Tag Archives: school project

Family Topiary Garden

17 Oct

Some families do not fit neatly in the template for a traditional family tree.

Our family is one that is made up of so many root systems merging, in some cases, and veering off, in other cases.

Plus, I was raised in a German & Italian family- both of which have heavy branches, and the baldguy is completely Italian, so his tree, though more traditional in structure, has many branches and shoots.

Mine is further chopped up by adoption (mine), loss and remarriage and a big step family (my Oma remarried after my Mom’s dad died during WW2, she had three kids and married a man with five kids…It’s like the German Brady Bunch).

So putting together a family tree for Alex’s end of quarter project was a challenge and a half…

Thankfully, Baldguy “accidentally” printed all of the name and date labels on Post-It removable labels which came in handy when I was sticking and resticking everything…

This is definitely not a First Grade level project, not in any form.   Like most projects in Elementary school, I think this is more of a test of the parent’s skills instead of the child’s, but that’s just my opinion.

Alex did do so much of it, but there is no way a first grader has the planning skills (or the technological ones) to do this on their own or with minimal parental involvement.  I’m just glad we had nothing planned this weekend…

They should hand out Q&A sheets and planning sheets to build up to this sort of thing.  If the powers that be did that, they would be teaching (by doing, of course!) organizational and planning skills the whole way through.  Instead we learned that we will never find the 40% off any one item coupon from Michaels when we are actually going to Michaels (though they show up everywhere in the house when we are broke or just don’t need supplies)…  We learned that Crayola Squeezable 3D Paint absorbs into the paper covering on science project tri-fold boards, but it will wait until 11:30pm on a Sunday to do this little disappearing act so the whole tree/garden looks like a madwoman did it.

That madwoman would be me.

Anyway,  I wound up doing all of the traditional branches, with photographs.  I, of course, have an extra branch from my biological relatives.  I wound up connecting all like information, all “sources” by color.  My biological “sources” are purple.  My adoptive family is pink.  Baldguy’s family is green.  All of this leads up to Alex, at the very top… For his picture I chose one of him taking a photograph.  I outlined it in purple, pink, and green and put “flash lines” of puffy paint around it so it’s like he is taking a snapshot of his entire family.

I could have used at least 3 of these poster trifold things to at least make this look less mashed and more organized. Then again, I’m a diagram nut.  I adore flowcharts… I swoon over Venn diagrams… But you knew that already.


Off to peel some of this paint and xyron adhesive from my skin.  It’s like a pseudo exfoliation treatment for Mamas!

Then to bed!


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