Planning Research

 I didn't really mean to start a mini series on research, but I tend to take my posts from what we are actually doing and right now we are doing a lot of research (apparently).

It's been a bit of a break, but I just want to share our proposal form.

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Date:
Topic:

What are you trying to find out?:
What are you going to do?  List any experiments and other resources you will use.:
How are you going to share what you learn?:
When do you plan to have your project finished?:

Researcher Signature:
Mom or Dad's Signature:

I'm not going to upload it to a file sharing site, but if you can use a word processor it will only take five minutes to make yourself and you will be able to adapt it for your own style and requirements.  Basically this document is a contract between the researcher and the teacher (mom).  It is an agreement of work to be completed and includes both the project, how they will present what they learned, and when they will present it.   I tell the boys that they can choose any reasonable time frame for completing the project, but once they have committed to it, I expect them to finish.  I make them sign it and I sign it too.

We keep a stack of the blank proposals with our science and geography "paper" materials.  Projects can really cover any subject area from history, to art, to science, to literature.  The topics are open ended, but almost always inspired by something that we have read or an experiment we have done.

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The level of detail required in the report can be adjusted to the age of the child and their ability level. The same goes for the presentation component.  The important thing to me is that there isn't a right or wrong answer or a specific discovery that needs to happen, it's the process of planning, executing, and presenting what the student has done.  Of course it's a great way to learn about topics too!!

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Aidan prepares a proposal on the topic of Origami

For more information on student research, see the previous posts in this accidental series:

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