Parenting magazines are full of articles about how important STEM education is to our children’s future. But what if science is your child’s least favorite subject? What if they just can’t stand it, and they’re on the brink of failing a required subject? Here are some ways to engage a child who hates science class.
Ask To Observe Class
Before you jump to conclusions about what is causing your child’s aversion to science class, consider the possibility that the problem may have nothing to do with the subject matter. Ask if you can observe the class. Some schools will be reluctant, citing student privacy, but talk to the teacher and principal about why you need to see what’s going on.
If they won’t let you observe, schedule a meeting with them to discuss what seems to be bugging your kid about science class. Are there certain lessons your child resists more than others? Could the issue lie in where they’re sitting or another kid’s behavior? Your child’s attitude about science class might brighten with a few minor adjustments once you find out it's the classroom, not the subject, that’s the problem.
Find the Science in Everyday Activities
Build on your child’s natural curiosity by weaving science into everyday activities. Bake together, and if your child asks what baking soda does, don’t just answer—explore answers together by searching for explanations online.
You could even separate your batter into two batches, excluding the baking soda in one (yes, it won’t rise, but that’s the point), to see how they each turn out.
You can do experiments with plants or explore the concepts of density and buoyancy with bath toys—why does this one float and that one sink?
Take advantage of the hands-on fun at Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry to help engage a child who hates science class. Making science a fun, hands-on, physical activity can reawaken that sense of wonder that most kids bring into the world from birth.
A simple hike or even a walk in the park or along the beach will instantly confirm that kids are naturally curious. They’ll collect the shells, leaves, insects, and rocks that fascinate them. Lean in to their curiosity by bringing along a portable, paper microscope. Your kids will be amazed when they take a closer look at their collection, discovering crystalline structures in rocks, veins in leaves, and the intricacy of insect wings.
You might find that your kids become enthusiastic about a follow-up visit to the library to borrow books that tell them more about the shells, plants, and bugs they’ve collected. Be sure to let their science teacher know that you’ve discovered ways to increase and maintain your child’s interest. You could even donate a classroom set of paper microscopes for their next field trip!