In honor of the recent wrapping up another school year and the start of summer,
I shall write about bugs.
Yes, bugs.

When my oldest was entering the fourth grade, I felt very unprepared.
Apparently fourth grade in the school they attended was the year of field trips and projects.

Field trips…
I was all about the field trips!
Bring on the field trips!
I will be the designated chaperone!

Projects…
Can we just all give a loud, resounding parental sigh and eye-roll for school projects?

I am the naive and rare type of mother who is old-school
And actually thinks the kid should do their own work (Gasp!)
Instead of the parents doing the homework for them.

Horrible, I know…

Apparently the big project of the fall in fourth grade was a bug collection.

I seemed to be the one parent that was unaware of this project until the assignment came home the first week of school.
Apparently all the other parents knew it was coming and had been working on it all summer long.
(I was so out of the loop.)

My kid was the one working on it, digging in the dirt for hours after school,
Looking for bugs, stuffing them in Ziploc bags, and putting them in the freezer.

He worked hard on it.
He worked for hours.
We went all over town looking for a variety of bugs.

When he had enough bugs, we went to the store to get some poster board for the display.

(I did help a little, I will admit. But mostly it was just encouraging neatness and giving organizational ideas. He was a fourth grade boy, after all. Neatness is not their thing…)

He did a great job on it!

It was a fourth grade project
And definitely looked like a fourth grade project.

Poster board, construction paper, glue, hand-written labels…
That kind of project.

We took it into school.

My eyes were huge as I looked at the displays that were there.
Apparently no one gave us the memo that everyone else in the class would have a professional-looking display.
Seriously… there were wooden display cases, people!
Like they had ordered their collection off Amazon.
There were huge beautiful butterflies and large bugs I was fairly certain I had never seen before.
With typed-out professional labels.
‘I couldn’t have even made a collection that nice’ kind of bug collections.

It honestly annoyed me.
A lot.

Parents!
Just let me say
What in the world are we doing?

Why is it that we are making fourth grade bug projects into works of art?
You know the teachers are aware that your kid definitely did NOT do that project, right?
You are fooling no one.

And quite honestly, you are not teaching your child to work hard at all.
You are teaching them to be dependent on you.
You are teaching them that their efforts alone will never be good enough.

I mean
Really?
Do you plan on doing their homework in college too?

Good grief!
What is wrong with a fourth grade project looking like a fourth grader actually did it, anyway?

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