A Royal Pain

Is it just me or have school projects gone up a notch?

I mean, I was fine with dressing a Turkey like a favorite book character in Kindergarten.
And, celebrating the 100th day of school in the first grade with one hundred tiny items, worked out well.
Building a miniature replica of a city building in second grade was challenging, but my hubby had fun.
But the third grade? An Ancestral Figure
I think I’m out of my league.
We are in the big-time school projects now. We’re talking research, internet sources, an interview with a family member, and a bibliography(!). 
But that’s only part one.
Part two: Design an Ancestral Figurine from a clothespin.
We’ve been working on this family project for a couple of weeks now and we’re just about done. (I use we because we believe in group projects ’round here).
We went with my hubby’s family because the nuts from his tree have been recorded.  Mine? There’s not even a document.
Here’s what we learned:  
  • Part of my hubby’s family comes from England. 
  • There is a family crest.
  • They are said to be English Royalty
  • Once settled in the American colonies, his family helped General George Washington in the New York Campaign.
Yeah, my kids perked up at the mention of royalty
“So, Mom, does this mean I don’t have to clean my room?” my daughter asked as she dug thru the toy box for a crown.
“Everyone in this house is from English royalty. Except you. Right? Mom? Mom?” my son asked as I locked myself in the bathroom. 
(Before someone piled countless chores on me, ripped my dress to shreds and told me I couldn’t go The Ball!)
I gathered a few supplies for the figurine. 
And when I returned from Target yesterday, this is what I found:
I decided three things: If my hubby loses his day job, he can fall back on his doll-making skills; school projects are a pain and we are so getting an A.
Um, I mean, my daughter’s getting an A.


  1. 4


    Yes, it’s all glue guns and glitter now. Wait ’til your kids are in high school. Tonight, I proofed an AP English paper (good thing English is “my thing” – and “he” had better get an A on that, right?) and then quizzed my son on polytomic ions. (Huh?)

    Two weeks ago, I had an entire study group at my house. Not to study, but to make a movie! (That and eat an entire week’s worth of groceries.

    And I love it!

  2. 5


    “PS” – I almost forgot…

    Over the weekend, we have to make a packaging of some sort that will protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from the second floor to the ground. Of course, the project came with an long list of what materials can NOT be used.

  3. 6


    your kids are just way too smart. i don’t think the stupid kids have to do these sorts of projects. when we were in the states the teacher wanted to test my son for the gifted and talented program at school. she sent home a paper talking about all the cool things they would get to do as part of the program. all i could think was how much more work it would be for us! and thankfully we were heading back to turkey before the program started so there was no point in testing him.

    (um…of course you do know i’m joking about the stupid kids right?)

  4. 8


    Too funny, and yet, you are scaring me. I am still on the 2nd grade projects. And your husband should get an A+++ not only for the way it turned out, but the fact that he got involved!

  5. 10


    As always, you crack me up!!! And, I’m so not ready for those school projects. I’ll stick with my “Trace your preschooler’s hand here and paint each finger different. Draw turkey eyes.” That’s enough project talent for me!

  6. 11

    Judy says

    Yeah, we’re in 3rd grade project He!! here, too. We have to construct a replica of a local landmark (not our choice – assigned to the boy) using recycled materials. We’re doing some random church that I didn’t even know existed here. It is due Tuesday. Maybe your clothespin queen can come and help out???

  7. 16


    What a fabulous family project. I am sure you will get a great grade!

    This makes me wonder if I was ever the topic of blogs when I was teaching and sending home projects to my students. Hmmm. . . .

  8. 17


    Our 7th grade “castle out of toilet paper rolls” would work perfectly with your queen. It even had a moat with “water” and a working drawbridge.

    Ya’ll did a GREAT job!

  9. 18


    Don’t you love when they busts out a secret talent? Just found out my husband of 7 years can write PERFECT calligraphy!!?!? Calligraphy! Learned it in “golf school”- never knew!

    We are still on the 1st grade level…I’m bracing myself!

  10. 23


    My mom is the go-to person for World War II info. She left Germany right afterwards. She also is the step daughter of a Hungarian Count. Not that it means anything…lol.

  11. 25


    What an awesome hubby you have!!!
    I’m on my 3rd timing passing the 7th grade….my grades just get better each time! LOL

    I was just complaining to dh about school projects the other day. #2 not only has to do a book report (good thing) but she has to make a puppet show from her favorite part in the book! Dh came up with the ingenious idea of SOCK PUPPETS! Some how I’m thinking ours aren’t going to come out as beautiful as your project!!


  12. 26


    my oldest (only in pre-k) just came home last week with his first family homework. fun & easy. i think kids "projects" should always be called "family homework" because don't the parents do most of the work, anyways?!?!

    i'm sure ya'll will be getting a A – great job, dad!!!

  13. 28


    That is adorable! Ah the things I have to look forward to!

    (I was thinking a faux-fur loincloth would be a safe bet if you take things back to Adam and Eve–or you could do the “pre-Fall” version and turn in a clothespin wearing nothing but a smile!)

  14. 31


    Ah, third grade projects:) I remember that dd’s big project assignment in third grade had me all tied in knots. But we got through it with an A! Now, Lord only knows what kind of project fifth grade will pull out of us:)

  15. 32


    Great job. My husband and I decided early on to divide and conquer. He is in charge of math and science projects and I get the rest.
    Its worked well so far. Our oldest is in 2nd grade and the youngest is 1, we have a way to go.
    I guess we better start working on our clothespin for next year…

  16. 35


    Here I weas thinking I over did it when I typed up a book for Ruth. And when I allowed her to taped clothes onto her body drawing. You guys just are so creative! I hope you “all” get an “A”.
    Cindy P :)

  17. 36

    Jen says

    I know! We are in the middle of a third grade project…building an Indian longhouse. What are they thinking?

    We also believe in “group” projects around here. My husband and I take it on like a personal challenge. My poor son just wanted to glue together some popsicle sticks… it is apparent he is not taking this seriously.

    It’s a fine art to ride the line of “helping” and still doing your best to make it look like the 10 year old actually did it himself..lol.

  18. 37



    School projects seem to be at much bigger thing in US. Here in N Ireland they seem to be minor, infrequent and low key. I know of a family who recently spent a year in Boston, and the stories of the school projects were incredible.

  19. 38


    DAWN- OMGosh! My 14 yo daugheter’s physics class JUST did that project with the egg last week. I am happy to report my daughter’s didn’t break and she got an A!!! She built a cardbord box and filled it with cotton balls around the egg.

  20. 39


    Excellent work.

    School projects may very well be the death of me. My daughter had to do a Thanksgiving project due yesterday. In the middle of the Science Fair Project. I do not love the projects.

    But the clothespin is pretty darn cute.

  21. 40


    so it gets worse??? my twins are in kindergarten and already weve crafted a family tree out of felt fake leaves buttons glue glitter you name it same with a turkey, nd we are making pilgrim clothing out of pillowcases….I cant imagine first grade let alone what y’all are doing I hope god sends me some patience..I better start praying now.

  22. 41


    maybe i can use this to convince my husband that homeschooling IS the way to go… we’re still on the fence but i think you’ve helped me make up my mind! :)

  23. 46


    You ran all up on a discussion that is going hard and heavy in many places. One is part of my own Mom is Teaching (http://www.momisteaching.com) blog where Sara Bennett from The Case AGainst Homework (htt://stophomeworkcom) comments often and the other is where Angela Norton Tyler (www.family-homework-answers) is a big comproponent of at least making sure assignments have meaning plus doing away with weekend and holiday homework.

    Do you take a week’s vacation and continue to do both of your jobs? You know, a parent/spouse plus a teacher of your child’s homework at night? Well, then, your child should get a vacation where he/she can do only one job during vacation and that is rest and relax and play…..that’s what adults are suppose to do regardless of the fact that many take work from the office home with them…

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