Jak was extremely excited to be assigned a research project (hoping this kind of enthusiasm lasts his entire education career, but doubtful). He got to pick any topic he wanted. His teacher told me that originally his topic of choice was "physics" but she told him that he probably needed to narrow it down. So then he changed it to "biology" (obviously we need to work on the definition of "narrow it down"). Finally, she convinced him to come up with something more specific---the end result was "frogs". I can honestly say that it would have been SO much easier to just do the darn project myself, but that would not have taught him anything. Despite the complaining, I had him write everything out by himself and decide on the facts from the websites we looked at he would include. It took HOURS. He was so proud of himself and I love the end result.
Jak's class is also learning about community helpers. Basically anyone who has a job in the community. His school asked parents to volunteer to come in and talk about their careers. Jakson wanted everyone he's ever met to present to his class. In the end, we asked Grandpa Criddle and Zak.
Grandpa Criddle talked about his service to the community during Hurricane Katrina (more interesting than talking about his job at Exxon Chemical). He traveled with the Church to Mississippi to help clean up trees, debris, and used a chainsaw. I think that's the real reason he went. Any excuse to use a chainsaw, right? The kids in Jak's class have been practicing how to ask questions and ask they did. Some of the questions that my dad was asked: What road did you take to get to Mississippi? How did you fill up with gas? Who got your mail while you were gone? And then one girl raised her hand to inform us that hurricane winds are faster than a cheetah runs. At that point Jakson told Grandpa that he ought to tell the class about how he used to work at the gas station, Exxon. That started a whole new slew of questions and prompted the comment, "You work at a gas station?? That is NOT a community helper!" Awesome.
Later that day, Zak came to present as well. He taped a large set of road plans to the whiteboard and answered lots of off the wall questions. My favorite was, "Is that I-45?" (referring to the set of plans). It was indeed I-45. I have no idea how that child figured that out. Jakson again had to interject commentary. This time he said, "Dad, tell them what kind of car you drive!!" Zak currently drives a beat up '92 Honda Accord. Definitely not something worth bragging about but Jakson apparently loves that car.