How much parental help will my child need on his/her project? The History Day program brings students and families together. Parents are an integral component of this project as they provide support and encouragement for their children throughout the process. Give support and guidance while your child conducts research. Help your child locate materials and provide transportation to libraries, museums, interviews, etc. Remember, this is the child's project, therefore, he/she should take notes, conduct interviews, and interpret the information.
Who can I contact if I have specific questions about my child's project? There are several resources to contact if you or your child has questions about the project. The first resource recommended to use is the Research Guidebook. Students should be receiving a copy early in the process. It is easy to use and is broken down into chapters representing the seven steps to the research process. Other helpful resources to contact would be the National History Day web site, Wisconsin History Day web site, and your child's history and/or English teachers.
How will my child's History Day experience benefit him/her in the future? History Day is a valuable, lifelong experience which continually brings together and reinforces student, family, and community relationships. Students learn a variety of personal-social skills, such as: working with others; communicating with group members, family members, and community sources; contacting and interviewing people; setting goals and working toward achieving them; meeting deadlines and managing time; persevering and accepting constructive criticism; pushing one's own limits through on-going revisions to improve the final product; and finally, speaking publicly to a variety of groups. History Day is an example of a proactive youth curriculum which teaches skills necessary to be successful in life.
Where can I find more research information? The D.C. Everest History Day Website has provided a list of research sites to locate additional information. The national and state web sites offer additional lists, as well. Another excellent source is to contact your local library.
What should my child do if he/she picks a topic that does not seem to have much research information? Teachers try to provide a list of various topics that students can choose from. A topic list can be located on the Theme/Topic page of this web site. Teachers also guide students in topic selection by providing a preliminary topic selection form. This is used by the student to do some basic research on a few topics for one week. By the end of the week, the student will have had a chance to determine the best topic for him or herself.
It should be noted that teachers encourage students to choose local/state topics. Preliminary research and resources on these topics will be slightly different and may not seem as numerous in the beginning as a national topic would have. State and local topics are encouraged for students who are interested in competing.
Is it mandatory for all students to participate in the contest? It is not mandatory for students to participate in the contest, however, it is mandatory for all eighth-grade students and high school students who have taken particular social studies classes to participate in researching and creating a project.
Where can I get more information about the contest? The two best places to find out information about the contest is the National History Day and the D.C. Everest web sites. These provide various information from the history of the program to the contest rules and regulations. The D.C. Everest web site also provides contest information and links to national and state websites.
What if my child is having difficulty working with his partner, what should he/she do? Students and parents are warned at the beginning of the project that groups can be challenging and to choose partners carefully. Usually problems begin when there is a break down of communication between partners. It is important to provide time for partners to meet and discuss the progress of their project and their roles. Communication is one of the most important skills a student learns from this project. Encourage your child to work things out with their partner in a positive and assertive manner.
Will History Day cost my family a lot of money? It is a goal of the school district to provide as much material support as possible for students working on History Day. The district offers a variety of materials for free, such as, computer technologies, exhibit boards, costumes, laminating film, paper, banners, adhesives, photo cameras and film. A recent poll taken by some of the history teachers reflects that parents and children often discuss a limit on money put into this project. Most parents expressed that they did not find the project to be costly. They often sited the costs to range from $20-$30.
When will this project be due and how can I monitor my child's progress? The Junior High students' History Day project is due usually in the spring around February.
The Senior High students' projects are due near the end of the first semester or several weeks into the second semester. It depends on the particular class in which they are taking.