Sunday, March 14, 2010


End of term always means school project time, unless of course it's Term 1 which also means easter hat parade time as well, which requires 8 litres of icecream to be eaten for the obligatory easter hat vessel. So with two at school, as well as the normal volumes of homework, and after school activities, we have just entered School Project Phase. And Round 1 goes to Rafe who has a presentation to do. This week. The boys school is very keen on presentations and I truly believe there is method in their madness. I can remember standing shaking with fear AT HIGH SCHOOL when faced with the prospect of doing a presentation, admittedly it was one of those "here's a random topic, you have 30 seconds to prepare and then you must speak on this subject for 10 minutes" kind of gig. But the fact is that our kids speak regularly from age 6 onwards in a public environment which is fabulous. It's almost an unspoken rule with the parents that you never mention the "n" word ie. "don't be nervous, you'll be fine" or worse "are you nervous?".

Anyhow between my 2 boys, I have one that "does" and one that hmmm "doesn't" or maybe that should be "won't". Will could speak for hours about nothing and Rafe, well talking isn't his thing yet. Unless of course it's about numbers.

So we are preparing for his speech, and time to 'fess up, there is a smidge of help provided by me to get through this. Success is 8 little cue cards and some pictures. And eye contact.

Question is though, when do you step away and let them do it completely by themself. And suffer the consequences of this. For some of you it may be at age 6, for some it may be high school. It's such a balance between being helping your child succeed by helping them, and helping them succeed by not. The reality is of course, from the experience of parents with more than one child at school, that there simply isn't enough "mum' hours to spread across the children's projects, so the older ones have to fend for themselves. With some last minute editing and pretty'ing up advice offered by mum the night before hand in.

So I'm guessing age 6, with this particular child of mine, is not the moment to be left to the lions. I have helped and given some guidance, but I haven't bailed him out.

Still, I'm guessing that nerves will get the better of him and he'll look down at his cards, reading the whole thing in his very soft voice.

You must want to make life easy for your kids don't you, but often you have to make life hard to make it easy for them in the long run.


  1. tis true - but in my experience - which is more limited than yours - you could write the speech - or do the project - but it still must be delivered. The teachers know who has been helped but in those school hours they must fend for themselves no matter how much you do for them. So write his speech - if it helps his confidence. And keep on helping him if he needs it. Good luck Rafe!

  2. "the Thorny Devil". Ah cute!

  3. Sister, I have been the "audience/critic " for my childrens presentations since Fraser was in Grade 3 - boy, kids these days are PowerPoint professionals. Tip: NEVER LAUGH.Kate produced a wonderful powerpoint on Kevin Rudd. It was very good but it ended with K Rudds smiling face superimposed on a rippling Aussie flag with swelling strains of Advance Australia Fair. It took every once of self control not to scream with laughter. I was only just able to choke out Excellent work sweetie ...