As a proud geek, I am embarrassed to admit that science was my worst subject in school. And yet, I’m learning that it is one of the easiest to teach my son. This is not because I’ve suddenly come to understand it better (my grasp of the subject has only slightly improved over the years), nor is it because I’ve purchased some amazing curriculum (I have purchased no curriculum).
Science is my son’s best subject because I have learned how to support his natural curiosity. It is as simple as that.
Most all children have the minds of scientists. They notice small details and ask a million questions about seemingly unimportant things.
One of LittleMan’s favorite activities, which we have done dozens of times, is to find an insect and then to research it.
Its not an activity that I had planned or even thought to do. It was all LittleMan’s idea.
It always starts the same way: He is playing outside. He finds an insect. He has questions about that insect. His questions lead me to showing him where he can find the answers.
A year ago, when he first started doing this, I had no books on the subject so I used to have to Google a description of the insect and let him scroll through the images to figure out which one it was, then we would together read about whatever insect he decided it was.
After I realized that this activity was going to be repeated many times, I invested in a guide book for North American insects which I found for a real bargain at the local used book shop.
Now when LittleMan finds an insect and has questions about it, he doesn’t even need me to Google a description of it to figure out what kind it is. He just pulls the book off his shelf, compares the insect to the pictures, and once he’s decided what kind it is he brings the book to me so we can read about it together.
Through this self-directed activity LittleMan has learned about insect anatomy, life cycles, habitats, predator-prey relationships, etc.. Most importantly though, he has learned that the answers to his questions are out there, if he just takes the time to look it up.
Be sure to check and see what my Saturday Science Co-Hosts are up to this week!
Pumpkin Science Classic Experiments With A Twist from Little Bins For Little Hands
Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Study from Stir the Wonder
How to Make Natural Dye With Kids from The Usual Mayhem
Spooky Pop Rocks and Soda Experiment from Lemon Lime Adventures
For more hands-on science ideas, follow our Saturday Science Pinterest board!
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