Science is one of those subjects that kids love when they’re very young and then, as they grow older many kids tend to grow out of it. Hopefully, they may come back to it—but for the late elementary and middle school years, getting kids to appreciate and even love science again can be difficult. This is especially true if the child has already become convinced that he or she is bad at the subject (or those that relate to it, like math).
So how can you help your kids come back to the fold, so to speak?
Here’s the thing. This distaste for science usually happens right around the time that distaste for parents sets in. This means that you are going to have a hard time convincing your son or daughter that science is cool and worth learning. The harder you try to force the issue the more likely it is that you will just convince your kids that science and parents are dumb.
Yes, it is unfair, but didn’t you go through that phase yourself as a kid?
Hiring biology tutors (or physics or math or chemistry or whichever subject is relevant) who are closer to the same age as your child will help. Older kids are inherently cool, and if a “cool” kid is open about a love of science and can share that love with your kids, you’ll see grades and appreciation for the subject improve.
Use Science At Home
You’re already doing a great job of keeping up with what your kids are learning in school. Use this knowledge to help you at home…encourage learning! You probably already know that a great way to help a child learn arithmetic is to have him help you balance your checkbook. With science it’s a little more involved but still doable. Talk about how food changes during cooking. Track the growth of plants in the garden. Do experiments together—build bottle rockets and water balloon launchers to help demonstrate physics, etc. Get creative!
A great way to encourage your kids to pay attention to school subjects that don’t interest them is to ask them questions about what they are learning. Ask them what their favorite new learned thing is for each subject about once a week. This will help you keep up with what is going on in school and encourage your kids to retain the things they’ve learned so that they can tell you about them later.
Admit Your Own Limits
So many parents think they have to act like they know everything because they think that is the best way to teach a child. As your child gets older, though, allowing her to teach you something can help foster her love of learning. It also shows that it’s okay to ask questions and to admit that there are things you do not know. Ask your child to talk about science class and ask questions to help you understand what he or she is learning.
Remember: the harder you try to force it, the less likely it is to happen. Instead, encourage and show enthusiasm yourself! Lead by example.
Guest post provided by: Samantha Peters, an avid blogger who enjoys reading and eating in her spare time. Sam manages The Education Update and lives in beautiful San Diego, California.
Reader Question: What are some ways you encourage your child/ children to love science in home?
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