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Avoid the Biggest Mistakes When Teaching Science Part 2

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Mistake #3. No space for the job.

Once your child excited enough about something that they want to take it and run, your next task is to give them what they need!

Now, kids need their own space. However, parents worldwide go crazy with the pack-rat syndrome kids seems to have.  Here’s a solution to make both parties happy.

In a corner, set up a table that’s all theirs.  No touching.  This is for two important reasons: first, it’s a lesson in organization waiting to happen.  When they whine to you that they can’t find something, you can honestly shrug and say with empathy, “Gosh, I haven’t seen it – it’s not my space.  What are you going to do?” The second reason is more subtle, but even more important.  How safe will your kid feel discovering and exploring, creating and building if you whirlwind through there every so often and clean it up?

Make sure this kid-zone has boundaries, or it will take over your house.  For instance, throw down a rug under the table.  Now, anything that floats off the rug is yours to keep.  And when company comes over, the flowery tablecloth goes over the whole shebang.

To continue with our chemistry lesson example, tell your kid to explore this idea outside.

Mistake #4. Withholding the tools.

So often, we believe that by reading lots of books filled packed with knowledge, we will instantly understand everything and get a real education.

While this may work for other subjects, science is one that needs tools, equipment, and space.  This is the one subject where books are not only a source of inspiration, but can also be used as stepstools, ramps, inclined planes, tunnels, weights, and platforms.

Remember the table you’re setting up?  Great families stash three baskets underneath.  Let’s peek inside:

  • Basket 1. Materials. paper, rubber bands, straws, string, paper clips, brass fasteners, balloons, popsicle sticks (two different sizes), index cards, skewers, and clothespins.
  • Basket 2. Tools.  Clear, masking, duct, electrical, and packing tape.  Stapler, hole punch, (low-temp) hot glue gun, and scissors.
  • Basket 3. Clean Junk. Water bottles, berry baskets, soda bottles, six-pack ring holders, packing foam (big pieces are great), film canisters, egg cartons, soup cans, milk jug tops, yogurt lids, butter tubs, and coffee tins.

Arm your table with these and stand back… way back.  Your child will race in with excitement now that you’ve set up an environment what supports their freedom to create and build.

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Learn enormously valuable teaching strategies and get your hands on impressive science projects through our science programs. 

Since 1996, Aurora Lipper has been helping families learn science.  As a mechanical engineer, university instructor, pilot, astronomer, and rocket scientist, Aurora can transform toilet paper tubes into real working radios and make laser light shows from Tupperware. 

Visit our website to download your free copy of the Science Activity Guide at

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