So with countless reports depicting the inadequacies of our current education system to prepare students for future jobs which don’t currently exist I decided to do something about it.
My 4year old daughter is in a traditional school and I can already see the effects of the rote learning. In an attempt to spark the traits of creative inquiry and experimentation we have done a couple of science experiments at home.
Experiment 1: What is surface tension? Simply pour some milk on a plate. Add a few drops of food colour; then slowly add a drop of liquid soap in the center. Watch as the colours quickly spread outward and mix to form different colours. Probe and try to explain what is happening?
Experiment 2: Where do fish come from? Apparently they come from tanks according to my daughter. This is because I have set up an aquaponics system in the backyard and we harvest fish from the tanks;
Experiment 3: Necklace for mummy? Using a string and leftover beads we made a necklace for mummy. Watch the pride on mummy’s face as she receives the necklace.
Experiment 4: Why do some objects float and others sink? Simply fill a basin with water and place different objects in the water and observe whether they float or sink? Inquire as to why this might be the case?
Experiment 5: Let’s make a toy car. Simply use an old box; cut round tyres from old sandals, and fix them on the car using old wires;
Experiment 6: Let’s make cup cakes: To be honest I have no idea how to make cup cakes. So this lesson was covered by the mother.
Experiment 7: Let’s make different objects from blocks. Simply use blocks and challenge the child to make different objects.
Experiment 8: Basic computer programming. You can actually teach basic computer programming skills to a 4year old. Simply download some apps e.g. code-a-pillar onto a cheap tab and let the kid learn on their own.
Of course there is no guarantee that these experiments will spark the creative inquiry which is required in tomorrow’s world but there is no harm in trying. Plus it is lots of fun for everyone. I believe if we replaced the current homework with more creative experiments the kids would benefit much more.
If you are interested there are many resources online to help you set up your own experiments at home. Hopefully your kids will love them.