On the surface, it may seem that the experience of participating in a science fair would be one of the things homeschoolers miss out on. For most of us, the annual science fair project was part of a traditional public school experience. How can we give our homeschooled kids a science fair experience they’ll enjoy and learn from?
Many homeschool support groups put together small science fairs for their members. Some of the larger groups have quite elaborate programs, with judges and prizes for the winners. Sometimes state homeschooling organizations will put together something similar. It can’t hurt to ask around and see if other homeschoolers you know have some leads. If not, consider starting your own!
However, a science fair project doesn’t need to be in show-ready condition to be a great learning experience. Less focus on competition and more on learning is certainly a viable alternative. The point is that homeschooled kids can learn about science and the scientific method without all the fuss and showiness of a big display. For the younger middle schoolers, easier is often better.
There are lots of books in the public library with suggestions, and even how-to directions for numerous science experiments that can easily be turned into a full science fair project. Add a little imagination and your sixth grader can win the blue ribbon, and learn quite a bit along the way.