Is it just me or is 7 a bit young to decide what career you want to do when you grow up? Yeah, yeah, I know he’ll change a hundred more times before he leaves school. But then, a lot of us probably do know people who decided young and kept on track to the career they wanted. And with the Olympics just ending, we know that a lot of those competitors have been training from an early age.
The real question for me though, is how much should I encourage his choices at this stage? Especially when there is a high chance he will, like most kids, change his mind again and again. For me, I think I’m going to encourage and support him as much as he’ll take. That way he’ll really know whether he has a real interest in that area, and he’ll know what it’s really about.
Perhaps we should take a step back and look at how this all came up though.
Last week Jay (my son) had Thursday and Friday off school because of the PSLE (Primary School Leaving Exams) that all grade 6 students go through. As a side note, do any other countries have major national exams for Primary/Elementary students? I know we didn’t in Australia, and as far as I know they still don’t, and I’ve never heard of any other countries doing it, but I guess there could be some doing it.
Anyway, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, last Thursday and Friday Jay had no school. So on Thursday my wife, SO, took the day off and took him to “KidsSTOP” at the Singapore Science Centre, which is aimed at children up to 8 years of age, and introduces younger kids to the world of science. Luckily Jay is 7 so he can still go there. They apparently enjoyed it and when they got home Jay told me he wanted to go to the main Science Centre the next day, which caters for older kids and teenagers.
So Friday came and, having taken the day off to spend with him, we set off to the Science Centre to learn about sciency stuff and hopefully have a bit of fun doing it. We ended up spending about 5 hours walking around the exhibits and learning about all the different types of science and playing with the contraptions they have on display. It was tiring, but we had a great time, and I’d like to do more things like that with him in the future.
At the end of the day, on the way home, Jay told me that he had decided he wants to be a scientist. If this had been the first mention of it I probably wouldn’t have taken it that seriously, and figured it was just because he’d had fun, but he’s mentioned it a few times in the past. Which is why we wanted to take him there in the first place.
So now, even though he won’t start studying science at school until next year, we’re already on the look out for things we can get him to jump start his interest in science. We’ve talked to him about the periodic table and he’s excited, as only a 7 year old can be, to get one and start learning all about the elements and how they interact. Time will tell how far he takes it, but as long as he’s interested I want to keep feeding his interest and we’ll take him back to the science centre to further explore what they have there. Oh, and if you’re interested in what’s at the centre take a look here.