How to Support Your Child
There are many ways you can help your child achieve as much as possible in the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading curriculum… and in school in general.
Talk about science at home.
Research shows that talking about academic subjects at home increases achievement. You don’t need to know a lot about science to talk with your child about what they’ve been doing and learning.
- Encourage enthusiasm. Your child is likely to be excited about what she’s been doing and learning in the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading unit. Show that you’re interested, and encourage her to share stories and ideas.
- Ask questions. Ask your child to explain what he has done and learned in science class. On the web pages for each unit [links from the Information for Parents page] are some suggested questions you can ask.
- Share your own science interests. Showing that you’re also interested in science can help your child stay motivated and excited. Talk about your science interests and questions. You could share something you read in a newspaper or saw on a science-related TV show. You could raise a science question you’ve been wondering about, or talk about something interesting you’ve observed in the natural world.
Encourage reading at home.
Research shows that students who read at home and who see their parents reading at home have higher academic achievement.
- Make science text available at home. Visit the library and encourage your child to check out young people’s science books and magazines. If you have Internet at home, show your child how to access age-appropriate science sites. Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading books are also available for purchase for reading at home. [LINK to books page]
- Read with your child. Make time to read aloud to your child and have her read aloud to you. When reading science books together, show your interest in the concepts, and discuss what you’ve read with your child.
- Model reading about science. Students who regularly see their parents reading at home are likely to read more themselves. Find time to read science books, magazines, or websites and talk to your child about what you read.
Volunteer to help in science class
Some Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading lessons require a fair amount of set-up or can benefit from the assistance of a few adults in the classroom. Ask the teacher how you can help. Your child’s motivation is likely to increase on seeing your interest in helping, and your involvement has also been shown to benefit the other students.
Set high expectations
Make sure your child knows that you expect he will be very successful in science class. Talk to the teacher about his science work and how you can help him set achievement goals.
Organize family activities related to science
Help your child extend her science learning outside the classroom by visiting museums, science centers, nature centers, parks, zoos, aquariums, or natural features such as lakes, beaches, or mountains. You can also do science-related activities right at home—look at the night sky together, watch science documentary videos, set up a bird feeder, start a garden, and lots more
Support English language learners.
If your family also speaks a language other than English at home, there are some other great ways to help your child succeed in science.
- Discuss science ideas in your home language. Discuss what your child has been learning in science in your native language. This can help him better understand and remember important science ideas and deepen his understanding.
- Connect to your culture. As appropriate, help your child see how the science topics she is studying relate to your home and community. Talk about scientists you’re familiar with, discuss how a topic she is studying relates to your community or customs.
- Encourage progress with English. Encourage your child to keep doing his best at learning English in science class. Recognize that learning a new language is difficult. Let him know it’s okay to make mistakes as he learns.
- Encourage progress with native language. Encourage your child to keep using your native language, especially when it can help in science class. Acknowledge that knowing two languages is not easy and that it’s natural to make mistakes, since sometimes we forget how to say things in one language or the other.