Let your child tackle that “impossible” homework assignment, writes K.J. Dell’Antonia in the New York Times‘ Well blog.
Her two fourth graders were told to “prepare a five-minute speech from a biography, to be delivered, not read, from notes on index cards, in costume and in character and with at least one prop.”
Dell’Antonia assumed she’d have to drag them through it, but she and her husband were too busy to do more than “a little redirection to one child early on, a little last-minute glue-gun assistance to the other.”
Her son spoke about Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), while her daughter talked about Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to graduate from medical school.
“Had I helped, the report would have been more about Dr. Blackwell and less about Ginger and Blackie, the horses she had during her childhood,” writes Dell’Antonia.
“It didn’t seem to matter. Their teacher didn’t want the best oral book reports. She wanted their best oral book reports.”
Her kids didn’t get the top grade, but they had the satisfaction of doing it themselves.