How to Raise a Science Lover
All parents want their children to succeed in school, particularly in the core academic subjects. Science is one of those key subjects and is compulsory until the end of GCSE level in the UK, so it’s important for parents to try and help their children find a love of science from a young age. With so many careers demanding science-related qualifications, it’s certainly worth promoting an interest in the subject in your family home so that your child is able to attain decent grades. Here are some tips to help get you started.
Begin by contacting your child’s teachers so that they can give you a little more information about the school curriculum and what your child will be learning about in their upcoming science lessons. You can also ask them for advice on some learning resources. After speaking with them, you should be able to come up with some ideas of activities you can do at home that will complement your child’s school learning. Perhaps you could set-up some safe science experiments using household items like washing up liquid and food colouring etc and explore nature in different ways to spark your child’s curiosity. For instance, you could buy them a magnifying glass and encourage them to have a look at the different bugs and insects, paying attention to their natural habitats etc. Younger children enjoy water play, so next time they’re having a bath you could take a long some random objects and do a sink/float test.
You should also try and normalise science with your home by making it something you discuss as a family on a regular basis. When cooking together, you could talk about how a microwave or an oven works and how once something is cooked, it cannot be reversed to its original state. When driving somewhere in the car, discuss what powers the engine and makes the car move. When you’re sat at the dinner table eating a meal, chat about a medical breakthrough that you’ve read about in the news or some severe weather conditions that are happening overseas. Read books and watch documentaries about science together and visit museums and other exhibits when it’s safe to do so. Different types of learners will enjoy different activities so it’s important to try a few until you find something that truly engages them. For example, a visual learner might love to read books about science, while a kinaesthetic learner would prefer to carry out experiments. The more you talk about and experience science with your child, the more familiar it will feel to them and they will start to understand how important it is to everyday life.
Give your child some space to explore and encourage them to ask lots of questions. Curiosity is an important part of learning so if they come to you with a question, try not to turn them away. If you do so, they might not feel comfortable coming to you with their queries in the future. Try to create a home environment in which inquisitiveness is held in high regard by leading by example and also praising your child when you think they’ve asked something thoughtful or interesting.