Creative Child

Tips for Helping Your Child’s Science Project Turn Into a Success (Without Doing the Work Yourself)

by Deborah Song

How do the scientists know what they know? They utilize the scientific method, which is the process students use in their school or fair science projects. Your young scholar may be coming home with a science project assignment in the very near future, which begs the burning question: how much should you help your child? Here are some ways to help your child without doing the work for her.

1. Keep the goal in mind. The point of a science project is for your child to learn. Sure it would be great for your child to win an award or metal, but it wouldn’t bode all that well for your child’s confidence if she knows mom or dad did all the work. It’s easy to get carried away, creating fancy boards, but try to keep the end goal in mind. 

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2. Plan ahead. The temptation to do the work for your child will exponentially increase if you only leave a couple of days before the project is due. Leaving ample time to work on a project will also motivate and empower your child to do his own work. Nobody works well under stress, especially kids. One of the most helpful things you can do is map out a schedule and break up a science project into digestible bite-sized segments.

3. Settle on a question your child is interested in. Your child will need some guidance when it comes to choosing what question to answer for her science project. But make sure that it’s your child who chooses the actual topic. That way she’ll be motivated to do it. Just make sure she chooses an age-appropriate topic, one that includes an experiment she can perform on her own. Is your child having a hard time settling on a question? Here are some places to look.

A. Consider an old wives tale, like will aunts refuse to walk over chalk? Or will spiders not build webs around coconut oil? Old wives tales are great because they have relevance to real life, and your young scholar may one day be able to shed some light with a her peers or even with grownups.

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