School Project Madness: Are you the Project Mom?

by Lian on December 6, 2011

Tis the season for all those school projects to get turned in. The “semester long” combo platters of maps/food/calculations/iMovies/dramatic readings/costumed monologues that invariably get done the week they are due. The dreaded Group Projects that sound so good at the beginning of the year that become a scheduling nightmare around the due date. But in the midst of all the Chaos, one person stands out: The Project Mom!

A tip of the hat to all you Project Moms out there! You know who you are:  you’re the ones with endless patience, organizational skills and a glue gun. You have a ready supply of snacks, construction paper and the generosity to give up your weekends and after- school hours for the benefit of other people’s kids’ grade. While the teachers may assign and the kids may turn them in, it’s you, Project Mom that gets the job done.

Which Project Mom are you?

Top Chef Project Mom You excel at quickfires and elimination challenges. You don’t blink an eye when Junior arrives home on Tuesday and announces that “a vegetarian dish from Turkey” is due in class on Wednesday. You have a ready supply of cutting boards, wooden spoons and the good will to schlep to the store, buy the ingredients and oversee the “cooking” by 7th graders who have no interest in food prep.  You plate like Top Chef, even if you don’t look like Padma. Please pack your knives, Top Chef Project Mom, and head to the top of the class.

Dancing with the Stars Project Mom Yes, teaching the kids to tango would be an excellent supplement to their Spanish class, but does it really have to be at your house? Apparently, it does. But nothing scares off our DWTS Project Mom. She danced in her high school production of Grease in 1993. How hard could it be to teach tweens to tango?  Clear out the living room, grab a rose and give it up for DWTS Project Mom because somehow she got those boys to dip the girls without the girls landing on the floor. Three “10s” for you!

Extreme Makeover Project Mom Who sez moms can’t hammer? Don’t let Extreme Makeover Project Mom let you hear that. She’s ready to oversee any large scale construction project that is science-related. She is, after all, the one who hangs the Christmas lights in the house. How hard can it be to wire a dollhouse for extra credit? She knows her way around the hardware store and how to keep 5th graders on task. Get that mom an orange apron.

Project Greenlight Project Mom Technology is great, isn’t it? Now kids have to write term papers about the Civil War and then turn them into 8 minute documentaries that they write, narrate, and edit themselves.  Which is, for those of you beyond  The Project Years, about ten times the amount of work that a plain old term paper required!  Thanks, Freakin’ Ken Burns. But nobody loves a multi-media challenge more than Project Greenlight Project Mom. She understands the need to storyboard,  how to use graphic to stretch the visuals and why a great soundtrack improves even a middle schoolers writing. There’s no Oscar for you, Project Greenlight Project Mom. But maybe an A-.

Breathe deeply, Project Moms. The semester break is almost here!

Embracing my Chaos, Lian


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Cyndi December 8, 2011 at 10:01 AM

I had to laugh because this post reminded me of my project mom days. When my oldest daughter was in the second grade, she had to do an animal report on a poster board, so we went to AC Moore to get craft supplies … I think I basically did the whole thing for her (I know what you are thinking) – it was the first time I ever used a glue gun so there was no stopping me!

When I picked her up after school and she was carrying the finished project home, I bumped into my neighbor, a former second grade teacher. I saw her eyeing the poster and thought, she is REALLY admiring how great this project came out … what a fool I was! Now I know she was thinking, “There’s no way this kid pulled THAT one off … another case of overinvolved parent!”

I learned to back off, way off!

Erin December 7, 2011 at 7:04 PM

I’m a most-from-the-least mom, which means I like to put minimal effort into helping my boys produce the best project possible.

Ok, actually it means I’m lazy mom. I don’t like to get involved in the boys’ projects. I think they should have to do it themselves so that it is THEIR project, not mine.

That said, I just finished baking cookies for my son who came home and told me that he could get 2 National Junior Honor Society volunteer hours if he takes at least 2 dozen cookies into his civics class by the end of the week. So, I’m not above helping out when I can. :-) Those hours are hard to come by since they have to be done AT SCHOOL.

CLSD OPEN December 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

I must confess that as soon as I hear the words “school project” I absolutely cringe. I guess that make me the “not another project?” mom. I know that it ultimately means way too much money spent at Michael’s, too little preparation or information on the part of the student, and a mom who always blurts out (no matter how hard she tries not to) “I already made it through the 7th grade. Now it’s your turn.” And of course, “we” both end up making it through the 7th grade again! ;) I have to hand it to the moms who like and can engineer the projects with a smile on their faces!

Cloud Mom December 7, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Even though there is merit to school projects they can be struggle for the family. I tend to be the “Goggle Mom”. What information can we get from Goggle? What other projects with supplies, directions and photos are posted?How can I use what I have on hand?

It also helps to ask your child for the project information sheet/grading sheet. As a former 7-12 grade teacher it helps when the student, parents, and teacher are on the “same page” when completing the project.

Amy December 7, 2011 at 8:11 AM

I am a dislike projects, project mom. I’m a science/math person…not a creative project person. I’m the, “pray my kids can do it on their own”, project mom. Pretty sure that doesn’t win any awards :) I will also hope that my kids are grouped with another child of a fantastic project mom. Not that I’m not willing to do the work….just the word “project” makes me feel a little nauseous. All of a sudden I’m very worried for my kids’ future. :)

Ann December 6, 2011 at 7:20 PM

So does that Top Chef project have anything to do with Ms. Dolan in the 3rd grade doing it last year? Do you have her to blame for this?

I am not a project Mom, luckily my 6th grader is very organized and can (so far) do them herself. I sometimes need to help with advance planning, but not too much…. my youngest will be a completely different story, I can tell already and she is only 8!

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