Problem Solving Plans' Index
About Creating Problem Solving Objectives
Students will understand the different roles and responsibilities of family
and the world of work.
Students will be able to describe various work and family management
You are helping a family to develop plan for getting the focus back in their
lives. Here is the family scenario.
Derek and Linda have been married for sixteen years. They have two children.
Paul is fourteen and plays football and basketball at school. Kelly is
thirteen and also plays basketball at school. Both are active in school
Derek owns his own business, but in the last few years, business has
declined a great deal causing financial problems for the family. He is
working extra hours there because he does not have the money to pay much
labor. Six months ago, Linda went back to work for the first time in fifteen
years. She had been working in a mill until she became pregnant with Paul.
She never went back to work after he was born. There was no reason to. Linda
works for an upholstery shop in the area. The hours are long, but she likes
the work and the money is not bad. Linda also helps out Derek at the store
on her days off to save more money.
Between Derek putting in 60 hours per week at the shop, and Linda 45 hours
per week plus, they do not have the time or energy to get work at home done.
When Linda went back to work, she talked to Paul and Kelly about having to
pull more weight around the house, but they are so tied up with their sports
and friends at school that they do not feel they have time to help out.
Kelly feels that it is not her job to take care of household chores; she has
never had to do anything around the house before, why should she now?
Paul and Kelly like having the house to themselves the majority of the time.
Neither of their parents arrives home before 5:30 or so during the week, and
on the weekends, both parents are at the shop for most of the day. Kelly
enjoys her new independence and often stays over at friend's houses without
her parents ever knowing. Mom is always so tired when she gets home from
work that she is in bed by 9:00. Dad comes and goes all day long; neither
Kelly nor Paul will see him for days at a time. Mom tries to get household
chores done after work, but she usually only gets halfway into them when she
gets too tired to finish.
Paul cannot find his basketball uniform for tonight's game. He looks in the
laundry hamper that is overflowing in the bathroom. Sure enough, his jersey
is still in he hamper where he left it after last weekends game. Paul is
furious. Why doesn't mom ever wash clothes on time? She knows he needs it
for his game! Kelly is embarrassed to bring friends home because the house
is such a mess. There are dirty dishes lying all over the house. Sometimes
when she walks into the house it stinks. How can mom leave the house in this
Linda and Derek are both exhausted. They try to find time for leisure, but
something always comes up. They have not been to either one of their kid's
games since last year, before Linda went back to work. Derek wants to help
out, but he feels that his first responsibility is the store. When he is
home, he wants to relax since he works every day of the week. Linda feels
trapped. She needs to work to help the family's finances, but she feels
weighted down by all the extra responsibility she now has. She cannot
remember the last time the family sat down together for a meal, or when the
last time she talked to her kids about what is going on in their lives. She
is not happy with he way things are going. She has considered quitting, but
it would mean a big cut in the family budget. Derek wants her to put in more
hours at the store on top of everything because he had to let go his
part-time worker. Linda does not know how working, especially single
parents, do it.
You are a family resource center employee who specializes in helping working
parents balance work and family in positive ways. You have just met your
newest clients, Derek and Linda Esser. After examining their situation, you
are to devise a plan for them so that they can get some focus back into
their lives. Your services are free to those who need it, so you must also
use resources that are free or low in cost. You are to fill out the
evaluation sheet and then write up a report as to what strategies you advise
Linda and Derek to use and why. You will use the Practical Reasoning Process
as a guide. The attached rubric will describe grading.
The students will create a written plan that could be used by themselves
or another family.
The plan will be typewritten and will emphasize ideas from the
"Balancing Work and Family" unit. This is the final project for the
The plan should include a detailed practical reasoning process that
addresses valued ends, means, context and consequences, as well as
strategies that will be used by the family.
The students will write a full report of the strategies they would
choose for the Esser family. The report must include what they would do,
how and why.
Any data used, like graphs, should be included in the report.
The paper will be neat and typed.
The students have three weeks to complete the activity. A rubric for
grading is attached.
The students will be placed into collaborative learning groups for this
project, so they will also have to use their cooperative learning
As a group, they will determine what
strategies will be used to help the family, but each person will write a
separate report and turn it in.