How to Help Your Kids Develop an Interest in Science
If you ask school students about the subjects they find least interesting, math and science are likely to top the list. The funny thing is, most children develop an interest in chemistry, physics, biology and other sciences long before they head to school. When they’re very young, their curiosity makes them natural scientists!
Think about how many questions your child asks at a young age, as well as their habit of trying to pick up and examine everything they see. Right from rocks and bugs to twigs, leaves and seeds, their little minds want to explore everything. As they get older, this interest wanes and science becomes just another tough subject at school.
- Create a Science-Friendly Environment – If you encourage scientific reasoning and questions at home, your kids will carry a positive attitude about science throughout grade school and beyond. If you’re dismissive about math, chemistry and physics or telling kids how much you hated these subjects, they’re likely to feel the same way.
- Look for Everyday Examples – Science is actively applied in every aspect of our lives, right from cooking to using the phone. Keep pointing out examples of scientific concepts to children, such as how water vapor condenses into droplets on cold bottles or how gravity makes objects fall to the ground when they’re dropped.
- Try Science-Based Activities – To enhance a child’s interest in science and math, or other subjects they find tricky and boring, help them with hands-on learning. Involve young children in tasks such as measuring out water for cooking (to illustrate volume), planting seeds (to help them understand germination), etc.
- Get Some Science Aids to Help – Continuing with the theme of hands-on learning, science becomes even more fun with the right tools. For instance, a microscope can help kids examine dirt particles, food, plant samples and tap water for bacteria and germs. A telescope would be great for children who like staring at the night sky!
- Head to Science Camp – Or exhibitions at science centers, museums, aquariums, planetariums, zoos… the options are endless. Informal learning activities outside school can involve the whole family, blending fun with study in the best way possible. Hiking, camping and bird-watching also offer opportunities for learning environmental science.
- Use the TV as a Learning Tool – When it’s family TV time, consider playing a nature, wildlife or “how things work” kind of documentary instead of cartoons or movies that you’d usually pick. There’s a number of science and technology-oriented TV shows you could pick from as well, which are fun for kids and grown-ups alike.
- Go Online for More Material – The Internet is full of videos, e-learning courses and study tools that can help kids study in new ways. This also helps when you aren’t very well-versed with a certain subject, since you can get a physics tutor to help your child with homework and test prep as well as fostering their interest in physics. You can also sign them up for online physics tutoring courses.
- Get Up-to-Date as Well – If you haven’t been paying attention to scientific developments and concepts over the years, you can use online tools to enhance your own understanding too. When you learn science online, you’re better equipped to talk about different ways it impacts medicine, engineering and even daily life.
The most effective way to help your child develop an interest in science is to listen when they ask questions or explain a new idea they’ve picked up. Make it clear that you enjoyed helping them. Not only does this create a positive learning environment, but also encourages them to treat science lessons as fun activities instead of boring chores.
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