Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to Help Your Child Understand Science

The problem is simple. Your child is in school and begins to study serious science. There is a good chance that the book and the instructor are not communicating sufficiently and your child is struggling. This can happen to the best of students.

Basic science is a key to a successful career in many professional areas that do not require a formal science degree such as medicine. Our school systems have difficulties in meeting their science curriculum. Maintaining a proficient science teaching staff is a challenge in the best of times. Rapidly changing developments in modern science make most texts obsolete soon after they are printed.

Qualifying examinations for college entrance, government and private sector job applications, and military placement tests, all expect basic science achievement. Learning science is an educational necessity.

So how to help your child?

My son was a good student who became lost in a science course. Attempting a required science project independently was impossible. Help began when we went to the library to find books on "Home Science Projects." There are plenty of these to be found and they are simple, brief, and easy to do. We would try as many of these together as time would permit during the school year. I became his assistant. He looked forward to answering my questions.

These simple projects range over many areas of science. So there is surely a fit available for your child's need. All the items required are inexpensive and easily found in the home or the local hardware store. Today similar introductory projects are to be found on the internet with the added advantage that many websites offer video illustration of the working experiment. All these home projects contain explanations of what is happening and why...very useful for parents.

Trying these projects develops the fundamental understanding as to how science is done and learned. A project demonstrates science as a process of observation with the results recorded and analyzed. Even projects that don't go quite right present real results.

Fundamental concepts are learned as your child makes science work. Your child begins to think as a scientist. The cumulative result is science becomes at much more manageable study. Your child will certainly lift his confidence and enthusiasm as a science student.

My son was never interested in a science career but his course grades and scores on scholastic achievement tests gained him admission in a top 30 out of state public university. Oh yeah the kid got himself a scholarship to boot.

J P Ronan

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