There's no replacement for it.
Discovery is the fuel that drives the desire for learning. Remember when you learned how to balance on a bike or what clouds were made of? Childhood is filled with questions, why this and why that. Most parents can admit to answering thousands of "why?" questions in their lifetime.
From this simple question comes the passion to discover. Imagine how Columbus felt when waiting for land to appear, or when Newton felt the apple drop. Moments of discovery can be flashbulbs of brilliance, illuminating an area not yet uncovered.
Discovery isn't just for explorers and scientists; discovery is an opportunity for everyone. Here are ways to promote discovery in your child:
1. Ask (or explain) how something works
2. Go somewhere new, read something new, eat something new
3. Combine two dissimilar activities
4. Learn a new skill together
5. Question a current process
6. Examine the insides of an item
7. Investigate an unknown
8. Apply critical thinking "what if" questions to homework (instead of pure memorization)
Fostering the natural human feeling of discovery is important for children today. In a generation being spoon-fed education, news, media, and beliefs, it's vital to drive student brains to think outside the box, to question the why and make the world better for trying new things. After all, aren't questions better than answers?
What's the last new thing you discovered? How did you feel when you uncovered it?