Despite the fact that we have had four 3rd graders, this was our first experience with the very popular wax museum project. Maybe it's a newer thing that came around after Brandon finished 3rd grade? Well whatever, I have to admit that I had a very bad attitude about it at first. I'm not entirely sure why. I mean, it's all about researching famous historical figures...what's not to love about that? Especially if you are a history major like me, am I right? Another admission...I'm so over elementary school. After three kids and then a six year gap before Lilian, I've moved on mentally. Been there, done that and much more focused on higher education, you know? At least this is what I've told myself. Maybe it truly had more to do with a roller coaster of a year that had me preoccupied with other things...things that took higher precedence in my mind than 3rd grade homework. Maybe next year I'll be totally on top of things in regards to elementary school again? Who knows, really. But whatever it was, the wax museum was giving me grief. I was frustrated with all the research and the worksheets to fill out and the poster to make, etc. It was just one more thing. One more thing that after sitting with Lilian to do said research and fill out said worksheets, I would frequently hear back from the teacher that it was all good, but...could I have Lilian fill out the worksheet in this different way, or make sure to highlight pertinent information in this other print out? Which just made me all the more irritable. Despite the fact that I had rather enjoyed learning interesting facts about Pocahontas. (Because you know, as awesome as I think the Disney movie is, it is not historically accurate.)
The big day came. We couldn't find Rebekah's old Pocahontas Halloween costume from years back. Of course...because that would've been too easy. We ordered another native american/indian costume on amazon and Lilian delightedly dressed up the morning of and let me put braids in her hair. Which is a feat in and of itself...she rarely lets me do anything with her hair other than brush it. Just saying. Lilian and I discussed a few poses she could use while standing all wax-like. She made sure she had her note cards for the oral report she was to give later in the afternoon to just her class. And off she went. Bryan and I followed about 30 minutes later.
But then. Oh, but then! I was blown away. Truly. All four 3rd grade classes were set up in the gym. Classical music was playing over the speakers. Parents were making the rounds. The 3rd graders were standing still in their wax poses, all dressed up as their historical figure. Props and posters helped tell their stories. So much work and creativity...they were nothing short of fantastic! I was so hugely impressed. And then I felt ashamed. What an amazing project this had been! What a wonderful learning experience and incredible way to show off their hard work. I wished I had been more supportive and less irritable. This is my last child, the last time I will be doing any of this. And though that thought does relieve me to some extent, shouldn't Lilian get as much attention and focus in her projects as I gave to Rebekah, Julianne and Brandon when they were her age? Because when it boils down to it, I'm normally a huge supporter or education in general and public school particularly. And the programs and projects that the elementary teachers devise to teach my children are often times very creative and just downright cool. The wax museum certainly was.