Our family participates in a small 4 family co-op with mostly Grammar stage children that does history projects, science experiments and art. We just did a simple and fun winter science fair. I know many of you might like to participate in a science fair but there isn’t one available. At least that was our situation so we decided to create one that meet the needs of our family. Here is the story of what we did.
Focus Your Science Fair
The first thing to consider is why are you having a science fair? For our group we wanted the children to have an opportunity to do some public speaking and report writing. Then determine the basics such as when and where your event will take place and anything extra that will happen during the event.
With this in mind we began to set the parameters of the event:
- Set the topic ….we set our topic to Astronomy which is what we studied in the spring. Now you can set your topic to a broad subject like Science, narrower like Astronomy or specific like the water table of Lake Whitney. It’s really is up to you and the goal is for your Co-op’s Science Fair should help to guide you.
- Determine what will occur at the fair….. For instance we did not judge the projects each child submitted. Since our focus was on public speaking and report writing the children stood up and read their reports and showed us their projects. But we did not have any judging and frankly that made the fair a lot easier.Our Science Fair is also our end of semester fellowship so we had a pot luck Medieval Dinner after the children presented their projects.
- Determine the project requirements…. For our co-op the only requirement was an oral presentation. All the parents were asked to have children ready to give an oral presentation. We limited the amount of time a child could talk to 5 minutes, if you have some talkers you may want to consider this.
- The kids gained experience and confidence in public speaking
- They completed a project with a real deadline (rare in grammar age homeschooling!).
- They experienced in-depth learning about a topic in which the child was truly interested, well at least when they began it. Hahaha!
- Also we as the home educator got to see some strengths and weakness in our children and in our teaching.
I would encourage you to organize a friendly or competitive Science Fair in your community for our family it was a very valuable experience and one we will do again.
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