• Teach the scientific method in its simplest form:

Hypothesize - What do you think will happen?

Experiment - Let's try it and find out.

Compare hypothesis with results - What happened?

Give conclusions - Why?

For example, we want to find out what kinds of objects a magnet will attract. First, we discuss what we think will happen when we put each object close to the magnet. Then we try it out making sure to compare our hypothesis with what actually happened. Finally, we try to find out why the magnet attracted certain objects by looking closely at what the objects had in common.

  • Find out together. It is important that children understand that adults do not know ALL the answers, unless you do. It is even more important that children understand that it is usually possible to find the answer. If you come to a scientific concept that you don't understand; don't just give your best guess and leave it at that. Be brave and tell them you don't know. Then, with them by your side, look until you find the answer (or until you need to take a break for food). Look in the encyclopedia, the dictionary, books in the library, the internet, ask another adult, or call the county extension office or the local 4-H office. Exhaust all possible resources for an answer and let the children help you find out. You will be giving them one of the most invaluable tools, if you will teach them to search for the answers to their questions. It is a big part of learning and life.

  • Let them figure it out and explain it to you. I have heard some of the most fascinating (and humorous) explanations to simple scientific questions when I wait to teach until after I have given my children a chance to give their "hypothesis". My 5 year-old told me the other day that objects float because "invisible people are holding them up or something". Now that I never knew. Besides being thoroughly entertained, it is a wonderful experience for children to feel that their opinion is valued. And finally, allowing them to figure it out, teaches them to think for themselves and not always rely on you for the answers.

Few things in life are more fun and rewarding than curling up on the couch with your kids and a good book. If you truly want your kids to learn to read well, then READ TO THEM EVERY DAY! There is no better way to teach your kids that reading is fun and interesting.
Click here to see a list of ALL the books we have read to our children.

[Home]    [Art]    [Science]    [Pretend]    [Stories]    [Music]    [Physical]    [Food]
© Shannon Cannon 1999 All Rights Reserved