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Monday, February 2, 2009

Just in case you didn't know

The ostrich:
- can grow to be up to 9 feet tall.
- can run at about 40 – 45 mph.
- has the largest eyes of any land animal on earth.
- lives in the African savanna (or savannah).
- can kill a lion with a single kick.
- has a claw at the end of each wing for defense.
- eats leaves, lizards and bugs.

Do you know how I know all of that off the top of my head? It’s because we’ve been doing the ostrich project from hades in our house here recently. Complete with research, maps to color, bibliography, and an art project.

We started out on a fantastic note when we went to the library to get some books. I was off work on MLK day and took the kids to the park and then to our city public library to start our research. We got there only to find that all the ostrich books had been checked out. So, mom and dad, who have jobs and can’t get to the library on the very first day that we get the assignment, get punished and have to look at other libraries in neighboring cities.

And for our art project, we couldn’t just do a collage or something simple that was offered as a choice. No. We had to choose to do a clay model of at least 10 inches. Which involved a lot more than just clay, and a lot of cleaning up after we were done.

The whole thing has been driving me crazy.

But it is done and turned in today. Praise Jesus, it is done and turned in today.

Any teachers out there? Don’t you realize that all of this is way more stressful on the parent that the child? Do you think our time materializes out of NOWHERE? Because you know, it’s all about me, here. Don’t give me any of that “teaching them about research” junk. I don’t have time for this.

OK. I’m glad to have that out of my system. I’m better now.

And by the way, her best friend (whose mom is one of my best friends) is the one who checked out all the ostrich books from our city library. I told her to start using her own city’s library, thankyouverymuch.

Overall, it was probably a good experience for her and she learned a lot at the ostrich.

And so did I, just in case you didn’t know.


Cristel said...

For the record..I still feel bad about the book thing.'s not my fault the library only has 2 books about Ostriches!! This is proof we should talk more these days. If I had known...we could have shared the books. Anyway, the clay sculpture looks great!

Kay said...

I TOTALLY agree with you on the project thing. I shake my head when I think about the stuff teachers assign sometimes. It is clearly something a child cannot do unassisted and it drives me nuts. And yes, the time factor and the stress factor can send even the sanest of moms thru the roof! And sometimes it doesn't get much better when they get older. Projects are one of those "don't even get me started" kinda topics! Between the artsy craftsy stuff they could never do themselves.. face it, THE PARENT has to 'figure out' how to make the thing work.. to 'research' on things way too adult for that age group. We had artists one time.. (one of them was) Andy Warhol to be exact.. niiiiice! I did the research for her because I didn't have a clue what I was going to dig up. Nasty! Yeah.. don't get me started! LOL

stacey @ tree, root, and twig said...

I totally feel ya on this one! I could tell you all about the black-capped chickadee, if you like! :)

Holly said...

What a beautiful clay model!! My mom does this as her profession--so I know what it entails. Well done!

Have a wonderful day, Donna!

Anonymous said...

I don't have kids, but I have vivid memories of my poor mom staying up with me until a billion o'clock to finish a teepee project in 3rd grade. I'm sure it was a nightmare for her!

On another note, I had no idea that ostriches have claws on the tips of their wings:D

Anonymous said...

As a never ceases to amaze me that parents will complain about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! If I don't assign out of class work (aka, projects) I get blated for not teaching them skills necessary for the real world. If I do assing out of class work, I hear about it for not realizing that parents don't have time to work with their children. I assing projects 1. because they allow students to be creative in a way other than traditional classroom work 2. they help students with time management and organizational skills 3. because parents SAY they want to be involved, until they HAVE to be involved. Then...holy cow, how could a teacher ASK SUCH A THING! Don't get ME started.

Donna @ Way More Homemade said...

Dear anonymous... I'm sorry you don't get my humor.

Sallye said...


Well done. Mr/Ms Ostrich is a work of art and deserves a place of honor on that huge mantel in the living room. Thank you that you are the parent that is willing to get involved and make it something to remember. We did salt maps and they were way fun and was a bonding experience that we still talk about.


Anonymous said...

Too funny! Good job, by the way.
We'll be embarking soon on ANOTHER science fair project. Joy of joys. I'm excited, can't you tell?

Sarah said...

That is the most incredible Ostrich sculpture done by your daughter that I have ever seen! When she wins valedictorian, won't you be glad you taught her everything she knows about ostriches?

BTW, tomorrow, I'll be making a musical instrument and a nutrition poster. I feel your pain!