Is it possible for parents to help their child with her first Science Fair project without having a nervous breakdown?

No. Considering the combined parental baggage of perfectionism, overly optimistic time management skills, three kids, two jobs, and various other non-optional duties such as grocery shopping and showering.


  • Start early!
  • Make a plan!
  • Buy adorable radish seeds and potting soil!
  • Pat yourself on the back about how relaxed you both have been and how your child is doing this TOTALLY ON HER OWN, just like she’s supposed to!
  • Realize the night before the project is due that your child types at a speed of approximately two words per minute and even though she OWNS THIS PROJECT, she must please for the love of God let me type something, anything, just tell me what to type to get this freaking show on the road.
  • Walk away and let her type.
  • Pour some tea.
  • Wait for reinforcements, who in this case is your Knight in a Shining Elvis T-shirt.
  • Cook dinner.
  • Wash dishes.
  • Make lunches.
  • Tuck siblings into bed.
  • Cross fingers.

Return to find a dining table covered in poster board, paper clippings, double-sided tape, photos, markers and charts…right alongside a beaming child.

This scientist was wrong. It can absolutely be done, just not without the patience of a saint and the spirit of the King.

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Liked this? Here’s an oldie but goodie you might enjoy!


  1. One of your best ever. I love this. Some day remind me to tell you about my youngest’s kindergarten science fair project, which tested how fast plastic dogs of different sizes traveled when pushed down a cutting board covered in cooking oil. Clearly she was at the wheel of THAT experiment.

  2. Okay, “science fair” ranks right up there with “tax audit” as one of my all-time least favorite word pairs. *hork*

    I give thanks every day that those times are behind us. Granted, they’ve been replaced with middle-school melodrama – but I’m STILL thankful!



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