How To...


I gave my kids an “info scavenger hunt” to do as part of their homeschooling. I was expecting it to take ½ hour at most. Perhaps I was a bit off … by an entire afternoon. But we did learn something - How To Make a Simple Assignment Take All Day:

-          Argue over who gets to use the computer first.
-          Argue that you can’t write because you don’t have a surface on which to write.
-          Claim that the stool suggested as a writing surface won’t work because it “has lines.”
-          Sigh when it’s suggested you place a book on the stool.
-          Argue with your sibling over using one type of paper instead of another.
-          Get side-tracked when one person needs to go to the bathroom and all end up in a different room watching a movie that you’re not supposed to be watching.
-          Claim to not know what to write after it’s been explained several times that you need to write five facts for each topic: Who, What, Where, When, and Why might it be important.
-          Fail to realize that half the info you need is already written down for you on the cards provided.
-          Get side-tracked when someone needs a drink of water and end up playing playdough with your little sister.
-          Start a long monologue about how your pen is out of ink, whose fault it is that you have a defective pen, etc. only to be reminded that there’s a container brimming with pens right in front of you.
-          Volunteer to get the mail, as a magazine that’s due to arrive any day may contain info pertinent to the project. Return 40 minutes later without the mail. Head back out the door to get the mail, only to be stopped by your mother who sends a different child out to get the mail with strict orders that said child returns within 90 seconds or risks the “Wrath of Mom.”
-          Spend 10 straight minutes at the computer gathering info only to find out that you just did your brother’s assignment.
-          Fall out of the computer chair and injure your eye. Writhe on the floor in overdramatic agony while your sibling gets you a cold pack for your eye. Apply cold pack for 3 seconds. Yell at the sibling who is now in the computer chair that it’s your turn.
-          Claim to not be able to find information on your subject, and then when asked what might have happened in that year at that location, proceed to spend 3 minutes telling your mother more info than was necessary to find. Look aghast when your mother tells you that if you know the answer, you don’t have to find the answer, you just have to write it down.
-          Remind your mother that it’s dinner time and volunteer to help with dinner, only to find out that your mother refuses to feed you until you’ve completed the 30 minute/all day project.
-          Spend the next 6 minutes completing the project and then comment about how easy it was.
-          Dodge the things your mother is now throwing in your general direction.

There you have it. And since the kids lost the papers on which they wrote the info sometime during dinner, they may just have to do it all over again tomorrow.

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