Help Your Child Explore Science
Myths about Science
Myth #1: Science teaching is better left to the science teacher.
A parent is a child's first and most important teacher. Whether you know it or not, your child has been learning from you since the moment he or she was born. Many parents, however, would rather leave science teaching to the teacher. Parents play a very important role and have the ability to significantly increase a child's interest and performance in science. With a little creativity, you can work science into your child's everyday life and find many opportunities for you and your child to explore and learn together.
Myth #2: Science is difficult.
It would be difficult to know all the facts of science. But science isn’t just facts. It’s a way of seeing the world around us and solving problems. Doing science is for everyone! That’s why “being scientific” is a great family activity.
Myth #3: I'm not a scientist and don’t know enough about science to help my kids.
You do not have to be a scientist to help your children learn science. The majority of parents in this country are not scientists, but it doesn't mean they can’t help their children learn science. Questions like Why is the sky blue? Why does ice float? Or how does a Frisbee soar through the air? are just a few examples of science questions you can explore with your children. The most important starting point is to ask: “Why?”
Myth #4: I have to know the answers to all of my child's questions.
It's okay to say, “I don't know.” As a parent, you're probably familiar with the questions “Why?” and “How come?” Children by nature are very inquisitive and interested in the world around them. We wouldn't be telling the truth if we said we could answer all of their questions. But herein lies the opportunity for them to explore, alone or with you, and have fun discovering the answers.
Myth #5: Science is all about facts and not very interesting.
SCIENCE IS FUN! Science teaching today is a lot different than it was years ago. Today's emphasis is on inquiry, which means children are encouraged to explore their own natural curiosities about the world around them. Science museums and centers are sprouting up around the country because they allow children to conduct independent investigations on their own … and children have a lot of fun!
Myth #6: Science requires equipment.
Science is everywhere! The skills of science can be practiced in any environment, including the kitchen or the park. The best way to begin is through conversation. Parents who ask open-ended questions (ones that don’t have just one “right” answer) and who listen patiently to their children’s responses are modeling the most essential skills for young scientists.
Myth #7: Science skills should wait for reading skills.
To encourage the “whole child,” parents and teachers should join together to foster early science experiences along with opportunities for reading. In many ways, preschoolers’ developmental skills are more suited to doing science than reading. Learning about science also can motivate kids to read.