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Project – – – Does just the mention of this word make you break out in a sweat?  I completely understand.  The mere word can elicit thoughts of meltdowns, late nights, and lots of time devoted to a multi-faceted assignment which can make or break your child’s grade.  

6 Appropriate Ways to Help Your Middle Schooler with Projects

Once your child enters middle school it is time to start letting them take charge of their assignments including the dreaded project.  This does not mean that you are totally unavailable for assistance.  Very few tweens are ready for that kind of responsibility.
Here is what you as a parent can do to help your child have a successful project experience:

  • Assist your tween in securing project materials.
  • Encourage your child to make project choices (if there are any) based on their interests and not someone else’s.  
  • Help your child break down the project into smaller chunks and set a date for each segment to be completed.  This will eliminate procrastination on both starting & finishing the project.
  • Have your tween ask the teacher any questions he/she has about the project when first assigned. Many tweens don’t like to ask questions but they need to learn to advocate for themselves.  If your child would prefer to ask the teacher privately, before or after class is a good time.
  • Make sure your child uses reliable sources and they are cited if there is a writing component. Tweens need to be reminded that just because it’s on the Internet does not make it true.
  • Be a sounding board for your child to help if he/she gets stuck and needs a little boost to keep the project moving along.  

Helping with middle school projects

Remember this is your child’s project not yours.  Although it maybe tempting to jump in and do the project for them, this would be robbing your child of an educational experience.  Projects are assigned so students can show what they’ve learned about a particular topic.  They also are a great tool to teach skills like research, time management and decision making.   

If you follow the suggestions above, you and your tween will have a more enjoyable project experience. By starting this process now, your child will be ready to tackle any project when he/she gets to high school in a few years.