How is biology used in everyday life? Does your student need help understanding the relevancy of biology studies to practical situations? From the biology lab to the dining room table, biology influences your everyday life in ways you can make visible to your child.
Talk to your child about his biological clock and how his body naturally finds a rhythm, waking him up at close to the same time every morning. Take a couple minutes on the Internet to research how much sleep a typical child or teen of his age usually needs each week. Show him how his body naturally reflects these truths. Show him the value of science in determining what is good for our bodies, from how much sleep we get to what we eat and how much we exercise. Point out the fact that several branches of biology are devoted to studying and understand the basic needs of the body.
Move on to what he eats in the morning. If left to his own, would he make healthy food choices? How does he know what is good to eat and what is unhealthy? Why does his body crave unhealthy foods? Biology explores these very questions, helping us understand that our natural craving for high-sugar and high-fat foods goes back to the days when we had to hunt and gather for sustenance, requiring our bodies to store excess fat for times of famine. If we did not have scientists studying this aspect of biology-nutrition, pathology and general physiology-we would not realize that our bodies need supplemental vitamins or that we should avoid certain foods.
Talk to your student about hygiene. How does your child know to brush his teeth and floss every day? Only because dentists have learned how to prevent tooth decay from medical biologists. Does your child take any medications for allergies or other medical conditions? Discuss pharmacology, yet another field of biology your student uses every day.
Has your child gone through a growth spurt lately? Discuss the basic biology involved in puberty and bodily changes. Explain how the understanding we have about our bodies is thanks to centuries of biologists studying the body.
Do you have pets? Have the pets ever needed to see the vet? Point out that veterinary care would be impossible without biologists studying what animals need certain kinds of care or how to treat various diseases.
Does your student appreciate nature? Do you have a garden or flower bed? Without biology, our knowledge of how to care for plants or live in harmony with the environment would be severely limited. Environmental and conservation biology are popular branches of biology, now that society is realizing how much damage we can do to our planet.
Helping your child see the practical side of biology information will hopefully spur interest and greater appreciation of the subject.
Is your child asking, "What is natural selection?" Learn how to explain Darwin's theories of survival of the fittest and adaptablity in living things.
Is your child asking, "What are genes?" Learn how to explain what they are and how they help make each person unique.