In a world of rapidly emerging technology and scientific discovery, how are you cultivating your child as a science learner? The twenty-first century calls for lifelong learners who are able to think creatively to solve problems. How can you help your child learn to think in a scientific way?
Here are a few ideas for encouraging wonder and problem solving ability in your child:
- Encourage questions from your child, but don’t be quick to give answers. Instead, help your child learn ways to find out-either in a book, or by going out into the yard and looking, or doing or discovering.
- The best answer to use is often “I’m not exactly sure; let’s try to find out.”
- It is important for your child to be aware of things. You can encourage this awareness by being curious and aware yourself and sharing experiences with your child. Build a rain gauge. Buy an ant farm. Take a night walk and find the big dipper.
- Find a small table or shelf in the house where your child can place interesting things that he or she wants to observe or learn more about. Ask questions and encourage your child to learn as much as possible.
- Ask “why” and “how” questions as you wonder with your child at the beauty of God’s creation.
- Something I used to do with my kids was to go exploring. We would all go to the local park and everyone would have to bring something back that we could learn about. Articles included things like odd shaped blades of grass, a four leaf clover, a bug that looked different, etc. My kids loved it as we tried to solve our little mysteries.
- Finally, listen appreciatively to your child’s observations and discoveries and know that you are cultivating a science learner!