Mine and Mr. Honey's goal in homeschooling our kids is that they turn out to be just, merciful and humble people who love the Lord. Studying God's world definitely works toward the humility aspect, and learning to balance what is known with what is speculated upon helps them learn to be just in their opinions. How does the science fair fit in?
It provides parameters, limits, to their exploration, and requires them to follow a set format-- the scientific method-- to make their points. They realize pretty quickly how very little they know about a subject when they take it on as a project. They learn the value of persevering through mistakes and accidents of timing or nature.
And then they go to the fairs and win some, lose some. This is valuable, too. What factors influenced the judges' decisions? What other avenues of science are kids exploring that they have not yet examined? How can they organize their work and communicate it more effectively?
Last night we saw an entire room full of kids that excel in science, and they all looked different. The kids were treated to some words of encouragement from adult professionals, were told to keep taking those hard math and science classes because they can make a difference. I agree.
We need kids who feel at home in the world of science, that can logically navigate those waters (with beauty and joy, too!) and explain things to the rest of us.
Our main goal in educating our kids is to help them choose to walk with God. Interesting the places it takes us sometimes.
(P.S. Triss took third place in the Division II Earth and Planetary Science Category at the regional science and engineering fair last night, as well as receiving a special first place award from the Association of Woman Geoscientists. She is going to the state competition! We can hardly believe it-- Mr. Honey and I are two performing arts/liberal arts geeks who have been blessed to nurture this child's God-given interest in science. Oh, the places you'll go! Yes, I am bursting my buttons a bit with this. We never thought she'd go so far, especially with us as teachers. It constantly amazes me how the Lord redeems our weak efforts and grants abundant increase. Please forgive the shameless bragging. I'm going to hush now and try to think about other things.)