Your child is working on a History Day project for school and you probably have a lot of questions. History Day, while challenging. can be just as enjoyable for parents as it is for students. The Maryland History Day team is here to help.
The Maryland History Day competition process is comprised of three to four levels: classroom, school, district, and state. In addition, there is a national competition where winners at the state level compete. Questions regarding the classroom and school level should be directed to the teacher. If you have questions about the district competition, you can ask one of our many district coordinators. Questions about the state and national competition should be sent to the Maryland History Day team.
If your child’s school does not participate in History Day, please contact us for information about how to participate. Are you a homeschool parent? We are here to help you get started and provide you with the necessary resources.
“My children have learned a vast array of skills by participating in National History Day. Not only are they learning research skills, but also a layered knowledge of topics, from the main topic to those infused with it…The impact this annual competition has made on my two kids alone is seemingly immeasurable, as the emotional strength and confidence found from a job well done cannot be calculated.” – Queen Anne’s County History Day parent Robin DeMaso
What is the role of parents?
- Provide encouragement by sharing the experience through discussions about student research.
- Review our Entering the Contest page with students to make sure they are familiar with all the requirements. Make sure you read the rule book. If you have questions, please contact Maryland History Day staff!
- Take a look at sample projects from previous competitions.
- Consult with your child’s teacher to become familiar with the project schedule and deadlines. Deadlines for the state competition can be found on the Maryland History Day homepage.
- Extra help can be found on the Entering the Contest page; this includes worksheets on how to develop a thesis, category-specific guides, as well as other helpful links.
- Provide transportation to research sites (such as libraries, archives, museums, historic sites) and to History Day competitions.
- You can assist with the operation of dangerous equipment, such as power tools, but only students are responsible for the design, construction, and presentation of projects.
- Parents can also help with transporting exhibits and props. But remember only students are allowed to set up the exhibits and props and operate documentary and website equipment.
- You can also help prepare your student for competition judging with practice questions for the interview. Unlike traditional classroom assignments, the competition judges will spend most of the time reviewing the projects with the students and asking a few questions. Students are not expected to do a full presentation. Most interviews will last five to ten minutes.
“I believe the experience was invaluable. The most positive impact that Maryland History Day had on my child was being able to have the opportunity to choose a topic that she was interested in and to be able to present that information in a format that allowed her to learn new skills. I also feel that some of the judges asked insightful questions. The ability to answer questions on the spot allowed all the students to gain experience in public speaking. Overall, the whole experience enabled students to participate in an activity that allowed them to explore a somewhat different set of skills than what is normally offered in the day to day routine at school.” – Maryland History Day parent