Having taught Primary School Science for years, I can tell you that there are plenty of misconceptions that parents have with regards to helping their child become better at the subject. My students leave my lessons not only doing better but also become significantly more interested in the subject. In my opinion, this is the win-win situation that every teacher and parent should strive for: to cultivate interest and produce result. How did I achieve this? I will provide the 1 tip that I swear by, something that you can do immediately to help your child become more interested in the subject and as a result, better at it.
Get them to ask questions
If we were to just Google the word "Science", we would see that it is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.
Keyword here is "pursuit". Was Science ever just about memorising a bunch of dry facts from a textbook? No. In fact, Science is a way of skeptically interrogating the world around us. It is about asking the right questions, not just knowing the right answers. Every child who studies science should actively pursue answers to questions that they have. This starts with cultivating the good habit of asking questions.
As you can see from the picture below, I get my students to write down 3 - 5 Scientific questions every week as homework. These questions can be about anything as long as they are regarded under the huge umbrella of Science. I have students asking me why the sky is blue, what are black holes, where did humans come from etc. Mind you, these amazingly deep and profound questions are from 10 - 12 year olds.
How many times have students been deprived of finding the right answers to their questions just because we adults find them annoying? Their endless "whys" make us irritated and we just cast them aside as "stupid questions". However, there are no stupid questions, not from children 12 and below.
Some of you might be thinking, what's the point of asking questions about topics that are not going to be tested in PSLE? Isn't that just a waste of time? If this is you, please hear me out. It is not so much about finding answers to their questions, but rather the act and habit of asking questions that creates a profound impact on the student's learning experience.
The goal here is to cultivate interest. A child who is interested in something would do their best at it, or at least find it a lot easier to work hard for it. I have seen it a countless number of times. When my students become more interested in Science, their eyes light up, they are filled with curiosity, and their Science results improve progressively. Their interest in the subject has a direct effect on their competency in the subject.
This is a long-term solution to the problem, and I believe it is the best solution. Merely practicing assessment papers upon assessment papers is not as effective in my opinion. Not to mention that it may make the student dread the subject. My focus has always been to cultivate interest in the subject through drawing out a child's natural curiosity they have for the world around them. Results has aways been a by-product of that. Focus on cultivating interest and the results will improve.