What drives us to learn?
From an early age, each of us is instilled with a natural born curiosity to learn about life and the workings of our planet. This is not by accident, as I believe all kids are born scientists. That natural curiosity is the reason that technology and health care advances, it’s the reason everything around us keeps getting smarter, faster and stronger.
Unfortunately the problem is most children lose this innate passion and sense of wonder in their mid teens. They no longer want to explore or discover. It’s not their fault, it gets taken out of them by society and the public education system. Children are told to sit still, be serious and only speak when spoken too. They are pressured to fit in with their peers and to ‘be cool’.
Many parents would agree that their child is extremely curios, always asking ‘why?’, ‘how?’ and ‘what?’. Although they might feel that they aren’t able to satisfy their child’s need for answers. If you could nurture this wonderful talent your child posses, there is no telling how much they can could achieve in life! Or what a difference they can make in the world.
So how do you nurture it? Well in this short article we’ll give you some tips to keep your children inquisitive about learning. Because it’s not fair that children have to lose that sense of magic and wonder in life. Let’s keep them excited about learning.
Watch this quick video by Neil deGrasse Tyson about raising young scientists:
“An adult scientist is just a kid who never grew up.” Powerful words from a brilliant lecturer on astro-physics.
How to keep children excited about science
1. Let them make mistakes
The first step to keep your young one excited and interested in science is to stop repressing it in the household. Even though you have good intentions, the reality is most parents are overprotective of their kids. If you don’t ever give your children the chance to make mistakes then they are never going to learn for themselves.
Learning the initial information which sparks that curiosity is the first part to keeping your children wanting to know more, wanting to ask questions, build stuff and use their imagination.
So lesson #1 is let your child make mistakes. Then explain to them what happened and watch as the become fascinated and excited by the idea of it. Again, children are born scientists. It’s really wonderful to see when a child is excited to learn, which is one of the reasons why I love plasma balls. See how they work. They are the easiest way to give children a sense of wonder and make them want to know more.
2. Allow them to dream and encourage their imagination
Eventually we all grow up. So you don’t have to do that part for them. Rather, while they’re still young encourage them to dream (because they definitely will) and then once they come to you with their ideas. Encourage them to act and create, to take action and make their dreams a reality.
I truly believe the more parents can encourage their kids to act on their imagination and try create new things (while guiding them to do things in positive way). Then the smarter and more self aware they will be, later in life.
Here is a great video from Bob Proctor on imagination:
Many parents are worried about letting their children’s mind run free because they don’t want their child to get out of touch with reality. Which I can understand.
Yet at the same time, realize that most children will be influenced negatively by school to lose their imagination anyway. So it’s your job to keep that fire inside of them burning.
While you let your child dream, still work to make them conscious about what they’re doing by asking them questions and engaging them. You will be surprised how many genuinely good ideas kids will have if they’re allowed to dream. If you can teach them about their own mind and ways of thinking, then they will become more empathetic to others around them.
3. Give them the resources to further their scientific development
When I was younger, my mother saw my interest in science. So she bought me a book of science experiments to keep me busy during the weekends. I was hooked. There were so many cool experiments which I was able to try already just using stuff in my house.
Before long I had completed the book and without realising it, I had become an ‘expert’ at basic science experiments. Which gave me a sense of confidence to try some more advanced experiments, taking my knowledge and curiosity further.
But the problem was, I didn’t know what experiments to do next. I remember finding my dads cambridge physics textbook back from his college days, but I was only 8 years old at the time and the book had no pictures!
This was a frustrating time in my life, as I had the desire to learn, but nothing to guide me forward. I was beginning to lose interest in science.
How my mom saved my interest in science
My mother saw my frustration and began looking for higher level science resources to aid my development. Fortunately, there are great companies out there which actually have monthly science crate subscriptions for kids. These crates are a great way to keep children constantly improving their knowledge about science.
They’re affordable and you can have them delivered directly to your house! The best part is, the monthly crates contains experiments and resources that are made to meet the child at their age level. This makes sure it’s not too advanced which can stunt their desire to learn.
I stayed subscribed to these science crates well into my teen years, they kept my mind active and away from trouble. I highly recommend you also subscribe to a science crate, if you want your child to stay interested in this amazing world of science!
Here are some recommended science crates you can check out: