Science Fair Projects

Question: As far as homework and/or Science Fair you wind up doing most of the work? It's like pulling teeth to get my difficult child to sit down and work on something. I don't want him to get a zero but maybe if he did, they might see he needed extra accomodations on the IEP we are pushing for? sometimes I think it's laziness but I know low frustration tolerance and inability to concentrate are also part and parcel of many of these disorders. Thanks.


Well-Known Member
Sigh...I helped. Truthfully I was NO good at it. All eight kids survived but even the brightest never did "shine". I think it was because I helped. LOL. Sorry for making light of it but really it was a recurring school year nightmare for me. I am sure more intellectural family members will give you guidance. All I can do is SIGH. DDD


Roll With It
I will assist, and provide materials, and even provide books with ideas. I will NOT, and did not, ever do the work for my kid. If something needs to be typed and they are not able, they can dictate to me, but that is about all. I do sometimes help them break a big project into manageable segments, but that is it.

If YOU do the project then YOU learn. If difficult child does not do it, he does not learn. A big part of projects and experiments is that they help a person learn the concept. Watching you do it is just not the same.

Let him flunk. Unless/until he is showing them that he has real problems, they are not going to give accommodations. it is HARD, but you have GOT to step back and let him handle things and then you can more successfully get help for him. If you do the work, it does not show school what the problems are. How can they give accommodations if they don't ever get to see the real problems and the consequences of those problems?

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
husband helped difficult child with his science fair project when he was young. He had him sitting with him and helping the entire time but there is no way my difficult child could have done it completely by himself and it was an out of school assignment. If it had been in class he would have received help so I didn't feel like we were "cheating" him.


Well-Known Member
Science fair projects were the bane of my existence because about 90% of parents think that is the time for them to shine after what must have been their miserable experience in school with science fair projects! No 2nd,3rd or 4th grader can even come up with ideas for some of the things I have seen much less built the projects! These things demanded the use of power saws and electrical engineering that kids would have to have at least maybe HS experience. Or kits bought and then parents helping. There were no baking soda volcano's or the seeds between two panes of glass...well except from my kids. And of course, my kids got D's.


New Member
We have our first science fair this year- my son is in kindergarten, so will need some help. I'm onboard with susiestar's philosophy as my guy gets older. Ask me in a few years. I didn't get anything below an A until I was a Junior in HS- I sometimes wonder if I'll be able to stand it if my son mutineys on school.


Active Member
At 11, I would offer support but wouldn't do it, even if that meant a zero. Better to prove to the school now that the child needs more help than to be doing all of his high school classes with him because his IEP is insufficient.


Well-Known Member
At 11... I did help. Here, there is no IEP unless the SCHOOL believes the student needs accommodations, and they thought it was all attitude. He had a good teacher, though, so I stepped on toes and forced her to allow the WHOLE project to be done at home. Then... I scribed and helped edit, suggested layouts and other such things - and got her approval on each section as we went, while including a description of the accommodations applied. Voila! This teacher, and the next one, started providing those accommodations, and by the second school year, we had an IEP.

If I had let him get a zero? School would still have claimed it was becaue he didn't want to - not because he couldn't do the work in the ways the school was demanding.

You really have to know your local system and how it works, and what you are trying to accomplish by "helping". The goal is to get the student working as independently as possible, and definitely independent of "home" help... you do whatever you have to do to get there.