Engaging Your Child in Science at Home!
As parents we have the wonderful opportunity and responsibility for nurturing our children’s growth. Parents play a key role in the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of their child. As parents we can usually find time to read a story to our children, thereby instilling a love of literature, but we are often at a loss as to how to instill a love and appreciation for Science. Science encourages problem solving skills, curiosity and questioning, creative and critical thinking, observational skills and reinforces both literacy and math skills….and it’s FUN! Here are some ideas for fostering Scientific skills in your children.
6 Tips to foster Scientific Thinking at Home
1-See science everywhere. Parents can take opportunities to ask “What would happen if …?” questions or present brainteasers to encourage children to be curious and seek out answers. Children need to know that science isn’t just a subject, but it is a way of understanding the world around us.
2-Lead family discussions on science-related topics. Dinnertime might be an ideal time for your family to have discussions about news stories that are science based, like space shuttle missions, severe weather conditions, or new medical breakthroughs. Over time, children will develop a better understanding of science and how it affects many facets of our lives. Movies and TV shows with science-related storylines are also great topics for discussion.
3-Encourage girls and boys equally. Many girls are left out of challenging activities simply because of their gender. Be aware that both girls and boys need to be encouraged and exposed to a variety of subjects at a very early age.
4-Do science together. Children, especially elementary-age children, learn better by investigating and experimenting. Simple investigations done together in the home can bolster what your child is learning in the classroom. Check with your child’s teacher on what your child is currently learning in class and what activities you can explore at home.
5-Connect science with a family vacation. Family vacations are a great way to explore science. It could be a hiking trip where you explore nature or a discussion on tides during a beach vacation.
6-Show excitement for Science!
Reference: “NSTA Science Matters: Tips for Busy Parents – National Science ….” http://www.nsta.org/sciencematters/tips.aspx.