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High school group projects outside of school?

Posted by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM
  • 33 Replies
I have a son in high school, and basically starting this year his teachers have been assigning a lot of group projects, but not giving time to do them in class. He says the teachers want the kids to get together outside of school to work on them. (His high school got a new principal who is really into involving the kids in more collaborative projects.) Well, it isn't too bad in classes when he has friends and he can pick groups, like in French when he and his group had to make a presentation together. But my issue with this is in classes he has to work with people he doesn't want to - outside school. About a month ago, his biology class had a group project where the teacher assigned groups to make models of brains... They didn't have time to get together so they decided to "split up the work" which turned into him having to do it all alone. But that's not the worst, now in his European history class where he doesn't have any close friends, he had to work with these 4 boys who already know each other well on a short video. The problem is that these are kids I'd never let him hang out with if it was his own choice (which it isn't) They're obviously the druggie type, and on the day they plan to get together the house they'll be going to will have no parents or adults there. I don't feel comfortable having him associate with these boys, and I don't like how his school is having the kids do so much group work outside of school. What would you do if you were me? I want to complain to the school, but he says it would be embarrasing and just to let him be.
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM
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MamaSnaps
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 5:42 PM

This current project I'd definitely call the school. Start with the teacher and the principal. 

I forsee a LOT of issues with these kinds of projects and extra curricular activities. Some families are very involved in other things outside of school (church, skiing, family...) and many kids are involved in varied sports and school clubs-PLUS clubs and sports that aren't part of the school (scouts, rec leagues...) I know that it would NOT work for my child in the fall and winter months. He has football 5 nights a week and on saturday's in the fall and then wrestling in the winter. By the time they get home from practice it's 7PM. There is just enough time for him to get his gear taken care of from today, ready for tomorrow, eat dinner, do homework and flop into bed. getting together with friends? HA! Getting together to do a project? HA HA! We can't do ANYTHING as a family during his varsity sports seasons because school already takes up about 15 hours of his day! 

atlmom2
by Susie on Feb. 20, 2013 at 5:50 PM
I HATE group projects. So glad mine are out of school. Mine always got stuck doing it all.
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sabrtooth1
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 6:52 PM
3 moms liked this

 

 

Quoting MamaSnaps:

This current project I'd definitely call the school. Start with the teacher and the principal. 

I forsee a LOT of issues with these kinds of projects and extra curricular activities. Some families are very involved in other things outside of school (church, skiing, family...) and many kids are involved in varied sports and school clubs-PLUS clubs and sports that aren't part of the school (scouts, rec leagues...) I know that it would NOT work for my child in the fall and winter months. He has football 5 nights a week and on saturday's in the fall and then wrestling in the winter. By the time they get home from practice it's 7PM. There is just enough time for him to get his gear taken care of from today, ready for tomorrow, eat dinner, do homework and flop into bed. getting together with friends? HA! Getting together to do a project? HA HA! We can't do ANYTHING as a family during his varsity sports seasons because school already takes up about 15 hours of his day! 

Sorry--church, skiing, sports, school clubs, scouts, rec league, football, wrestling are NOT AS IMPORTANT AS EDUCATION.  SCHOOL COMES FIRST.  Even tho my kids were involved in extracurriculars, school and school projects ALWAYS came first.  Now, my daughter is a HS teacher--has been for 8 years.  She is also head of her department.  She does not accept excuses--especially ones like this--for an inability to work on assigned group projects.  Teachers are teaching kids life skills as well as the subject they are learning.  One of those skills, is the ability to work well with others--even if they are NOT your friends.  What do you think happens when you get a job?  Other skills are the ability to prioritize, compromise, develop leadership, and see a project thru to completion WITHOUT over-the-shoulder supervision.

As for doing projects outside of school--that IS the definition of HOMEWORK.

If the op does not want her son going to another house unsupervised,which I wouldn't want either, then it is up to her son to step up and get the group to come to HIS house, where they CAN be supervised.  Or, rather than calling the school, she can call the other parents and ask if they know the kids intend to be there unsupervised, and if they would mind her accompanying her son, to be the supervision.  Honestly, in all the projects my kids worked on, they had no trouble getting the participants to come to our house.   

luckysevenwow
by Platinum Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 6:59 PM
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"They're obviously the druggie type,"

You know this how? You've taken the time to get to know them? You've met them?

Oh, wait....you'd could have them come to your house where there is an adult present and where (gasp) you might take the time to know them, and not the rumors and innuendo that is going around about them. Then again, you could trust your son to do the right thing, to remember all that you have taught and let him get his assignment done.

Look, I hate group projects. I get what they are trying to do when they assign them, only they are never fairly done and they tend to hinder the family as whole. If he's saying to leave it alone, then you leave it alone and try to help come up with a solution that does work. The odd's are that your complaints will go on deaf ears with the school.

mumsy2three
by Shauna on Feb. 20, 2013 at 7:35 PM

When I was in HS it seemed like we always had group projects~ I hated it.

At the HS I work in, when group projects are assigned most of the teachers give class time to complete the project. If the kids goof off then they have to do the work outside of class. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to work on group projects in class, lol.

Carmel63
by Bronze Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 7:42 PM
1 mom liked this
  • It would be inappropriate for you to call the school and speak to the teacher or principal.  At high school age kids are expected to work this out on their own.  Group projects done outside the class are the norm.  If you have concerns about no adult supervision, then offer your home as a place for them to work on the project.
tyfry7496
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 11:55 PM
My sons entire high school(grades 9-12) is project based. That is all they do. With kids they don't know and that's done on purpose so they get to know others and learn to work WITH others of different backgrounds. A great way to get used to all the group projects done in college.

Don't call the teacher or principal, teach your child to not judge others and to learn to work with all kinds of people.

If you're that worried invite the kids to your house so you can monitor them or learn to trust your child.
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drfink
by Emily on Feb. 21, 2013 at 12:07 AM

I hate them also.Always a couple that just don't fully participate if at all.

The pp have given you good advice.

ebbierowe
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 12:21 AM
It is good preparation for real life....

Have them come to your house if you are worried
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bizzeemom2717
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 1:31 AM
I agree with the pp, it's good prep for most careers in real life and will def happen in college courses. How do you know these kids are on drugs? If you are concerned have them come to your house.
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