About now in households across the country kids are struggling with that last "big" project for history or science. Whether it is a model of the solar system, a whale report, a policy paper or other research project, many kids and parents are pulling their hair out. Sadly, I have no magic cure. But here is a strategy to try.
Remember that the goals usually are: 1-- to teach your child how to break big projects and tasks into smaller component parts,
2-- to help them learn to work piece by piece rather than to leave it all to the last minute,
3-- to explore or summarize a topic, idea, or concept.
The goal is NOT to frustrate your child or discourage them!
1-Sit with your child and help them break the project into parts. Take a freebie giveaway calendar or make a calendar between now and the due date. Schedule in the in-vetween deadline goals to be finished two days ahead [to allow for emergencies or for the fun of handing it in early!].
2- Challenge your child to work XX number of minutes each day to get to that week's goal. [If you can do it with 10-15 min per day it works best. If it takes more [ex 30 minutes a day] break the 30 minutes into 10-15 minute chunks so the frustration level stays under control yet progress is visible and steady.
3. Choose a reward [I'll use an ice cream sundae party as my example.]
4. Each day they reach the goal put a piece of the reward in place. [sprinkles in a basket or on the shelf, ice ream cones, choc sauce, etc.] This helps them see progress and motivates them to finish.
4. Draw a picture or make a "ticket" for the reward and hole punch it each time they reach a mini-goal. So for example after 5 punches they get a dish of ice cream at home, after 10 they get an ice cream cone at a local spot, after 15 [when the final project is handed in] they can invite a friend [or two] over for a make-you-own sundaes buffet celebration
Alternative to ice cream: movie night, dinner out, trip to a fun park, etc.... choose it to match your child and the difficulty of the project. .
Image thanks and credits to: telegraph.co.uk, loving your child.com, oregonlive.com,
I am a lifelong educator, writer and author, a foster, bio, and adoptive parent, happy mom of five daughters, Grandma to six, Nana to four, and church and theater musician. Oh yes, and all-round optimistic, crazy lady.