Participating in Connecticut History Day is one of the most rewarding experiences a student can have in middle and high school. Both my husband and I saw this firsthand with our son, Timothy, who was a proud member of the Connecticut History Day family from seventh to eleventh grade. As parents it was a joy to see our son develop such a deep passion for his work and a sense of fulfillment in learning. The skills he gained through the Connecticut History Daily are lifelong skills that he continues to use as a political science and history double major at the University of Michigan. And as a parent, you can be an important part of your child’s experience.
It can be tempting at times to try and offer help to your child. Most of the time, that is not the right thing to do. As a parent, you can offer up your opinions if your child asks and assist them in tasks like cutting or assembling. But be careful to not go too far and make their projects for them. This would undermine the benefits of having them do a project on their own.
As a parent, it was a joy to see my son learn valuable skills through the Connecticut History Day. He learned how to research, write, interview and present. But more importantly, he found his academic calling in history. One day during his freshman year he visited his favorite professor during her office hours and mentioned that he was successful in the History Day program. This particular professor has numerous accolades, including tenure in the history department and the law school, multiple books published under her name, and a prestigious MacArthur Genius Award. And when he told her that he was a successful History Day alum, she smiled and said assured him that because of it, he was well prepared for college.
Connecticut History Day Mom
A Note from Connecticut History Day:
We love that our Connecticut History Day parents get excited and are eager to help their students with their projects, but parents do have some rules to follow too. While help is allowed, you are only allowed to help your student when it is reasonable. For more information about reasonable help, Rule 5 - which defines reasonable help from a parent or teacher - from the NHD Rule Book is below:
Rule 5 | Construction of Entry
You are responsible for the research, design, and creation of your entry. You may receive help and advice from teachers and parents on the mechanical aspects of creating your entry, such as typing your paper and other written materials. You may seek guidance from your teachers as you research and analyze your material, but your conclusions must be your own. You may have reasonable help preparing your project.
Examples of reasonable help include:
• a teacher instructs you in how to use an editing software program
• a parent uses a cutting tool to cut the exhibit board or performance prop that you designed
• a teacher offers editing suggestions on your historical paper
• a parent assists in sewing costumes that you have designed
• a teacher shows you or your group how to build an NHD website
• you have photographs commercially developed
NOTE: Objects created by others specifically for use in your entry violate this rule. Examples include a parent editing a documentary or an artist drawing the backdrop for your exhibit or performance. You may receive reasonable help in carrying and placing props and exhibits.