As you know from a previous post, Claire has to give a 2 minute speech at her grade 6 class bat mitzvah. It ends up she turned in the topic before discussing it with me, so I didn't have much opportunity to decide about any agenda I wanted to get across.
Still, she decided on the topic of Miriam and shirat hayam (Exodus 15:20-21).
I don't recall writing before about the homework situation that we parents have to deal with, but I can touch upon it briefly here (and hope to write more about it in the future). Basically, many parents, at least at the school my kids are at, seem to think they can do their kids' homework, especially the projects. HaSafran and I feel very differently than this--what's the point of them getting the homework to learn, if we do it for them? That doesn't mean we don't help them--we do, but we limit it to helping them rather than doing it for them.
All that being said, things like this, like asking an 11-or-12 year old to write a 2 minute speech that is cohesive and interesting, without any guidance, is just ridiculousness. It happens I can manage, and hopefully I have begun to teach her about how to research for and write a speech. But what about all those other parents who aren't well-versed in these things? Shouldn't it be that if the teachers at this age are going to give an assignment like this, that they teach the kids how to do it? Or at least offer some guidance? (In all fairness, I'm not sure what the teacher told them, Claire just came home and said she had to write a 2 minute speech and this was her topic.)
Anyhoo, Claire's speech was 1 of 2 out of the 19 in the class that doesn't need to be worked on further. And the teacher asked her to ask me if I would help edit the other girls' speeches. I am flattered...but I don't think I have the time to teach them all how to do this!
After the bat mitzvah I will ask Claire if we can post the speech to the blog. While I did heavily edit it for her, against my general better judgment, the majority of the work is hers--I assisted her with the research, made her write up rough drafts, which I edited, then had her write more, and then edited those, and then she read it out loud and I timed it, and together we edited it more so it would be about the right length. (It is still a little long, about 3 minutes, but we're getting there!)