Last week I wrote about how Xander passed me by when I wasn't looking (you can see the post here). Part of my solution to catching up and keeping him challenged was to add science into the mix. It isn't that we have totally ignored science in the past, but I have never made an organized effort to include it in our Tot School. Since the kid has an insatiable desire to learn and I'm working on a masters in science education, it only makes sense to make it a regular part of our school!
That said, Xander is still two (ok, more like two and three quarters, but you get what I mean). He is not going to understand deep science topics. I'll probably present him with information that goes over his head. That's ok. I truly believe he will still benefit from the experience.
Preschool Science Goals
Here's what I do want to make sure he gets out of it, any other science information he learns is bonus!
Young children love doing things and trying new things. I want to teach Xander to pay attention to what he is doing. Scientific knowledge is based on doing something and observing what happens. I want to make him more aware by asking questions while he does "experiments." What does he notice? What happened? What does he see? How does it look, feel, sound, taste, smell?
Okay, so we observed what happened when we did whatever it was we did. Next I want Xander to learn to make predictions. What does he think would happen if he did this or that? It is totally fine to be wrong, I just want him to be thinking about what might happen. Then, of course, I want him to try it out!
So most parents of toddlers are very familiar with the "why?" Kids want to know the "why" of everything! As annoying as it can be from time to time, I hope to fully encourage this natural curiosity! He should continue to ask how things work and why things happen! I sincerely hope he maintains the desire to understand throughout his life. I look forward to the day when he wants to know why (or what, how, when, etc) and goes to find the answer himself!