chindora: (car)
[personal profile] chindora
Arilyn's 5th grade class has been studying colonial life in America. They had a little project, a frieze, where the kids were given assignments to complete at home, and bring the completed artwork back in to include in the frieze. Arilyn, having lived in Cornwall, naturally piped up that she wanted to make a pub, because if the colonists were anything like true Brits they would have to have a pub nearby. She was given the assignment, with the size guidelines, and media suggestions. She got online, did research into what a colonial pub house might have looked like, and then she went to work. She designed, drew, and painted this herself. I went to school on Friday to take a photo to show her brothers and sisters, because they do not exactly live around the corner from her school anymore.

While I was there, I ran into one of the other parents from her class. We talked briefly, and I told her I was on my way to the classroom to take this photo. I was rather surprised when she frowned a bit, and then said to me, "You know, Arilyn's work made all of the other kids look bad. You really should not try to encourage her to out do everyone else all the time."

Shock does not adequately describe my feelings, but I managed to stay polite, and told the mom that Arilyn had only done what she always does, which is to say her best, and that she was in no way showing off or trying to outshine anyone else.

We went our separate ways, and I took the photo, which I will include here. I do not think that Arilyn did anything wrong by doing her best, and I have no plans to pass on that mother's words to her. Nor will I stop encouraging her to explore and do her best.

Date: 2011-01-24 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krazyfiberkat.livejournal.com

Arilyn should never be taught to do less than her best. Obviously, this mother is taking her own inadequacies against you, because she likes having a mediocre child. I don't see you allowing your child to be a braggart, but encouraging creativity is important. I won't put in writing what I think you should have said to the evil bimbo.

Date: 2011-01-24 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myladyswardrobe.livejournal.com
Gaahh!!!!

And this is why so many children and young people never achieve their full potential. Its not "cool" to be seen as brainy or even simply interested in ones schoolwork.

Ignore that idiot woman. Though, I wonder if it would be worthwhile talking to the teachers. What I'd be concerned about is some possibility of Ari being bullied by other children who have been encouraged directly or indirectly by inadequate and jealous parents!

Date: 2011-01-24 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fittzwm.livejournal.com
How sad for that other mom. I have encountered this sort of behavious at school & scouts. Usually, it seems the other parent is skirting the issue of wanting to say you did the work for your child.

No matter the root of her insecurities, it was a crappy thing to say. I second what myladyswardrobe said about having a wee chat with the teacher.

Date: 2011-01-24 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cartazon.livejournal.com
Yikes! I suppose she's against having elected officials who are actually smart too...

Date: 2011-01-24 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chindora.livejournal.com
Arilyn is probably one of the most modest people I have ever known. She is generous and kind, and always looks for the best in other people. She may brag about her brothers and sisters, but never herself. Arilyn is not bullied by the other kids, but she is definitely ignored. Emma reminded me just last week that when Arilyn gets a bit older she will be in an orchestra, and that there she will meet kids who are more like her, and she is right.

I find it sad how our society (Western, not just American) teaches to The Test. The teachers are pretty much forced to ignore anything that is not on The Test, because they do not have time to work it into their day.

I was told this morning that my child is weird. No kidding. She is apparently weird because she talks about things like the situation in Bosnia, or how cheese was made 400 years ago and how it is similar to the process used today. Weird. This mother was serious. I was telling her that someone had been talking to me about possibly homeschooling Arilyn next year, and this mother told me flat out that she was already weird, and if I home schooled her she would just get weirder.

Don't worry, I just took it with a grain of salt. She is perfectly entitled to let her kids sit in front of a computer or game console every afternoon and all weekend for the rest of their lives. My kid would much rather be weird, and learn how to embroider, how to collect soil and water samples to examine with her microscope, read her Nat Geo magazines or sit and read. That kind of weird I can live with, and be happy about.

Date: 2011-01-24 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tradarcher.livejournal.com
I agree with all the comments here. Your daughter did a wonderful job and should be very proud of her accomplishments. Her work is wonderful.

Date: 2011-01-26 12:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elmsley-rose.livejournal.com
What?

*SPLUTTER*

(I could go on, but that's sufficient I think.)

What an effed up Mum.

(ooops, I did go on, I just knew I'd swear if I kept typing!)
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