What the Science Roadshow taught me

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We went to a great Science Roadshow today….

http://www.roadshow.org/content/scienceRoadshow/programme.php
(Didn’t take my camera sorry.)

It was set up for school classes to come through getting one and a half hours each.

You got a 20 minute “show” from two of the staff, then a look around and a go on the exhibits and then a different show to finish.
It was very fun, very easy to understand, completely hands on….the boys and I could have stayed there for hours.

After Charlie and I were about a third of the way around the activities they called a stop and that was it!
We were gutted!

It made me realise how great our lifestyle is.  One of the many  advantages of unschooling is having the time to do things until you/the kids are ready to finish. (Or you get chucked out!)

I am so grateful for this as over the years we have spent hours and hours dawdling in museum exhibits, parks, pools…..We seem to be the very last people to ever leave anywhere.

This is based on an underlying desire to let the children finish what they are doing, play until they are finished.  Try not to interrupt their play.

The roadshow today was set up for schools and certainly manages to give many kids a great taste of hands on science.
But phew, what a rush!
My unschooling friend I was with organised to catch up with them next week at the next school they are at and finish looking, quick thinking of her part.

Also our children were lucky as they had parents there with them reading out the full instructions and explaining what was happening etc.
Another bonus of a small adult to child ratio….

In terms of content I felt totally reassured about how much science gets done in a childs play.  I have to say in our family the boys have been total scientists in the way they have played and talked about what they were doing.  I have no concerns about their science knowledge.

I heard something about play and science years ago that has stayed with me and really rings true.  It is this – that children need to play – do all the hoses in sandpit, trajectory, gravity, speed, things with rope, paperclips, ice, food….
In this way they are activity doing science, but they just do not know it. If they get to work out the scientific practice themselves in a practical way as children, then later on if they study the theories behind the “play” they did, it is much easier for them to just slot the theory into the practice, on top of the knowledge they already have.
It is as if through play they are laying the foundations for any future learning – which of course is true for any subject & any play!

Seeing our kids grow and change and their interests grow with them I can see how perfectly their games and passions lead them exactly where they want to go in life.
They are the  true masters of their own education, knowing what it is they need to learn and when.

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