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"Projects"

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    "Projects"

    I would like to have a discussion on "projects". Do you see value in them? One thing that MP does not have (that I find appealing) are projects. I really appreciate this, but as my daughter is in a few activities (4H and AHG) various "projects" come up. My daughter wants to complete badges and do things for 4H, but when it comes to executing a project, it feels very "mom" intensive. I only allowed her to do 2 things at the fair last year because I simply have no 4H experience. I had never heard of 4H until we moved here to Indiana. She did well with the lego project. In fact it was perfect for her. The one part of the project was I didn't realize how essential the board you glue your lego project too was. I have some good friends who did let me in on that and my daughter actually had a GREAT time planning her board and it was really very well done. We had to help her sand the board and show her what to do, but she really did do most of it herself. However, a project that says "create a poster"......we are having a very difficult time with. The only way the poster is going to get done is with me sitting by her side. I just wonder if she hadn't done these ridiculous things in the lower grades if this would have been easier??? I really have to think about the point of the poster and decide what kind of value it is going to add to our life. This particular poster, to earn a "Textile Art" Badge requires her to learn how fabric is made and then illustrate the process on a poster or powerpoint. (She's never used the computer......)

    The heart of my question is, what do people gain from projects? Should we be doing more of them on the side? Why aren't they apart of the MP curriculum? (I can probably answer the last part, but I'm looking for discussion)

    I'm posting this here, because I feel like most kids my daughter's age can rock these "projects" but they cause great anxiety here!
    Christine

    (2019/2020)
    DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
    DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
    DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

    #2
    First, many of our kids in SC lack executive functioning skills off the bat. Even my eldest in full MP cores needs scaffolding and explicit overteaching in organizational task completion. I don't consider that as a lack in MP, because her daily routine of looking at her planner and figuring out which assignment needs to be done by the end of the day or week is an important component of task management.

    Second, have you been around public school kids? My friends with kids in 3-4th grade are still raggedly running around helping their kids make, plan and execute all projects. It doesn't really get until 7th grade that kids will independently complete assignments.

    If I think about group research papers and presentations I assigned to my 10th graders, I scheduled all of the library research days, group class time, computer lab days and rubrics for deadlines on outlines, rough drafts and presentations. My kids with IEPs for ADD or executive functioning issues never had any work done on time. We taught, taught, taught, but for some of us moms with kids plagued by this, it will be a school lifetime of scaffolding and hand-holding to the finish line. In some ways, MP is much more effective in a homeschooling environment at teaching kids to back up steps along the way to a goal because it's up to the student how much time to take in the week prior.

    I think it's awesome that your kids are doing 4H. I also have many outside of class activities that further sharpen my kids' adulting skills, and I don't expect MP or any curriculum to do it all.

    Mama to 2, Married 17 years

    SY 19/20
    DD 9-3A
    DS 6-SC C

    Comment


      #3
      The "lack" of projects is 100% what brought me onboard with MP! ..and actually we joined 4H and AHG precisely for these things to be outside of school work. It's nice they don't have to be apart of our full days, but we can work on them on the long days of winter or during our summer slowdown. I just still wonder their purpose... Can you not do projects and "adult"
      Christine

      (2019/2020)
      DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
      DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
      DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

      Previous Years
      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

      Comment


        #4
        Contrived projects in a group setting in primary school have more to do with John Dewey's Progressive Marxist Utopia than sound means for raising a responsible adult. If your kids have at least one sibling or cousin in which she tries to complete a task, viola, you have a team project. Rake leaves, shovel snow, plant a garden, maintain a compost pile, raise a pet, plan a family trip to a national park where you research park hours, trails, camp accommodations, entrance prohibitions, etc. Get a book on survival skills before you go. Visit a historical house and preread a few historical books before you go, assigning your child 3 good questions to ask a museum guide or historical interpreter. These are all projects. It's people communicating needs and expectations (you two get the rakes, Sarah and I will get the bags and we'll take turns holding open the bags), setting goals (let's rake the side yard, then break before getting the front), delegating (dad can drag the heavy bags to the curb), and seeking help when needed (our neighbor has an additional rake we can borrow, and mom can look up on the city website whether the bags have to be clear or the sticks have to be cut to 4' lengths). I just can't envision a life where these types of events don't already happen, especially given the depth of knowledge MP conveys and how excited it makes both of my kids to read more deeply, travel more broadly, and experience life more intimately with their fellow man.

        Now, if your child is going into the sciences, you might want to sign him or her up for some summer intensive labs or science camps that emphasize a lab with group work, but that is more because exposure, even to an inferior practice, prepares kids for the type of projects that exist at the collegiate level.

        I much prefer to raise a kid who majors in knowledge and wisdom over knowing how to subordinate her voice or expertise to the loudest, least-informed member of a group. Siblinghood has 100% of what a child needs to learn how to deal gracefully with those with which you disagree. But even weekly memory verses, reciting Horatius at the Bridge, running through CC to outline, summarize and develop heads of purpose, or and getting essays written on time provide all the practice needed to figure out "projects."
        Mama to 2, Married 17 years

        SY 19/20
        DD 9-3A
        DS 6-SC C

        Comment


          #5
          Some value can be found in some projects.

          Now that value might range from happy memories made with friends and family -to- experience working with others -to- experience planning a long term project that involves many steps --to- kindling a love in a subject -to- making new friends, etc. etc. All of those things are valuable. What was the value in the LEGO project? I don't know. Only you can answer that.

          Are you asking if projects like the LEGO project are necessary? Well, the answer to that is of course not. But it still may have provided you with some value.

          The key is to decide if the value in the project was worth the cost in time/money/effort that you have to put in to it. In other words, you have to be intentional about your time.

          Here are some questions to ask yourself:
          Could that time/money/effort have been better spent somewhere else?
          Is there a "less costly" method (in terms of time/money/effort) to obtain the same value another way? The answer to that question is going to depend on your individual circumstances. (Example: If the whole value of the project was to make new friends, is there an easier way to do this? The answer to that may be NO for you. Perhaps you live in an area where there aren't many social opportunities for homeschoolers and 4H is it! In that case, it makes the 4H projects take on little more value. )

          Another "check" to give yourself is the ol' perspective question: Will you be glad you did this project 5 years from now? 10 years from now? When your child graduates? Or do you think you might have wished you spent time doing something else?


          Here is a lesson that was difficult for me to learn when I first started homeschooling: You simply cannot say yes to everything. That means that you will have to say no to good things in the hope of saying YES to even better things. That was a hard lesson for me to learn in my earlier years of homeschooling. FWIW--When my children were younger, we did all sorts of projects like this. We didn't do 4H, but we volunteered and joined clubs. Looking back, they provided value for us because we made many friends (who we are still friends with today). The kids also made many happy memories and helped the kids fall in love with homeschooling. The experiences gave us joy--which is valuable. There were a few things we joined which felt more draining than valuable. (homeschool co-op comes to mind!). I quit that and never looked back or had any regrets because I knew I was saying YES to even better things.
          I just still wonder their purpose... Can you not do projects and "adult"
          I am not sure what you are asking in the last line?
          Can adults do projects? If I am any indicator, then YES!
          Cathy aka The Attached Mama
          2019-2020
          DS 12, 7th Grade
          DD 11, 6th Grade
          DS 5, K

          Comment


            #6
            I think projects can be useful, but definitely agree that “real life” projects are the best learning experiences. Anything that was ever assigned to our girls (or even 4-H projects that they randomly picked) were done half-heartedly and ended up only being finished under duress. 😝 However, in their teen years, our daughters became interested in Civil War balls, and went to one several hours from home. They decided they wanted to organize one close to home, and that turned into a project that grew and grew. They realized it was going to cost a substantial amount of money, so they created “The Ladies Aid Society” with three friends to raise the funds. That group of girls designed, sewed, and raffled off a quilt, gave tea parties, and gave programs about Civil War clothing, dancing, and etiquette at libraries, museums, and churches throughout our state. They all learned to present themselves well in public speaking, hired musicians and rented a venue, were interviewed by reporters, and handled all the finances of their venture. Their “project” lasted all through high school and a couple of the girls were still carrying the torch after graduation. The girls are all very confident adults now, and aren’t afraid to try anything from running their own businesses to traveling the globe to organizing women’s conferences at their church... I’m really amazed at all they’ve done!

            Definitely not saying all that to brag (though we were so proud of them!) but to say that a real interest-led project can take a kid a long way, and can have lasting effects in adulthood! ❤️

            Comment


              #7
              From an MP/HLS perspective, I can tell you that we have deliberately kept projects out of our classrooms. Cheryl Lowe felt they were too parent-intensive and not the best use of anyone's time, so we just don't do them! That said, we do have one major project each year that signifies each grammar school grade: 3rd grade does a play on Greek mythology, 4th on Roman history, 5th does a Robin Hood play, and 6th memorizes Horatius at the Bridge. And we do complete some of the enrichment activities in the study guides, which varies by teacher. I remember when I was teaching 5th grade, my students made a Bayeux tapestry, so they got to each draw a scene and we hung them around the room, but that was about it! Many of our students are involved in 4-H and AHG. And they have an art class each week. But not having projects is something we specifically made a rule about for HLS. And that's why they aren't part of the MP curriculum.

              Tanya

              Comment


                #8
                I really love the "capstone project" idea that HLS uses. We did the Famous Men of Rome play at our co-op one year. It was definitely an undertaking (despite our attempts to keep it simple) but the amount of time spent helped the kids solidify what they had learned in a way that a one or two week project never would have done.

                Within MP, I think many of the Enrichment sections in the guides have great projects for learning how to work in a group, how to plan your efforts, etc. I'm especially thinking of Little House in the Big Woods.
                Jennifer
                Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                DS16
                MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                MPOA: High School Comp. II
                HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                DS15
                MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                HSC: Modern European History

                DS12
                7M with:
                Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                DS11
                SC Level 4

                DD9
                3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                DD7/8
                Still in SC Level 2

                DD 4/5
                SC Level C

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by tanya View Post
                  From an MP/HLS perspective, I can tell you that we have deliberately kept projects out of our classrooms. Cheryl Lowe felt they were too parent-intensive and not the best use of anyone's time, so we just don't do them! That said, we do have one major project each year that signifies each grammar school grade: 3rd grade does a play on Greek mythology, 4th on Roman history, 5th does a Robin Hood play, and 6th memorizes Horatius at the Bridge. And we do complete some of the enrichment activities in the study guides, which varies by teacher. I remember when I was teaching 5th grade, my students made a Bayeux tapestry, so they got to each draw a scene and we hung them around the room, but that was about it! Many of our students are involved in 4-H and AHG. And they have an art class each week. But not having projects is something we specifically made a rule about for HLS. And that's why they aren't part of the MP curriculum.

                  Tanya
                  Those sound like such nice projects!
                  Christine

                  (2019/2020)
                  DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                  DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                  DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                  Previous Years
                  DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                  DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                  DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                    I really love the "capstone project" idea that HLS uses. We did the Famous Men of Rome play at our co-op one year. It was definitely an undertaking (despite our attempts to keep it simple) but the amount of time spent helped the kids solidify what they had learned in a way that a one or two week project never would have done.

                    Within MP, I think many of the Enrichment sections in the guides have great projects for learning how to work in a group, how to plan your efforts, etc. I'm especially thinking of Little House in the Big Woods.
                    You are absolutely correct. I am ineffective at implementing them! I get to caught up in perfectionism I can't execute it myself! 😜
                    Christine

                    (2019/2020)
                    DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                    DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                    DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                    Previous Years
                    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by howiecram View Post

                      You are absolutely correct. I am ineffective at implementing them! I get to caught up in perfectionism I can't execute it myself! 😜
                      Haha! We don't do them either unless it's something the kids see and then run with in their free time. That happened with the Appendix for The Hobbit. The boys saw the explanation of hobbit runes and fell in love. The appendix led to us purchasing a book on the languages of middle earth which led to them writing letters and transliterations of scripture in hobbit runes. To this day, they can read them.
                      Jennifer
                      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                      DS16
                      MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                      MPOA: High School Comp. II
                      HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                      DS15
                      MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                      MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                      HSC: Modern European History

                      DS12
                      7M with:
                      Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                      DS11
                      SC Level 4

                      DD9
                      3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                      DD7/8
                      Still in SC Level 2

                      DD 4/5
                      SC Level C

                      Comment


                        #12
                        My kids love dioramas. Maybe assign a diorama from their favorite scene in a lit book? Just imagine the fair scene with a special message from Charlotte all shrunk down to a shoebox size!

                        Personally I can't keep tape or hot glue sticks stocked in my house. They're like gold. My son has created some amazing cardboard creations. We consider it one of his ASD quirks. He made a starwars adat out of wrapping paper rolls and a box, complete with hiding spot with emergency exit. Ha!
                        Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

                        DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
                        DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
                        DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

                        We've completed:
                        Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
                        Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                          My kids love dioramas. Maybe assign a diorama from their favorite scene in a lit book? Just imagine the fair scene with a special message from Charlotte all shrunk down to a shoebox size!

                          Personally I can't keep tape or hot glue sticks stocked in my house. They're like gold. My son has created some amazing cardboard creations. We consider it one of his ASD quirks. He made a starwars adat out of wrapping paper rolls and a box, complete with hiding spot with emergency exit. Ha!
                          I can't remember where we saw one recently, but this did intrigue my daughter! What do you "do" with them when you are done though?
                          Christine

                          (2019/2020)
                          DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                          DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                          DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                          Previous Years
                          DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                          DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                          DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            These things stay for awhile, maybe a month, then they leave. I take a picture upon completion. It never gets printed....but hey....it's "saved" right?
                            Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

                            DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
                            DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
                            DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

                            We've completed:
                            Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
                            Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              We found a great deal on a pair of lockers (6 slots each) at a local shop and each child gets 2 slots for their "specials." The younger kids each get one slot. Before that, the older kids had a rubbermaid box for keeping items. If their locker or box doesn't close, they know it's time to pick and choose what to keep.

                              Sometimes though, there's just no getting around the clutter. The boys are very project-oriented in their free time so their room has model airplanes hanging from the ceiling and three file cabinets (free on FB) that are stuffed with parts/motors/wires/wood for projects. I figure it contains everything and as long as the drawer closes I'm happy. The basement has been taken over by my oldest's wood-turning, the garage has his truck restoration project, and between breakfast and dinner the dining room table is usually covered in any combination of legos, wood, electrical parts, or leatherwork, plus all the girls' clay work. I just have to remind myself that these are things that are really important to them — and then remind them to pick it up before dinner!
                              Jennifer
                              Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                              DS16
                              MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                              MPOA: High School Comp. II
                              HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                              DS15
                              MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                              MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                              HSC: Modern European History

                              DS12
                              7M with:
                              Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                              DS11
                              SC Level 4

                              DD9
                              3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                              DD7/8
                              Still in SC Level 2

                              DD 4/5
                              SC Level C

                              Comment

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