How can you help your child develop a scientific temper? Is it possible? Will it be easy to make my child have a scientific mind?
Science for kids? It definitely begins at home.
When kids grow up in science-friendly homes, they are encouraged to ask questions, think critically, experiment, explain their reasoning, read, write, create models, and watch science programs on TV.
Perhaps the most important discovery is that kids benefit from explicit lessons in critical thinking. Studies suggest that students become better problem solvers–and even raise their IQs–when they are taught principles of logic, hypothesis-testing, and other methods of reasoning.
Studies also suggest that kids learn more when they are required to explain their own reasoning.
What about keeping up with the latest discoveries?
When kids follow breaking news stories, they may feel more personally connected to science. Science news is also an opportunity for kids to consider the process of science – how new data may support or challenge old ideas.
Whether your child is a preteen or a toddler, she has a natural tendency to seek out reasons for the various mysteries of life that she comes across. Your little one’s scientific temperament is directly related to the environment she is in and the company she keeps. Therefore, your parenting style has a lot to offer to her growing curiosity. The mere study of science alone will not do. In fact, she needs to adopt a state of mind that makes intelligent enquiries and plumps for scientific explanations.
In a world full of misleading ‘old wives’ tales’, a scientific rationale is of utmost importance. Here are some ideas to help you nurture in her an evidence-based curiosity of the phenomena around her.
Activities to Boost Your Child’s Developmental SkillsPlease select the age group of your child
A pro-science home will encourage your child to make the most of his enquiring mind.
- Encourage him to ask questions.
- Allow him to seek out answers on his own.
- Guide and direct him to reliable sources of reference like a dictionary or encyclopaedia.
- Let TV time be more for scientific programmes than for entertainment.
Teach your child critical thinking skills to better her problem-solving skills and IQ.
- They need to use their reasoning and ask questions like, “Why is this happening?” or “Is this the right way to respond?” or “Who said this? Can I trust this instruction?”.
- Do not hinder their willingness to test so-called established ideas.
- Never halt their evaluation processes by saying: “Because I said so”. Instead encourage them to ask: “How do I know if this is true?” or “How can I be sure?”.
- Teach them the logical sequence of science: General principles can create specific instances and, therefore, specific instances represent general principles.
- Point out exceptions to established norms and encourage them to marvel at some things that are still mysteries.
Steer your hero away from the customary satisfactions of finding answers on the Internet.
- Support their experiments to find the answers to questions like: “How does water move around in a plant?” and “Which objects float and which sink in water?”
- Coax them to write out their reasoning and read it to the family.
- Cheer them on as they create models or diagrams to explain what they have discovered.
- Give them time and permit the mess for a ‘show and tell’ of what they’ve gathered.
It’s not only learning, your child needs to study.
- Avoid using chapter questions when it comes to academics. Pick up their books once every few days and ask them something that doesn’t have a direct answer in the book.
- Make some learning application-based. The rising of yeast, the metamorphosis of a caterpillar and the sprouting of saplings are some examples of application-based learning that they will enjoy.
- We live in times when there is a surfeit of knowledge in the form of reading material. Advise extra reading to improve their analysis of information.
Employ games and electronic devices to usher the fun element into his scientific thinking.
- Chess is an excellent game to help your budding genius develop their logical sequencing and strategic skills.
- Reading comprehension exercises flood the Internet with various levels of tasks to nurture their scientific temper.
- Riddles and brain teasers are all-time favourites that are now accessible through mobile apps too. Better still, introduce them to fun and exciting activity based learning products such as an Xplorabox. They will cling on to them forever!
Your child will use their knowledge with ease as you explore things together.
Have discussions with them. Focal points for discussion must include important elements specific to creating a scientific bent of mind.
- The logic and rationality behind events, happenings and processes will make their eyes pop with wonder. Watch as they enjoy the journey of arriving at their understanding.
- Encourage them to find scientific evidence for results and conclusions that they come to. Let them not simply take someone’s word for it.
- Motivate them to obliterate traditional, customary and unfounded biases. Teach them to argue and debate these.
You will need to be patient as developing a scientific temper is not instant. Nevertheless, in a world that is replete with misinformation, uncertainty and flux, your precious child needs to be unreservedly reliant on their scientific temperament. This is a strength that will equip them to be an invaluable citizen of the world regardless of the career path they choose to embark on.
Researched and compiled by Xplorabox staff
About the Author – Raveena Nijjar
Raveena Nijjar is born and brought up in Delhi. She studied in the USA as a child. Ms Nijjar is well known as Miss Multitalented. She loves to write and can write on any given topic. Additionally, she loves to travel and is popularly known by the nickname RV. She can’t go a day without completing her diary/ journal entry.