These were the words of Richard Hammond, host of BBC television’s Blast Lab, writing in New Scientist Magazine.
Now the question arises: How are we, as homeschooling parents, supposed to ‘nurture that joy of discovery’ in our kids? Agreed, it is easier said than done. But a couple of simple steps are all that’s required from our ends in order to open up the joys of science to our children.
One way is to let them spend some time in nature. This doesn’t mean taking a holiday from work and visiting a zoo or a wildlife sanctuary with them in tow. You could just use your backyard or garden as a natural play area – spend some time kneeling over the wildflowers in the yard and trying to identify them with your children, set up a homemade bird feeder and entrust its responsibility to your child or simply spend twenty minutes a day gardening and tending to plants. A wonderful, hands-on way to learn about the natural world is as simple as that!
One fine day my daughter came in running to the kitchen with a small cut on her finger and was alarmed at how much blood came out of the cut. As I bandaged it, I explained to her that one drop of blood has more than five million red blood cells in it. This left her wide-eyed and since then she’s always coming up with new questions regarding the working of the human body which I am only too pleased to answer.
The key here is to understand that you can’t force kids to learn. Sometimes they might get disengaged and wander off or may turn a deaf ear to whatever you’re trying to tell them. Don’t worry; they’ll eventually come back as soon as they’re ready to take in and learn more.
Early years science – after all, it’s “Elementary, my dear Watson.”