...or What I Did Over My MLK Day Holiday

This is the Theme Reading project that The Dormouse has been working on for the past two weeks: Make a diorama of your bedroom using a shoe box or another small box. Create and label the items in your bedroom. Then tell the class about your project.

She finished it on Monday.

Here are a few up close and personal shots. I wish they were better in focus, but my camera is in it's death throes and I was fighting with it at the time. Click to embiggen if you can't see and want to:

That thing under the bed is a supposed to be a kids sized play table with two of her tea set place settings on it, complete with a bowl of flowers.

You can see the button plate and bead-and-button cup and saucer a little better here:

The picture on the wall here is an actual printout of the Greg Olsen print that hangs in her room. (Interesting story about that... I bought it at a cut rate at a local bookstore; it was marked down to almost nothing because the glass was broken. Then I got it home and realized it was a signed print!) I printed a thumbnail off the web for her to cut out. This may be the exact moment where I overstepped my bounds.

The directions for her project were very explicit in that the children were to do it themselves with only guidance and occasional input from the parents. The parents were NOT to do it for them.

But here's the thing: you are asking a six year old to create a scale model of their bedroom IN A SHOEBOX.

So two things are happening here: one) the ability to cut, tape and create things this small is difficult at best for someone this young. At worst, it requires the use of scissors, awls and other pointy things that could easily draw blood. two) while fine motor coordination in a child of six is emerging, when you're asking them to do things like "build furniture that will fit in a shoebox and then place it all inside without destroying the other furniture you just put in there" is like asking Godzilla to build a ship in a bottle without breaking the glass.

So, I'll admit it here and publicly: I helped her. I feel like I probably helped her more than is okay. But I could only watch her destroy that bunk bed so many times while trying to put stickers on the walls before I offered to put some of the more difficult items where they ended up... and since she was hell bent on creating a bunk bed using kitchen items, I insisted on doing some of the more dangerous and tedious things like poking holes through the sponge and threading the straws through the holes.

Since she is generally pretty self-sufficient and really most of the ideas were hers (I only stepped in to rein her in when her creativity got out of hand and she was talking about building balls that actually bounced and trying to cut out pieces of paper for the items in her Operation Game) I don't feel terribly badly about it. It's more her project than mine.

It's brought up an interesting question for me though: how much do you help your kids with their homework? How much is too much? I'm really interested in where others draw the line.

Feel free to berate me in the comments. Seriously, I love it.