Science, though a very interesting subject, can be quite difficult to pick up. Here in Singapore, children are first introduced to science in Primary Three. If the subject is not made interesting to them, they will get bored with it. They might even start to hate the subject.
They find it difficult. Science doesn’t have to be a difficult subject for children. It is everywhere, even in day-to-day activities. Science is a wonderful thing to learn about, and teaching your child to love the subject will be of benefit to him or her.
Though quite difficult for children at that age to pick up, science can be made easy and loveable for them. Here are some ways you can help your child love science.
Be Supportive Of Your Child’s Efforts To Learn
Some parents may laugh indulgingly at their children when they struggle with something new. Others may sharply criticize their children when they fail to grasp a certain concept. These approaches don’t necessarily help your child, and they may increase your child’s resentment about a subject. Science is already difficult enough: there is no need to make them hate it too! Support your child’s efforts to learn and understand science by:
• Forming a learning partnership with them. You and your child are learning partners, on the same level, rather than instructor and student.
• Ask your child questions about what he/she is learning at school. Prompt answers from them with ‘fill-the-gap’ type of questions.
• Teach your child to know that learning is a gradual process. To learn, they might fail. Failure is just part of the process and not a sign that they should stop learning.
• Give attention to your child’s strengths and talents. Praise him/her on their achievements, whether big or small. This will encourage your child, keeping him/her motivated and willing to learn.
Making Learning Fun
To make your child interested in science, you need to make it simple to understand, engaging, and lots of fun. You can do this quite easily by carrying out science experiments with your child. You can both get into character, wearing coats and goggles or glasses. The kitchen can be the lab, where you and your child can make sugar dissolve in water without the water changing colour. You can make slime using corn flour, or even create static electricity. You can play around with a magnet, or, on a bright, cloudy day, you can go out and observe nature. Take a trip to the Botanic Gardens, Sungei Buloh, or visit the Science Centre. You could also introduce your child to science simulation games, online or offline. When learning is fun, it is easier to understand.
Inculcate Healthy Study Habits
Instill in your child the importance of learning and studying. This involves getting ready for classes, paying attention during lessons, and going over what was taught in class as soon as they possibly can. Don’t just teach him/her and leave them to it though, you should continue to help them. It is important that you help your child stay organized, focused, and in control of their school work. Help them by drawing up a simple timetable with achievable goals that they can follow every day. Help them set up a system for filing their assignments and school papers.
Inculcating these healthy study habits in your child will enable them to be in control of their learning program. This, in turn, will keep them organized and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed. Hence, will everything is taken care of, your child will be further motivated to learn.
Make Science Relevant
Curious children are interested children: interested children are children willing to learn. Making science relevant in everyday life makes it more interesting to children, and they become curious to know more.
Television is a good way to start showing your child how relevant science is. Science documentary channels such as Animal Planet, National Geographic, BBC Earth, and Discovery Channel have a host of information your child can learn from. As you watch these channels with your child, ask them questions like:
• Why do you spread towels to dry after using them?
By spreading them, you increase their exposed surface area. This increases the rate of water evaporation from the towel
• Why is regular exercise good for you?
It is because exercise makes your heart stronger
• Why must you put fresh milk in the fridge?
Because low temperatures slow down bacteria growth, keeping the milk good for longer
• Why must you brush your teeth before going to bed?
Because, when we sleep, we keep our mouths closed. There are some bacteria in the mouth that breathe without oxygen and produce lactic acid, which causes tooth decay. Brushing before bed destroys that bacteria.
Showing your child how science (as it is taught in schools) applies to things they know helps them to understand better and retain new information for longer.
Communication At Best
Always talk with your child. Encourage them to share their opinions with you, and take decisions together. A child who is confident enough to say what he/she feels, knowing that they won’t be judged, is a good learner.
Also, stay in touch with your child’s teachers. This will give you an insight into your child’s curriculum and classroom activities and make you a better support to your child. Also, having a good relationship with the teachers lets your child know that they can trust them. This creates a better learning environment for them
Science is easy when you make it fun and relevant. Encourage your child to ask questions and to form opinions without fear of judgment. Form a partnership with your child, learning new things together. Encourage your child to prevail by praising them and telling them that learning is a process, and failure is a big part of that process. Talk with them and listen to them. Do science experiments and take a walk in nature. In no time, you will have a budding scientist on your hands.
Hungry for articles that teach your child to love studying? Here are some of them:
Educational Movies To Motivate and Inspire Your Child
Can’t Get Your Child to Study? Here Are 5 Tips to Motivate Your Child to Study More.