Your child was assigned to build a model of a volcano, make a map of the country using papier maché, or to write his autobiography. Projects like these can teach students important skills in time management and research. But they can also leave parents wondering about how involved they should be.
Some parents get too involved. Their kids may end up with beautiful projects (they may even win the science fair), but the children don’t get the sense of independence that comes from figuring things out on their own.
Other parents take a completely hands-off approach. This can leave some children feeling overwhelmed—and even unloved.
How can you strike a balance? Here are some suggestions:
- Help your child make a schedule. Kids don’t know how to break long projects into shorter, manageable sections.
- Figure out what supplies your child will need. Do this well in advance. There’s nothing like learning that your child needs 15 Styrofoam balls and glue just after the stores have closed.
- Does your child need to plan any visits to complete the project? Remind her that even a trip to the library can be hard to schedule at the last minute.
- You must help with any parts of the project that involve using the oven, tools, matches or anything dangerous.
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