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Staying hands-off with your child's homework

The assignment: Make a useful object out of discarded items around your home. Search Pinterest for "recycling projects for school" if your child needs help. And parents, please keep in mind that this is your child's project.

My daughter knew right away what she wanted to make: A robot army out of tin cans that serves as a desk organizer.

My husband and I both talked her into modifying her plan to just a simple pencil holder. Having a whole army, we said, would be too big to carry and difficult to hold together.

We had her sketch out her idea for how she wanted her robot pencil holder to look, and my husband helped her put it all together.

She drew the robot's face on a piece of cardboard and glued it to the top. Two bays from an egg carton served as robot feet, and other strips of cardboard took on the role of robot arms. In the end, it looked like what it was: A project dreamed up by a seven-year-old.

Before this school year, we've seen what previous second-grad…

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