The notion that science is complicated is something that parents can help kids overcome by instilling interest in the subjects through strategic teaching methods. A good starting point is to make kids understand that science is not all about complex things but shows in the simple things we do and observe every day. For example, watching the behavior of insects that they find after flipping a rock is part of science. Below are the simple ways you can utilize when teaching science to children.
1. Make science part of family life
Science is a cumulative subject meaning that kids build knowledge from the things they learn. Start a conversation about science-based topics when the children are still young. Discuss science-based issues and activities every day. Make it fun by discussing it when you are engaging in the activities that make them happy, like biking, hiking, or walking a pet. Use the moment to inquire and observe the areas of science that interest the kids and emphasize them. It gives them an urge to pursue the areas independently. Introduce what they may find challenging until it starts becoming part of their life.
2. Pursue science in nature
Many of the natural things that we assume happen naturally have plenty of science behind them. Arrange outdoor lessons on activities in the surroundings that demonstrate science. Children are curious and will soon notice things that happen systematically. A parent at this moment should be ready to answer any questions kids will ask due to curiosity. If you do not know about something that children ask, use the opportunity to learn together. You can, for example, prepare a build a small enclosure and keep butterflies. The kids will have an opportunity to watch the eggs they lay transforming to larvae (caterpillar), pupa, and adult. You may also set up a terrarium with different plants or plant seeds to observe them grow over time for practical lessons.
3. Show science with pets and plants
Pets and houseplants are a great way to help kids understand animal science and biology. However, it can segue into other branches of science as well. For example, cat owners can explain the science behind cat litter that detects bladder stones by changing color. Every visit to the litter box leads to a visible chemical reaction, even when cats are healthy. While small children should be taught to avoid the litter box for health and safety reasons, allowing them to see the urine spots is a simple way to convey the nature of chemical change at home. Meanwhile, older kids can be assigned litter box duty as part of weekly chores.
4. Schedule regular experiments
Experiments in science help to create a better understanding of the concepts kid learn. They expound knowledge by clarifying puzzling aspects of a topic or discover new ideas. An experiment that generates new ideas makes kids develop ownership and develop motivation to learn more about the matter. Experiments are also fun as they provide an opportunity to confirm a theory learned from books or class lessons. Plan simple science experiments for particular days of the week for experimentation to become routine. Do not despair if an experiment goes wrong. Instead, take advantage to investigate the thing that went wrong together with the child. It might even be an opportunity to refine ideas and develop a better understanding.
5. View science documentaries
Science is inquiry-based, but there are some things that we cannot observe to answer all questions. Science documentaries help children to see the concepts and sights that we cannot replicate at home. For example, we know that there are other planets or life in water masses, but we cannot take children who like to study astronomy to outer space. Documentaries enable kids to see close up of celestial bodies or depths of the sea if they love marine biology. Choose age-appropriate documentaries.
6. Supplement curriculum books with others
Reading science books enables kids to learn grasping concepts from an early age. You can find many great science books for kids at libraries or bookstores. Find those that match education levels. They can read them without difficulty to supplement things learned in school.
Start teaching science to kids when they are young soon as they start asking questions about nature and things happening in the surroundings. Concentrate on their passionate areas because nobody wants to learn something that they do not find interesting.