Updated: Aug 10
During school holidays, it is natural for parents to worry about their child losing some of their acquired science skills and learning unless they enrol in primary science tuition. Other than attending science tuition in Singapore, it might not feel like there are many different options you can take to keep their curious young minds active. And apart from science, this loss is also particularly significant in other subjects, such as maths, requiring continuous practice. Thus, a long break from scientific studies and activities naturally leads to dormancy that retracts their learning progress. To prevent this phenomenon and its snowball effect, here are a few actionable tips to keep their minds sharp.
1. Take science field trips regularly
Field trips offer the best way for children to experience real-world learning, practise their critical thinking, and organically take in the scientific principles in action around them. Seeing the planetary positions in a planetarium or getting immersed in the underwater ecosystem of an aquarium will always be better than simply reading about them in a textbook. After all, the best and most impactful learning experiences always stem from seeing theories put into practice. In addition, letting your child see first-hand that their learning helps them better grasp concepts and solve problems in the real world can foster their curiosity and shape them into better students.
2. Encourage your child to theorise and reason
Whenever the opportunity arises, ask your child to recall the scientific theories they have learned so far and see if they can match them to phenomena in their daily life. These could start with something simple like categorising the nearby animals and step up the complexity from there. It does not matter if they get some things wrong as long as they stay connected with the science around them.
One way to practise this is to have your child observe their immediate surroundings, ask them to form their own theory, and find a way to explain it. For instance, whenever you get the chance to see the stars in the night sky together, you could play a game involving identifying constellations. Or if you visit the beach, you could quiz them about immediate phenomena such as the tides, what causes them, and what makes them important.
3. Foster scientific mindedness by leading by example
Children look to their parents as their first role models, which is why the precedent you set goes a long way in helping your child retain their scientific skills and mindset. And since you will spend a lot of time together during the school holidays, your approach to science can be a crucial deciding factor. See the difference for yourself by trying the following:
●Whenever your child asks the 'why' questions, reason with them by using a scientific theory as the baseline.
● Simplify scientific explanations to a digestible level while still being interesting.
● Be curious about scientific inquiry into day-to-day events. Just like your child, ponder a lot of 'whys' about things that interest you and bring your little one along in your search for answers.
4. Discuss recent scientific developments with them
There is never a shortage of scientific developments to explore, and making a habit of discussing these discoveries will help your child grow ever more curious. While all the previous tips depend on your child's active participation, this step is more about indirect learning. In other words, let us say that motivation is the fuel that makes your child proactive at retaining their science skills (and for many other subjects). Talking about recent happenings – particularly in the field of science – keeps them interested in the subject and preserves the 'wow' factor that lets them willingly indulge in more scientific inquiry.
It is understandable to worry about the summer slide and fear that your child might lose some of their skills throughout their school break. But with the help of the tips above, you should hopefully have a better idea of how to keep their minds sharp and retain their science skills.
Besides taking a personal approach to your child's learning retention, consider enrolling them in a science enrichment programme in Singapore for the best results. Our tuition classes cater to both primary and secondary school science students to nurture curious young minds and keep them engaged in science even when out of school. For more details on our science revision guide or how we can help your child build a strong foundation in science and excel in the subject, don't hesitate to contact us today.