Annual Project Fair

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Our annual homeschool group project fair is something the kids look forward to all year long. Throughout the school year I will hear over and over again, "I'm going to enter this in the fair!". Before long, we have about 50 potential entries. I try to remind them that we will have plenty of projects to chose from, and that they can only enter one project per category!

Some families are overwhelmed by the whole concept of the project fair. Our coordinator always tries to keep them calm by reminding them that all they have to do is to enter work that they have done in conjunction with their planned topics of study. They don't have to study something completely different just so that they can enter it.

For example, the year we studied the Civil War, all the kids entered work that they had done in conjunction with our study. It really does make it do-able that way.

Our fair is designed to be non-competitive. Each child can enter once in any or all of the categories, but they are not competing against any other entries. We obtain volunteer judges who have some type of "expertise" in the area and ask them to interview each child who has entered something in their category. The judges fill out a pre-made judging form and then award the child either a blue, red or white ribbon based on the calculation of their score.

Project Fair Categories

Here are the categories that we include each year:

  • Science - This includes an experiment, a report or a display about any science related topic.
  • History - This includes a report or display about any history related topic.
  • Art - This includes projects using any art media.
  • Craft - This is different than art in that a craft project is something that can serve a purpose. For example, a knit scarf would be a craft project because it can be used.
  • Sewing - This category includes an optional fashion show where the entrants can wear or display the items that they have made.
  • Creative Writing - Students can submit a poem, short story or even a novel to our judges for this category. The papers are to be sent to the judge about two weeks ahead of time so he/she has enough time to read and comment on them.
  • Public Speaking - This category is a relatively new addition. Any student can enter and either recite an original work or something written by someone else, or give a speech about a topic they have researched themselves. This is a fun one to see how dramatic some of the kids can be.

We schedule the events so that the judges have a couple of hours to go around to each project and speak with the children about what they did and how they did it. During this time the speeches are given.

Next we usually have the fashion show while some of the moms are getting the food ready (yes, another pot-luck dinner)!

By this time the judges are finished and while we all eat they tally up their scores and assign ribbons.

After dinner, ribbons and certificates are awarded to each student who entered. The age range of the students is from 2 years old on up to about 18.

For fun, we add a bake sale and a raffle of items brought by the families from home to help cover the expenses. We invite family and friends to come and view the children's hard work.

By the end of the day we are all exhausted, but the kids are proud of their work and the ribbons they have won. Time to start work for the next project fair!

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