This piece was written by a teacher, Kellie Teo, who teaches Primary 2 – 4 Science at The Learning Lab.
When we were younger, Science was viewed as a new and exciting subject that only older students were able to study. The media portrayed scientists as forward-thinking individuals who were working towards a cure for cancer or a solution to global warming, and we eagerly awaited the day we entered Primary 3 so that we, too, could finally begin our adventure into this amazing world of Science.
Unfortunately, this is not how most children today feel.
Many of my Primary 3 students stepped into their first Science class at The Learning Lab (TLL) with faces full of apprehension – I could tell they did not feel prepared for this new subject that they suddenly had to learn about in school. That excited twinkle in their eyes was replaced with a nervousness that I was surprised to see in children turning nine.
I went on to spend the next couple of lessons easing them into the new subject with the help of educational videos, interactive experiments, and even games where they’d get to compete against their classmates.
The nervousness fizzled away and that spark of curiosity and wonderment was back.
So here’s the real question – How can you get your child to see Science as an avenue for learning the real, quirky facts of life as opposed to being the burdensome, additional subject they have to take once they reach Primary 3?
It’s simple - Use Science to enlighten and delight!
Not sure where or how to start? Here are three easy ways to do so!
3 easy ways to help your Primary 3 child to love Science
Incorporate scientific facts into daily life
This is a lot easier than you’d think!
Start by talking to your child about things they do on a daily basis.
Take eating, for example – ask your child simple, leading questions that will get him or her thinking about what happens to the food that is eaten. What happens to food once it’s swallowed? How does it move through his or her body before it eventually is passed out?
Making Science relatable will help your child retain these facts for a much longer duration of time.
Here’s a handy infographic detailing the human digestive system and how it works which was made for our Primary 3 and 4 students. Since most young children are visual learners, infographics will aid their understanding of complex systems and process.
You can definitely use this to supplement your verbal explanations.
Answer your child’s questions
As parents, you don’t have to have an extensive knowledge in a subject to help your child understand a particular concept. Remember, your child is still fairly young so you don’t have to use fancy terminology or scientific jargon to answer his or her questions.
What you can do is break down and simplify complex concepts into bite-sized pieces of information that your child can process more easily. Use terms and examples that your child can easily comprehend and be patient during your explanations. The last thing you want to do is give your child the impression that Science is a subject full of large and complicated words and ideas they cannot grasp!
That being said, it is still important for you to ensure you’re sharing information that is accurate, so be sure to do a quick fact-check on the Internet if you’re unclear on what your child is asking!
Some concepts are better understood with the use of visual illustrations or videos, because it is relatively difficult for the young ones to visualise things they have not seen before. Be sure to check these videos out before showing them to your child to make sure they’re relevant and age-appropriate!
Create opportunities for hands-on learning
There is no better way to learn than through first-hand experiences. Turn your child into a little scientist by conducting some DIY home experiments.
All you need are some materials you can find around the house, a couple of towels (because things could get messy), and a good sense of fun!
Apart from being a fun activity for the family, these experiments have observable results that help illustrate concepts for your child’s understanding. Reinforcing that these experiments showcase scientific findings will help fuel your child’s curiosity and interest in the subject too!
Instilling the love of Science starts here
An Early Start
At the Primary 2 level, students have not begun taking Science lessons at school.
TLL’s Science lessons are therefore aimed at building our young students’ interest in the subject. We expose our students to a broad spectrum of topics, making sure they are able to draw the connection between what is taught in the classroom and the daily occurrences in their lives.
This ability to relate what is being taught in the classroom with activities that go on at home is what really drives our students to ask more questions and further their knowledge in the subject.
Our curriculum team regularly includes experiments and activities in our lessons. These components play a large role in instilling the love for Science in children, as hands-on activities are often what our students look forward to in their TLL lessons. Using these practical exercises to introduce students to the subject builds their interest in Science and fuels their determination to do well for it as an examinable subject at school.
Through experiments and hands-on activities, we are able to illustrate what is learnt in theory. This helps students visualise what is being taught, and gives them time to ask questions as they observe the science concepts come to life.
Practise makes perfect
While it is important to ensure our students enjoy their Science classes, lesson plans are designed to help our students retain key concepts which they will come across in their examinations.
In the lessons leading up to the exams, teachers will go through more revision exercises and cover the common pitfalls students face in the subject. Students will also receive additional materials on exam techniques and how to tackle questions that commonly appear in exams.
Although classes are relatively more content-heavy during that period of time, students (and their parents) have given feedback that our revision materials are more than comprehensive, and are a huge help in the exam preparation process.
Interested in finding out more about our Science programmes? SCHEDULE A MEETING with us today!