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Will we raise more confident kids if we ditch traditional teaching methods?

Can you recall a time you felt completely confident at something? How did it make you feel? Did it come after some sort of effort on your part? Studying, hard work, trial and error, etc. Think of how that confidence makes you feel. Then think about kids and how they ask questions and make mistakes and learn. And having the confidence to keep going, how can we as parents, educators, and mentors, encourage kids’ confidence?  

We know the value of confident kids. And, at the same time, bucking traditions is difficult. We tend to do things the way we have always done them because it’s what we know. But we don’t have to continue to follow this path, especially if there are better ways to raise confident kids.

Take science experiments, for example. Most hands-on activities are really just demonstrations of science, not actual experiments. You can buy a science kit that tells you to pour tube A into tube B. And maybe the kit says tube A is citric acid and tube B is sodium bicarbonate. It bubbles and fizzes and your child might say “oh wow!”

But so what? what have they learned? Why does it bubble and fizz? 

These “kits” rarely ask kids to tinker, to play, to test, and fail, and make up their own reactions. They never get to actually experiment.

We build confidence when we play. When we ask questions such as, “What if I add twice as much vinegar, or half as much or what if I heat the reaction or add sugar to it? Will acetic acid (vinegar) work the same as citric acid? What about baking powder, does it work too?” And from all of this playing, kids will see, learn, and do a real science experiment, testing their own ideas, and learning about chemical reactions and why some molecules react and some don’t.

 That’s real science.

 Has your child ever told you about something they learned in school and you asked them more questions, but they didn’t know the answer because they didn’t fully understand the concept?

So let me ask you: Do you want your child build confidence as they learn? We go beyond surface learning when we tinker, toy, play, and explore through our own questions. RATATAZ is a fun way to help your student feel comfortable being introduced to complex subjects and accelerate their understanding with self-initiated questions. 

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