In our school district, there’s a late start day each week to allow for teacher prep. If I’m on my mommy A-game, I like to use this little extra bubble of time to do some hands-on science activities with my boys. This morning, as I urged my boys to step away from their exploration of household acids and pack up for the day, I jokingly said, “Enough science boys. It’s time to go to school.”
My first grader matter-of-factly responded, “Mom, you can never get enough science, actually.” Made my nerdy teacher-heart proud.
But that joy dissipated a bit when my third grader added, “We never get to do science stuff at school.”
Now, I volunteer at the school enough to know that’s not entirely true. I’ve seen some of the cool science that goes on there. But the reason it feels true for many kids is that our schools and teachers are simply stretched thin. There’s a big emphasis on reading, writing, and math, and not all of that is misplaced. But between time and resources, sometimes hands-on science gets the shaft.
I so appreciate the teachers and schools (including ours) that make the extra effort to emphasize science in the early years. After all, (particularly in the early years) science is all about the process of learning…everything. I believe it’s that scientific approach to the whole classroom that really creates engaged learners. (I wrote about that approach here at No Time for Flashcards).
That belief is shared by my talented friend, Asia Citro, a mom and master teacher. She’s put together her second amazing book full of fantastic science experiences for kids called, The Curious Kid’s Science Book: 100+ Creative Hands-On Activities for Ages 4-8. (Affiliate link)
In it, she writes, “As a science teacher, I would like to see a change in how we traditionally approach science with our children. Science is not about following someone else’s experiment step by step, or just watching exciting demonstrations. It is not about reciting scientific facts or vocabulary. It’s about asking your own questions and making your own investigations – two things young children are very good at!”
This book emphasizes that process of observing, thinking, wondering, questioning, exploring, measuring, communicating —- the curiosity that fuels not only great scientists, but great thinkers of all disciplines. I love that she doesn’t just lay out 100+ demonstrations that will make your child ooh and ahh, but puts together supply lists and enough information and questions to get you going. Your child gets to take over in the driver’s seat. It’s not about being passively entertained, but about actively directing the exploration.
And that’s where the real learning takes place.
Maybe you’ve wondered whether or not there’s enough emphasis on science and curiosity in your child’s classroom, or in the curriculum you’ve been given to teach. Or maybe, like me, you feel like you need even more to keep up with the your child’s insatiable curiosity. This is the perfect resource for you.
When my older son bemoaned the fact that there isn’t enough science for him at school, my younger son rescued the moment by saying, “But we’re doing science right now.”
That’s what I love about this book. The book that prompted our morning’s science exploration. It makes it so easy to add little more science, right now.
Whether your sphere is the home or the classroom, you have the ability to bring more science, more curiosity into lives of those you love and teach. And this book can help you do just that.
I mentioned this book in my Book Plus Gift Guide this year. Pairing it with common science tools, as I mentioned there, makes for a perfect gift for the curious kid on your shopping list. Or pick it up as a teacher gift for your favorite early childhood teacher. These explorations and experiments work equally well in the home and the hands-on classroom. And as a former teacher myself, I’d take this book hands down over the mountain of chocolate I often came home with for the winter break.
OK, maybe this book and just a little chocolate.
You can find this great resource at this Amazon affiliate link or at your local quality book seller.