It was Saturday morning, at 8:30AM, and we’re on our way to school? To school? Yes, the whole family was off to participate in the school’s science fair for grades K – 6. Our grandson, with the help of his parents, worked on a science project for over a month and the day to display his project and celebrate all of the hard work had arrived.
It’s important to note that, while this was a school sponsored project, the teacher’s actual involvement was minimal and that participation by the kids was voluntary.
The event was awesome. Science boards were displayed everywhere. Projects were hands-on and the judges spent significant time with each participant. Best of all was being a part of a community where everyone was involved. The toddlers played happily with appropriately designed science stuff and the older kids participated in various activities including running around and talking to their friends. The parents had a good time too. Not only did they get to see their kid’s project displayed but they got to see all of the other projects and talk to other parents. It was clear that parent involvement was high. The PTA bake sale, based on the lines, was a huge success. And, of course, every young scientist received appropriate recognition. The fair lasted for 3 hours. As we started to gather up the project components to go home, I asked my grandson “what about next year?” He became pensive and said “well, it was a lot of hard work, and sometimes I really got annoyed with my parents, but I learned a lot and today was great, so, yeah, I will.”
What did we take away from this, besides seeing our family enjoying the fair? Something we’ve known for a long time. The real constant in a child’s life are the parents. Teachers come and go; curriculums change, friends move away but parents are always the parents. They are the ultimate teachers, it’s not an easy job, but it’s the most important and rewarding job there is.