By Leigh Bortins
“We perish from want of wonder, not from want of wonders.”—G. K. Chesterton
Have you ever watched your children squeal in delight when they turn over a large rock and discover that a whole colony of insects has been living right beneath it? This is what scientific study is all about—wondering about God’s creation and recording what you learn. As we grow older, many of us forget to wonder. We forget to stare at the stars above us at night, to wonder what they are made of and what governs their motions. We forget to see the wildlife all around us, to ask for the names of all of the birds in the backyard. I am grateful that we live on a lake that is home to many different species of frogs. Every night, their musical croaking in varied voices is a symphony in tribute to the astonishing diversity of Creation.
How can we train our children to continue to explore the world with wide-eyed wonder at the works of His hands? First, we know that a little bit of knowledge is usually fodder for more curiosity. If small children memorize the types of volcanoes—active, intermittent, dormant, extinct—then they will be more likely to want to read books about volcanoes. In addition, their ears will perk up when they hear of stories of ancient volcanoes, such as Pompeii, or of volcanoes in current news stories.
So far, I have already mentioned two important activities for small children in the study of science. ( (more…)