Why Should I Teach My Child Astronomy?

As a parent, it is natural to want to engage your child in things that interest you; therefore it rightly follows that if your hobby is astronomy then you may want to introduce your child or children to it. However, there are many more benefits to teaching a child about astronomy than the extra family bonding time that it will provide.

Firstly, participating in astronomy based activities will help develop an interest in science. Children are inquisitive by nature so any astronomy tasks you participate in with them are sure to lead to additional questions on the how and why of everything. It is easy to go from looking at the stars to talking about evolution or gravity.

So why is an early interest in science so important? The obvious answer is that science is on the school curriculum and good science grades are well favoured by Universities, and are essential for a number of career paths. However, science is also shown to help develop many other skill sets, such as verbal reasoning, logic, vocabulary and literacy - all important and desirable life skills - which will open many doors for your child as they progress through life.

As well as holding a number of benefits for intellectual development in children, astronomy can also boost emotional development, improving a child’s independence and self-esteem. Rather than telling your child everything they want to know, encouraging them to go on a computer or find a reference book to find information for themselves will help them become less dependent on others and feel more confident in their ability to achieve.

Even some of the more unexpected skill sets can be developed and improved through the teaching of astronomy, depending on the type of activities you use as teaching tools. For instance, if you are encouraging children to make, draw or bake as part of their learning experience, then they are also learning to be more patient, to think freely and creatively and are improving their fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

With all this considered, it is clear to see why many parents are keen to involve their child in astronomy from an early age, so why wait? Take your child outside on the next convenient evening, even if only for a moment, and introduce them to the night sky.