More parents would focus on science-related activities with their young children if they knew how to actually engage in such activities, according to a new survey.

The survey from Education Development Center (EDC) and SRI International includes data from more than 1,400 parents of young children ages 3 to 6—many of whom (63 percent) are from low-income households.

One of the biggest takeaways from the results? Science for young children doesn’t have to involve expensive devices or equipment—it can be as simple as encouraging inquiry, curiosity, and asking “Why?” with young children.

Many of the surveyed parents said they believe it is important to encourage learning at home, and most said they feel comfortable helping their young children with reading and math. But a smaller number said they are comfortable with science learning.

That reluctance is a cause for concern, because although early learning around reading and math has garnered top priority, science has not, despite its ability to help students develop many essential soft skills they’ll need after high school, such as problem solving and critical thinking.

(Next page: 5 takeaways for early science learning)

Laura Ascione
About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura