Gransnet forums

unreasonable school project?

(187 Posts)
anxiousgran Wed 16-Jan-19 16:34:40

Dgd brought home a flyer from school about this half terms "challenge".
It is called "Fabulous Fabric". The children have to imagine and draw garments made from re-cycled fabric. Then they have to "brainstorm" the fabric they have available then make the garment/garments, and as the flyer says measure themselves throughout to make sure it fits. Then they have to evaluate their work and make a poster to "advertise" their fabrics, and last but not least, wear their creations in a fashion show.

But here's the rub, she's five years old. Dil doesn't do any craft, and when dgd isn't exhausted after school, at weekends, dil works long shifts so ds can look after both dgds. They have asked me to help dgd with the project.

I was a bit dismayed, not to say upset, first for the poor child, but also myself in having to come up with something within my limitations. I'm not particularly handy myself, but have come up with a couple of ideas with the help of my sister and b-in-l.

Luckily I have some fabric and ribbon and so on, but the project idea will have to come from me as she will probably dream up a Cinderella outfit if left to herself.

At the very least the project will require dressmaking scissors, laying out the material and joining it, without it falling apart when she has to put it on unaided at the fashion show. I think it's all beyond a five year olds capability.

I'm going to use glue or staples where I can to avoid sewing, but that will require plenty of supervision if she does it. I also thought of wonder web type stuff, but that requires a hot iron.

Great Sewing Bee keeps coming to mind, and the pitfalls they encounter! We see dgds and ds most Sundays but only for a few hours and I'm worried it won't be finished in time.

She's bound to lose interest after a bit, and what infant school child wouldn't? So I will inevitably be doing most of it for her, which defeats the object.

Sorry I've made such a storm in a teacup about this, but I couldn't sleep the other night for thinking about it. I don't blame them for asking me though.

Just wondering what other gransnetters think? Also wondering if I've put this on the right forum?

MissAdventure Wed 16-Jan-19 16:38:18

My grandson had homework a couple of weeks ago which required a mango, a pineapple, a brick and all sorts of other things which we didn't have. (A list of about 20 things, in all)
Then he was supposed to liaise with other 'groups' who were doing the same project and report back. hmm

Nanagem Wed 16-Jan-19 16:44:20

My children did similar projects. I would suggest you confirm that they expected to make from scratch. Mine where 5/6 years old , my daughter made a sundress with a pillow slip, lots of ideas on pininterest for these.

I have heard of projects using scrap, carrier bag dresses etc.

Nanagem Wed 16-Jan-19 16:46:16

Oh and ment to say, you could use stick on Velcro for seams perhaps

EllanVannin Wed 16-Jan-19 16:49:02

I'm not surprised you couldn't sleep, anxiousgran, neither would I !
I think the whole thing is more than a bit much for 5 year olds, it's bordering on the impossible as well as insane.

Greenfinch Wed 16-Jan-19 16:49:11

This is ridiculous.A project that cannot be done by the child is nonsense and if it is done by an adult it is worthless and dishonest. I would send a letter to whoever sent it explaining the impossibility of doing the task and take it from there.

janeainsworth Wed 16-Jan-19 16:53:52

I would have felt like you anxiousgran.
Until I got three-quarters of the way through your post, I assumed your DGD was doing GCSE in fashion designhmm

I’m not sure what these projects tell the school about the children who have to do them, apart from who has the most imaginative and resourceful extended family.
And how are the children who don’t have imaginative and resourceful families made to feel, I wonder.

Ilovecheese Wed 16-Jan-19 16:55:29

As nannagem says, pillowcase dresses are the way to go.
Or what about mittens? Draw around her hand to make a pattern, add a seam allowance. This would require sewing, but not much.
Or what about cutting the legs off an old pair of her tights, staple or glue them together at the cut off edge and model as a tie belt. O.K. these will not win any prizes, but shouldn't cause any tears either.

sodapop Wed 16-Jan-19 16:57:03

I agree with Greenfinch this is not a suitable project for a five year old.

MissAdventure Wed 16-Jan-19 16:58:18

The point is that it ends up being an adult that does all of the planning and most of the making of these things.
It really gets my goat!

mumofmadboys Wed 16-Jan-19 17:00:35

It is like a competition for mums!!!

MissAdventure Wed 16-Jan-19 17:05:37

Yes, exactly that.
It really infuriates me.
I have no other family to take over these projects, so it ends up as another chore for me.

wildswan16 Wed 16-Jan-19 17:06:35

The problem with this sort of task is that you will get a few mums who spend a lot of money and make wonderful creations. When it should be the case of a little boy or girl hunting around for something he "could" make something to wear and joining it together in any way he/she can. Draw a picture of it, and wear it at a "fashion show".

Pillow slips, tea towels, dad's old jumper with the sleeves cut off etc etc.

anxiousgran Wed 16-Jan-19 17:29:54

A pineapple, mango and a brick! I feel I've got off lightly.
I just find these types of projects pointless. I'd rather children learned to play properly in the playground or in sports than 'liaise'
I had to make an apron at school and embroider it when I was 11. I didn't sew again until I was 18, and not because I'd made an apron.
I don't want children to do the 3 Rs all the time, but I wish the tasks were a bit more age appropriate and didn't put so much of the onus on parents.
Have looked on Pinterest and got an idea from there, but a 5 year old isn't capable of that.

Elrel Wed 16-Jan-19 17:31:38

Skirt or waistcoat from old sweatshirt? Long scarf into pixie hood? Keep it simple!!
The project instructions do sound as if someone got carried away with their planning however!

jenpax Wed 16-Jan-19 17:33:55

This seems a ridiculous project for a 5 year old! As someone else pointed out these types of projects assume that parents/grandparents have lots of time, spare money and craft skills! When my children were at school I would definitely have struggled with this as I can’t sew to save my life, was on a very tight budget and worked long hours!

anxiousgran Wed 16-Jan-19 17:37:36

I have wondered about taking it up with school Greenfinch. Perhaps dil will.
Also like other gransnetters say it will look like a competition. I'm not happy about this element. Still ours won't be outstanding because my skills aren't. I'll also play it down with charity shop stuff.

SueDonim Wed 16-Jan-19 17:52:36

I'd tell the school the homework is unsuitable for a 5yo and that you have neither the time nor resources to complete it.

LullyDully Wed 16-Jan-19 17:53:26

When my grandson was 5 he had some very imaginative homework; nothing so easy as a page of sums or handwriting practice .

One I remember took place across a week. He had to draw what he saw each evening in the night sky. He went to bed at 7.00, every night we saw a similar moon, the odd star and a satellite, no variety sadly .

The teacher was very imaginative; luckily as an old teacher I had some idea what she had in mind, but many were baffled.So rather a frustrating exercise.

I think anxiousgran that the simpler the better. Plastic is trendy so may be best material to play with. Just look through the recycling bin and make it up with a great hat and maybe shoes.

Even newspaper is good . My granddaughter made a soldier suit for her little brother during William and Kate's wedding using newspaper and sellotape.

ginny Wed 16-Jan-19 17:58:32

I think homework for 5 year olds should be banned other than maybe some reading and spelllings.
I think I would be writing to the school and saying that my child would not be participating in this. If her parents can’t bring themselves to do that then keep it very simple or leave it to them.

Nanagem Wed 16-Jan-19 18:10:32

The thing is it’s not just producing a garment, there’s so much more involved, she has to measure herself, and check it fits, maths, she has to draw what she is making , art and pen skills, she then has to model and tell the class about it, communication, and self esteem building. I would put money on this homework will provide material to be built on for the following term, even history will be covered by comparing what they have made to older costumes.

Idea what to make, large T-shirt, dress length if poss, fabric pens to snaz it up, a belt out of a tie/ silk scarf ?.

MissAdventure Wed 16-Jan-19 18:14:56

Maybe they could do these projects at school then?

Telly Wed 16-Jan-19 18:18:56

This is not really a suitable project for a 5 year old. Perhaps pop over to Mumsnet and see what ideas they have?

agnurse Wed 16-Jan-19 18:40:06

Yikes! I do think that's a bit much. Definitely agree with the pillowslip dress, though. Another idea would be a poncho made from a blanket. Very straightforward. Mum made our camp blankets for Guiding and Scouting this way. Just cut a head-size hole in the blanket and hem the edges of the hole. Job done!

notanan2 Wed 16-Jan-19 18:42:08

A. Its as easy and as hard as you make it: a head scarf Vs a lined dress.
B. Its optional and if its going to be difficult to do at home speak to the teachers, there are always a few kids who do their home projects at school with school staff for various reasons