Add to that my perfectionist nature and excitement about projects and we have some serious issues. Last year I had to just turn my back, walk away and let him complete all the book report art projects on his own. His handwriting seriously pains me. This year I pulled out the construction paper, scissors, glue, markers and colored pencils and told him to get busy.

When I came to check his progress, I took one look at his drawing of a . . . he said it was a bear, and taught him how to look up clipart on the computer. And the computer is something the kid understands. With a little help from Microsoft Word, Neal soon had a completed (a little messy) book report. **Sigh**

Then I remember that the school year has just started and we must endure many more book reports and even some Utah history panoramas. One day at a time. One day at a time.

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