How to Teach Science to Children

Do your kids love to learn about science and the natural world? Check out Ask Science’s 6 fun ways to make your kids put down their electronics and enjoy learning.

Lee Falin, PhD
4-minute read
Episode #16

Tip #5: Don't Force Learning

You can't force kids to learn. You can lecture them, read to them, preach to them, show them videos and simulations, but if they aren't interested or ready to learn, you're just wasting everyone's time.

Sometimes when we're doing something, some of the younger kids disengage and wander off. Usually it's while we're discussing a topic in more detail for the benefit of the older kids. But as soon as we're doing something that looks interesting to them again (especially if food is involved), or when they're ready to learn more, they always come back.

Tip #6: Don't Pay Too Much Attention to this List

As I mentioned earlier, every child is different. You might have some children in your care that like listening to hour-long lectures on the finer details of photosynthesis, can't stand hands-on experiments, and are repulsed by books. If so, you should ignore everything on this list and do those things instead. This is really just a collection of things that work for my own children.

Also, keep in mind that children change over the years. Kids who previously only enjoyed hands-on experiments might suddenly develop an interest in extensive reading or observing nature. 

An important thing we've learned throughout our years of homeschooling is that that you should never label your children. Think of it this way: If all his life Johnny’s heard nothing but "Johnny doesn't enjoy reading as much as Susie," what is the likelihood that he will ever learn to enjoy reading as much as Susie?


Do you have your own tips for teaching science to children? If so, please share them in the comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #EEScience4Kids.

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Please note that archive episodes of this podcast may include references to Ask Science. Rights of Albert Einstein are used with permission of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by Greenlight.

About the Author

Lee Falin, PhD

Dr. Lee Falin earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, then went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology from Virginia Tech.