Thursday, December 17, 2009

10 Ways to Help Children Love Science

  1.  Nix the elementary science textbooks.  Too many textbooks are a vocabulary soup of terms. Can I say boring? Some of the Christian versions of these textbooks are better than the secular ones since they do bring in some of the “wow” factor, but they still are not likely to make your child say, “I love science.”
  2.  Do science experiments.  When you study chemistry, do it with explosions and eruptions in a test tube. When you study light, do it with prisms and lens. Your local library will have a shelf full of simple experiments you can do in the home. 
  3. Study botany by making wildflower collections and leaf collections. Use a field guide to identify them. Dissect a flower and find the pollen tube. (A hibiscus flower is perfect for this.)
  4. Study anatomy by dissecting animals. My kids dissected a worm, frog, crayfish, fetal pig, fish, cat, turtle, sheep’s eye, and more. Dissection was their favorite part of science. This could be part of why they are all three in the medical field today.
  5.  Study geology or the seashore with collections of rocks, minerals, shells. Again, use field guides to identity the specimens.
  6. Read biographies of famous men and women of science. This will inspire them with the adversities many of these people overcame. An added advantage to this is that many of the scientists through the years were Christians.
  7. Watch the Moody science videos. My son had them on once and kept calling me in to see the next cool thing.
  8.  Invest in a good microscope. We started out with a cheepy and thought we just weren’t talented enough to see what we should see.  Later we purchased a good quality microscope and were amazed at everything we saw.  Exploring pond life brought out more of that “wow” factor.
  9. Explore a good science museum. On our summer travels, we often stopped at science museums. They are specialists at making your kids’ eyes grow wide.
  10. In all the science studies, point out the amazing things that only God could do: the vast numbers of stars, the intricacy of the eye muscles, the amazing compound eyes of insects, etc. This list goes on for a lifetime. Include materials from the various organizations who study Creation.

In the upper level grades, you may need to use science textbooks. But if you want your children to love science, I suggest you try these ideas in the younger years. Bringing back the “wow” factor in Science, puts the Creator front and center.

Please share with us more ideas for exploration!

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