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Why Some Students Find Physics Challenging and How to Help Them

As your teenager navigates the world of high school science, you might have noticed complaints on a particular subject: Physics. It's not uncommon to hear students label it as "too hard" or "boring." But why is this the case? And more importantly, how can you, as a parent, help?

The Physics Phobia: Why the Challenge?

  1. Abstract Concepts: Unlike biology, where one can see cells under a microscope, or chemistry, where reactions can be observed, many physics concepts are abstract. Ideas like Energy and Momentum aren't easily visualized, making them harder to grasp.

  2. Math-Intensive: Physics is deeply intertwined with mathematics. For students who find math challenging, physics can seem like an uphill battle.

  3. Real-world Disconnect: Many students struggle to see how physics applies to their daily lives. Without real-world applications, the subject can seem irrelevant.

  4. Intimidating Terminology: Words like "thermodynamics," and "electromagnetism. "can be daunting. The terminology itself can make the subject seem more complex than it is.

Turning the Physics Frown Upside Down: How to Help

  1. Connect Physics to the Real World: Show your teen the physics in everyday life. The rainbow after a storm? That's optics. The reason their toast falls butter-side down? That's gravity. Share with you teenager on what jobs require a strong understanding of physics for example: Architecture.

  2. Use visual aids: Consider showing them videos of interesting experiments involving physics. Sometimes, seeing is believing (and understanding).

  3. Hire a Tutor: If your teen is genuinely struggling, it might be beneficial to hire a tutor who can break down complex concepts into digestible bits.

  4. Visit Science Museums: Interactive exhibits can make learning fun and can help bridge the gap between theory and application.

  5. Encourage Group Study: Sometimes, discussing and debating concepts with peers can lead to better understanding. Plus, it's always reassuring to know you're not the only one finding something challenging.

  6. Promote a Growth Mindset: Remind your teen that it's okay not to understand everything immediately. Physics is challenging, but with persistence and the right resources, they can conquer it.

  7. Stay Updated with Schoolwork: Regularly check in with your teen about their physics assignments. Knowing that you're interested can motivate them to stay on top of their work.

In conclusion, while physics might seem difficult at first, with the right strategies and support, your teen can not only understand but also appreciate and excel in it. After all, in the words of J.C. Polkinghorne, "Physics is about questioning, studying, probing nature. You probe, and, if you're lucky, you get strange clues."

Here at Genie, we care for our students beyond academics. Click here to find out more about us.

All the Best to you on your parenting journey!

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