3 Tips to Set Your Child Up for PSLE Success in Science

Parents often wonder if they should teach their children in advance with the PSLE Science Syllabus. The next concern is often how much they should kick start their child’s learning in advance.

Teaching My Child Ahead of School

Par­ents often won­der if they should teach their chil­dren in advance with the PSLE Sci­ence Syl­labus. The next con­cern is often how much they should kick start their child’s learn­ing in advance. Teach­ing your child ahead of school is encouraged…with the right approach. Get­ting a hold of the top Sci­ence text­books or assess­ment books and get­ting your child to com­plete them before the new school term starts could be detri­men­tal to their inter­est in Sci­ence. Sci­ence encom­pass­es dis­cov­ery, imag­i­na­tion, and curios­i­ty, which can eas­i­ly be killed off when doing repet­i­tive assess­ment books sole­ly for the grades.

“The impor­tant thing is not to stop ques­tion­ing. Curios­i­ty has its own rea­son for exis­tence. One can­not help but be in awe when he con­tem­plates the mys­ter­ies of eter­ni­ty, of life, of the mar­velous struc­ture of real­i­ty. It is enough if one tries mere­ly to com­pre­hend a lit­tle of this mys­tery each day.” – Albert Ein­stein

As such, we have includ­ed 3 Tips below to set your child up for PSLE suc­cess in Sci­ence, while retain­ing their inter­est and pas­sion for it.

Planning and Scheduling

The PSLE Sci­ence syl­labus con­sists of about 20 top­ics. It gets very over­whelm­ing for stu­dents when they are test­ed on the con­cepts from all these top­ics and are expect­ed to apply them into real-life sce­nar­ios. An exam­ple shown in the dia­gram below has been tak­en from the PSLE exam paper in 2019. In order to tack­le this ques­tion, stu­dents are required to explain the rea­sons that have caused Beatrice’s spec­ta­cles to become fog­gy.

To keep bet­ter track of your child’s expo­sure to real-life sce­nar­ios, get a hold of the year’s wall cal­en­dar and mark down the top­ics you want to focus on with your child. You can decide on the dura­tion need­ed to be spent on each top­ic based on your child’s learn­ing pace. Expos­ing your child to Sci­ence in real-life does not have to be com­pli­cat­ed, and can even start in the com­fort of your home. You can get your child to observe a cold drink can when it is first tak­en out of the fridge, and 5 min­utes after it has been left out in the open. Explain to your child the rea­sons behind the for­ma­tion of water droplets on the cold drink can. The expla­na­tion must be sim­pli­fied, but feel free to throw in one or two con­cepts like “con­den­sa­tion”. Repeat this with dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios and stick dili­gent­ly to your plan stat­ed in the cal­en­dar. It is impor­tant to give your child the time and space to explore and absorb what they have learnt.

“Chil­dren are like wet cement. What­ev­er falls on them makes an impres­sion.” — Dr. Haim Ginott

Asking the Right Questions

Dis­cov­er­ing the world of Sci­ence with your child can be achieved in many ways. Watch­ing doc­u­men­taries, doing hands-on exper­i­ments, and observ­ing every­day life can very well cov­er a wide spread of top­ics that are rel­e­vant to the PSLE Sci­ence Syl­labus. These are already a good start to get your child inter­est­ed and exposed to Sci­ence. But how else can you incor­po­rate the PSLE Sci­ence Syl­labus fur­ther while mak­ing new dis­cov­er­ies?

If you were to refer to the most recent PSLE exam paper test­ed in 2021, you will see that there are many dif­fer­ent types of ques­tions being asked. It is very com­mon for stu­dents at the P6 lev­el to be clue­less when asked to answer ques­tions like: describe what could be con­clud­ed, stat­ing the phys­i­cal prop­er­ty, obtain­ing reli­able results and so on. They strug­gle to tack­le these ques­tion types as they sim­ply do not under­stand the ques­tion words.

As such, it is impor­tant to plan your child’s learn­ing. Think about how you should frame the ques­tions you ask while dis­cussing the phe­nom­e­na expe­ri­enced in your dai­ly life. Start expos­ing your child to the dif­fer­ent ques­tion types and explain in sim­ple terms what they mean. This can be time con­sum­ing, but will be much more effec­tive in the long run.

Record Their Observations

Observ­ing and record­ing is an impor­tant sci­en­tif­ic skill to acquire. This will allow your child to keep track of what they have seen, ques­tioned or dis­cov­ered. Your child can record in many ways, from writ­ing to draw­ing or even cre­at­ing a blog!

Dur­ing this process, you can guide your child fur­ther by ask­ing more in-depth ques­tions like, “Let’s try anoth­er way and see what might hap­pen!” This will stim­u­late your child’s curios­i­ty and encour­age them to ask ques­tions on their own. If an exper­i­ment does not go accord­ing to plan, don’t just stop there. Inves­ti­gate and find out what went wrong to learn togeth­er from your mis­takes. This is a good oppor­tu­ni­ty for your child to learn to con­duct exper­i­ments fair­ly and iden­ti­fy what they can do to improve them. You will realise that a type of ques­tion test­ed in exam­i­na­tions requires stu­dents to find ways to improve cer­tain exper­i­ments, and hence learn­ing to improve on their failed exper­i­ments can hence help them to answer such ques­tions in the exam.

Enjoy the Process

While your child spends this time with you, respond pos­i­tive­ly to your child’s ques­tions, and be patient as they dis­cov­er the world around them through Sci­ence. Enjoy this explo­ration process and remem­ber to always be sup­port­ive of your child in their learn­ing jour­ney.

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