Talking to Your Kids About Science
Talking to your child about the natural world is one of the most powerful
tools a parent has to encourage their child's scientific learning.
• The most important question
Why? It's one of the most common questions a child asks. It can
be simple: "Why do dogs bark?" or complex: "Why is there gravity?" This
tiny question can spark extended and rich experiences that help your children
learn to be a true scientist. Every time children ask a question about
the physical world around them, they are taking the first step on the
same path followed by Newton, Galileo, Einstein, and all of the world's
great scientists. Helping children embrace their natural curiosity is
one of the most important things you can do to help them learn about science.
• Hypothesis - A Scientific
Questions lead to reflection, investigation, and discovery. Each time
children ask a question about the world around them, ask them for a suggested
response. By doing this, you validate their question while encouraging
them to develop a hypothesis. A hypothesis is an assumption made in order
to test its truthfulness. Hypotheses are the basis of all scientific investigations.
Listening to children's hypotheses helps kids gain confidence in their
thinking skills. It also gives you a chance to determine what children
know, and where to start helping them find an answer. After a hypothesis
is made, an investigation can begin.
• Investigation - Time To
There are lots of ways to investigate a hypothesis. The most important
way is by observation. Taking the time to observe the physical world and
draw conclusions is a fundamental part of any scientific discovery. There
are a lot of things that can be observed in your own home. You can watch
ice cubes melt or study the way liquid moves through a straw, for example.
It is during the process of investigation that discovery
happens. When children discover the answer to their own question, the
information they uncover can stay with them for a lifetime.
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