Your children will raise you

April 17th, 2008

And lower you back down.

Dear Parent,
We are starting a new unit in our reading series and as a part of this unit, your child will be writing a biography of a famous person. It can be any famous person, living or dead, from the United States or anywhere else. I ask only that they not choose Dr. Martin Luther King, George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, since we have already studied and written about them.
I ask that you help your child to do the research as part of their homework during these next two weeks. Many biographies for children are written in such a way that the information is hard for them to find. Your child will need your help! Thank you.


Ms. R.

2nd Grade

Mommy, I think I’ll write about C.S. Lewis.

Pause for awe and self-congratulation.

No, I decided on Shirley Temple.


With acknowledgment to Eden Steinberg, editor.


  1. Thank you for this! I just spent an agonizing twenty minutes explaining to my eight-year-old why I would not allow her to do her homework. She was too tired. And, it should have been done earlier in the evening to boot. She then proceeded to spend another twenty minutes screaming from her bed, “I AM NOT TIRED.” Not tired indeed.

    Mean, mean, mean mommy won’t let her child do her homework. Isn’t parenting fun?

    Oh, and it could be worse. At least Georgia didn’t say Paris Hilton!

    Comment by Shalet — April 17, 2008 @ 5:23 am

  2. Oh man, Karen, that is priceless.

    Comment by Kristin H. — April 17, 2008 @ 12:47 pm

  3. Excellent. πŸ™‚

    Comment by denise — April 17, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

  4. I love this!

    Comment by Tedd and Joanna Szeto — April 17, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

  5. Hilarious!

    I think Shirley Temple is an insanely cool person for your daughter to profile in 2008.

    How did our parents help us with our own homework without Wikipedia??


    Comment by Jessica — April 17, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

  6. Really, what’s the big difference between CS Lewis and Shirley Temple? They both examined human consciousness in their own way, although Shirley usually did it in tap shoes with curls bouncing while some very kind black man watched behind her.

    Hmm, maybe there’s not too much similar after all. . .

    Comment by Holly Lash — April 18, 2008 @ 2:48 am

  7. ha ha ha – perfectly told story!

    Comment by Allison — April 18, 2008 @ 8:05 pm

  8. I’ll stop at being impressed that she knows of C.S. Lewis and Shirley Temple … better than webkinz, right?

    Comment by Shawn — April 18, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

  9. That she knows who these people are is impressive in and of itself. Besides, we don’t have dismiss someone because she happened to be cute and her parents made her dance for the camera.

    When i worked at B&N I was amazed at how many parents did the work for their kids. Seems to me that schools ought to give homework that doesn’t require a letter home. And for the children who don’t have parents who will or who can help? When I was a kid, I sometimes suspected that schools liked giving certain assignments just to point out those of us with perhaps less than adequate families.

    Comment by marta — April 20, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

  10. I too am impressed that she knows both of those people.
    Awe and congratulations on your parenting skills and the diversity to which you must expose your daughter.

    Comment by Kapuananiokalaniakea — April 21, 2008 @ 1:30 am

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