cool town living

we feel such a special attachment to our little town. it's small, it's quaint, it's southern and full of history! my kids realize how special our little town really is... in the third grade. south carolina history! it's mentioned quiet a few times in the history books. especially when studying the revolutionary war. every year our town hosts revolutionary days. our kids have been going since they were tiny and it never seems to get old. here's a peek from last month.

if i lived in revolutionary times... 
i would want a horse under a beautiful tree .
 i would also love that my girls played in long flowy dresses!
i would also dress my baby just like this... every day.
i can't think of a sweeter sight!

mary claire (my type A child) is loving south carolina history!
 she used her allowance to buy a small collection of  sc artifacts from the merchant tents. 

 she learned a new game of 'hoop something' 
so neat!
after the great sales presentation, we took two.
she also saw her sweet classmate who moved to hawaii lat week.
{insert gi-normous crocodile tears!}

so when it came time for her sc history project,not to my surprise, she picked our town. at first she chose the battle of camden. until we dug deeper into the history and realized what a bloody massacre for our town this was.  so instead she highlighted our town as being the oldest inland city... and all  cool things related. cause it's so cool  :)

i'm going to be critical for just a few! because once in awhile, it's what i do ;)   for this third grade history (diorama) project the students received a clear outline of what was to be expected. oh how i love those!  highlighted in big bold letters explained parental involvement. basically the project must me done by the child! hooray, a student is expected to complete their own project! the parents should help plan and purchase project goodies but the child must complete the project

{you know where i am going with this}

first let me preface my criticism by saying i'm not a hand's off parent. i'm full hands on. 

but hands on parenting is all about teaching independence! and for this project being hands on meant being hands off...tfollow me? :)

i know how easy it is to start out observing, then help just a little, then a little more and before you know it, the parents end up doing the majority of the work. and  how can a child learn history anything if the parent takes over and does everything? 

so, we went to the dollar store, the town archives  and various websites. my project budget rarely exceeds $10. another part of the experience is budgeting and creating things from items you already have. check out the $1 horse stable created from a nativity stable in the christmas section.

i did spray paint the box because the paint we ended up having was black enamel. i  helped only a little with hot glue... but that was it! in the end, i was dying to neaten the project up a bit, fix some paint here and there, add some dazzle... just give me five minutes. but what would that accomplish?  

seeing the projects displayed in the hallway was an a'ha moment... 
  •  amazing that many other parents obviously share my philosophy of sufficient guidance and creative freedom.
  • and amazing that third graders could wire a shoebox with electricity. wow!  

looking at these amazing projects, i wondered how each child felt about their very own project. i wondered how a child would feel if their parent couldn't help and their shoebox sat in the hallway beside a dazzler.  i wondered if during the presentation any of the students said, "my mom or my dad." i wondered how i would have graded them... many years ago in my fourth grade classroom.  what percentage would neatness count? i'll never know. but i do know, there's a lot to be said for training a child for life.
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