How do you encourage your kids when society tells them they aren’t supposed to be good at something or even take an interest in it?
Nana is my 9 year old, she hasn’t been very confident in her math or science skills even though her lowest grade in either subject is a B. Maybe this is because her grandma constantly says she is not good at math or the general perception that it’s not girly to be strong in math and science. I hate that thinking!
To create change, start at home.
Tell your girls they can take an interest in math, science, and programming and the problems they solve are so cool! The first step to practice what I preach, was taking Nana to Junior Lego League to prepare her for the competition in September. This Lego league teaches the kids to build different bodies for their robots, what the different bodies are capable of, and how to program the robots.
At the monthly gatherings, she is one of two girls with about a dozen kids in attendance. She’s gained confidence in building the chassis for these robots and is beginning to understand the building blocks of programming them, my parents thought she was just playing with Legos until I shared the video. She is now asking me to teach her how to program video games. We will be learning how to do that over the summer and I’ll blog about it from my perspective. She might even author a guest post on her experience.
On June 15th, she saw the latest Google Doodle about the lunar eclipse. She went to search what time it would happen, learned about eclipses on Wikipedia and asked me if I would sit outside and watch it with her.
To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t remember the differences and this was a great opportunity to brush up on that knowledge. We both learned about the near perfect alignment required on the night of a full moon to achieve a lunar eclipse. We also found out the next one is in 11 years.
While we were outside snacking and waiting for the moon to turn blood red, I tweeted out a picture of the moon using Instagram. Someone @ replied to tell me, it wouldn’t be visible for us in North America because the eclipse was going to end at 7 pm EST.
We were bummed to miss it, yet grateful to chat under a bright, beautiful, full moon. I’m also happy to see my daughter take an interest in programming and astronomy, look forward to encouraging and participating the curiosities of my kids.