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Rockford Principal's Corner — April 21, 2020

Before becoming a principal, I taught 4th and 5th-grade science. 

I absolutely loved teaching science, in part because my students were such natural scientists. I would stress with my students that being a scientist didn’t mean dressing a certain way or just working in a lab. 

Science is a way of thinking. It is about making observations, asking good questions, trying new things to see what happens, and writing it all down. Save for the “writing it down piece” kids love doing this! You can do science outside, or in your kitchen, or wherever, as long as you are using these habits of inquiry. 

Science is less about what you know and more about how you know it. Every good answer should lead to an even better question. For me, science encapsulates the joy and discovery of learning.

As we tackle off-campus learning, I encourage you and your children to focus as much on the process of learning as the product. Now is a wonderful time for students to strengthen those habits that will make them successful life-long learners: independence, persistence, time-management, and the like. Don’t rush to their side when they encounter a problem. 

Instead, help them help themselves. Ask what they’ve done so far. Have you reread the instructions out loud? How about rewatching the mini-lesson? Suggest taking a short break, moving around a bit, and coming back to it. 

Along with problem-solving, now is also a great time to foster creativity and innovative thinking. Without a full calendar of activities, sports, and events, our time looks and feels different. Invent something. Tinker. Let your children use the time now to pursue their interests and explore God’s world. 

Most of all, remember that God is present and active. It’s tempting to lean on our own understanding amidst our present uncertainty and anxiety, but it is Him who holds us all in love and grace.

Blessings in your week,
Ben