Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Working on a project

My son recently had a project due that required some research, a presentation and poster board. The smart boy told me about the project when it was assigned. The week before it was due, I asked him if he had thought about what he was going to do for his project.

I’m one of those to-do list people. Knowing something’s due on Friday, I know that I need to do a little each day to minimize my stress. That’s not to say that I can’t procrastinate, because God knows I do that regularly, but I try to meet my deadlines as best I can. T. had one week left to get the project done and I wanted him to see that working on it a little each day would make a difference.

The challenge of kids’ projects is that they don’t know how to do them, but they have to do it themselves. So I posed a lot of open-ended questions. His topic was the electric ray. What do you need to know about the fish? Where do you think you can find the information? What kinds of things do you need to include in your presentation? Do you need pictures? Where can we find them? What do you want your poster to look like?

I was impressed when T. told me he wanted to type all the questions and the answers. Why was I impressed? Because the kid hunted and pecked all the letters. I didn’t spell check him—I let him find any mistakes.

In the end, he got a 100. And I can honestly say that aside from a little help with technology and asking open-ended questions, he did the project himself. He is very proud of himself. And he should be.

How do you help your kid succeed in a major project?

Reace Alvarenga-Smith is a Mom of two in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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