This Article is About
middle school science fair projects
science fair projects
middle school science
middle school kids
valid excuses
science experiment
parenthood
time management
dilemma
mentor
point of view
Backseat Parents With Middle School Science Fair Projects
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Don't you just throw up your hands each time you try to figure out if you middle school child wants your help or prefers to push you away?  It changes daily. Middle school science fair projects  really bring out the Should I, shouldn't I  dilemma. It is hard because in middle school finally the projects get interesting enough for you to take a real interest in just at the time as a parent you should really take a back seat.  Not a back seat driver,  really just in the back seat.  Having been a middle school teacher and survived parenthood during those confusing years, I have put together some tips to help parents of middle school kids who have science fair projects to do.

What Parents Can Do to Help With Their Children's Middle School Science Fair Projects

One . Be absolutely sure you computer and printer are working. Make sure the printer has enough ink, both color and black and white. Middle school kids not only get color creative, but they mess up quite a bit on formatting and tend to print before getting things proofread! The excuse about the printer being out of ink hold no weight with most teachers these days, even though it is one of the more valid excuses from the parent point of view, as parents tend not to keep track of ink levels!

Two.  Let the child do the talking and have them talk through the project and explain it all.  This can be cleverly subtle. When you hear a vague or something that you suspect is just wrong,  you can ask a question as if you are the one confused. Then they might read the directions again, and get it straight. If you have to, you can just flat out tell them to read the directions again, because you are pretty sure what they said won't work.

Three .  Once they have shared the full picture you become the time management mentor so that together you go to the calendar and block off the time to work on it.  If it is a last minute or a simple overnight science experiment, you help them work out the evening schedule, and write it up to put on the refrigerator.  One thing kids tend to leave out with this step is enough time to write up the data, and of course clean up is something totally foreign to most middle school kids.

Four .  The responsibility is totally on the parents  for making sure all of  the materials that they do not have sitting on a shelf someplace, are are bought and ready for when their child is ready to get started. This includes all the markers, construction paper, glue and poster display boards.  Sometimes when there is a last minute project it will mean several quick trips.  If you are lucky enough to have a teen driver they are always willing to get the keys to the car and drive anywhere, so that will help when there is a last minute experiment to do.

Five . Parents can proofread.  This means mainly spelling and grammar. The work must in the kids writing and style.  You can help by double checking the directions and reminding them of steps them forgot about. But just a reminder, don't go and do it for them.   Suggestions and comments on the flow of the display board can be a big help, but the final decision needs to be the child's.

Six.  Parents become the back seat cheerleader and pretty much ignore them like they ignore you when they are in the backseat while you are driving.  Everything else about the project  is out of your hands. The children are the ones that need to learn how to do a science fair project, not you. Your job is done by providing the time, place and materials. Usually kids like to show you what they are doing when you happen to walk by,  and you can let them practice what they will say when they are at their stand in the science fair.

Notice nothing here was mentioned about the best or award winning science fair projects .  The goal for parents should not be to push winning a prize or wanting the best grade, That sends a bad message that  they only succeed if they win.  You want them to learn something, and do the best work that they can, and everything else will fall in place.

he funny thing is that this advice really applies to almost all homework and not just middle school science fair projects. Some parents have a hard time adjusting to the backseat role, and others back off too much.  What really happens is a gradual kind of thing, as 6th graders need more help and guidance than 8th graders.  By the time they hit 8th grade, they should be pretty well set and have the skills to do these things on their own.  You hope anyway. Science experiments for middle school end up being just as much a high school prep thing as they are a hands on learning opportunity for science class.


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
How To Do A Science Fair Project In Middle School With No Help From Parents
To start off, the idea of no help from parents is a little extreme as parents can come in handy for some things, like proofreading, using power tools and taking you to get, and pay for supplies. You do need to learn how to do a science fair project with…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Great Science Fair Projects
If you are anything like me you will want to succeed in most things that you do. Entering your child's great science fair projects into a competition is no different - you want to see your child do well and you want to win. In my opinion the most successful…
By: Chris Evans in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 13, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

All Science Fair Projects Need Nitty Gritty Details Along With Some Fun
There are a number of skills that you need to learn that will be required for all science fair projects. Most people think of doing the experiment and making a cool display board, and that is all well and good, but there are other skills that kids need to learn…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Aug 08, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Great Science Fair Projects Mean What?
Like it or not we live in a competitive world and you can often really see this show up with kids in school. I’m not talking about athletics, but with school projects like when walking around an elementary or middle school science fair. There are always lots of great science…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Sep 12, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Cool Science Experiments for Science Fair- Think Ahead!
Each school and for that matter each science teacher likes to run a science fair differently. Sometimes they change how they do things from year to year, They want cool science experiments and they want the kids to learn something. Sometimes they try to make it less competitive and more…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Feb 20, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

What is the Deal With Award Winning Science Fair Projects? Some Food for Thought
Many times when you think about science fairs, winning a top prize comes to mind. Award winning science fair projects are often used as an advertising tool for projects that are found online. This can help people make a decision, if someone won an award for this, then all the…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 12, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

How To Do A Science Fair Project In Middle School With No Help From Parents
To start off, the idea of no help from parents is a little extreme as parents can come in handy for some things, like proofreading, using power tools and taking you to get, and pay for supplies. You do need to learn how to do a science fair project with…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Science Experiments for Middle School Make Science Fairs More Fun
A middle school science fair can be a fun and interesting event for both students and parents.  Parents are generally pretty amazed at how in-depth science experiments for middle school can be and how many different ideas that are covered. Some of the concepts that are displayed and being demonstrated…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Why Science Teachers Should Assign More Quick And Easy Science Fair Projects In Middle School
In middle school, you often have to jump through hoops to keep kids interested in science , or anything for that matter outside of texting, music, clothes, sports and hormones. Quick and easy science fair projects can make great homework assignments that will perk up the interest factor What you…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

One Day Science Fair Projects Make Educational Middle School Homework Assignments
When you see the words "science fair projects" it is easy to think you are talking about the school gym filled with kids, parents and display boards full of pictures and graphs. But one day science fair projects can also be used as middle school homework assignments for science concepts…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Use Fast And Easy Science Projects for Weekend Homework
When it comes to science homework, teachers are always walking a fine line as to what is really the most effective.  A fast and easy science projects that can easily be done at home, with little help is one way to go.  There will be times the homework needs to…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 08, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Good Science Fair Project Ideas Will Use What You Have at Home
Science teachers often ask their students to find their own experimets for the school's annual science fair . This is a big adjustment for many kids as they are used to having homework just given to them. Some schools start off from first kindergarten and first grade teaching them how…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Feb 20, 2011  
0
  Likes: 3

Use Kids School Projects Ideas For Playdates
Any time a bunch of kids are coming over, a parent has a challenge to keep them happy, busy and to have a good time. Read about
By:  in  Home and Family  >  Parenting   Apr 11, 2011  
1
  Likes: 2

Opposites Relax
Back School 101 We have all heard it in pop music, on talk shows, and from middle school science class…“opposites attract”. When talking about people, we mean opposite personalities attract. In science, we mean opposite charges: positive and negative. Well, in matters of muscle, opposites relax. This simple concept is…
By: Jeff Weiske in  Health and Fitness  >  Back Pain   Mar 18, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

Great Activities for Gifted Kids
So you've been told your child is gifted. You'd love to find some engaging activities where he fits in. Some of these may already exist at your school, and if they don't, suggest them to the teachers! Or volunteer to start a group yourself. Here are 10 great activities for…
By: Kelley Adams in  Reference and Education   Apr 12, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 2148    Report this Article