Why Do STEM Activities
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Why I Want to Incorporate STEM activities into Our Homeschooling
The name my husband and I chose for our school is Garner Math Academy. My daughter, my oldest child, is an avid reader. She devours books. So if asked if math is her favorite subject, she will answer no, even though she does well in math. However, she was all smiles as she tinkered with the Snap Ciricuit Jr. set I bought for my son for Christmas.
A large part of exposing our children to STEM activities is to teach them how to become problem solvers. Even as little kids, they have already learned how to solve problems. One of our jobs as parents is to expose them to educational tasks that will nurture their problem solving skills. So maybe my daughter will never love math as much as she loves to read, but I want to expose her and my other children to lots of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities so that they have the OPTION to be scientists, engineers, or mathematics if they so desire. So whether you think your child is mathematically inclined or not, you never know what will spark the fires of your little ones.
As a child, math was not my favorite subject either. In high school, my favorite subject was history, and I used to love to read historical fiction books, but I was blessed in that I was good in math as well. When I went to college, I double majored in Political Science and Math. I planned to go to law school, but I decided to add Math as a second major since I was naturally good at it. My junior year of college though, I decided that law school was not for me, and later decided to go to graduate school in Statistics. Fast forward many years later, after my husband and I decided that it was better for our family if I was primarily a stay at home mom, being good at math has afforded me many opportunities in instances when I needed to work a little. I’ve seen first hand how being good in math, can be such a blessing, even if it’s not the subject you LOVE the most.
I believe that by making STEM activities a regular part of our homeschooling, the children’s love of learning will grow as I’ve seen how much they love to play games, invent stories, and use their imaginations. As parents, we just never know exactly what type of occupation our kids will someday be doing. We just want to provide the resources so that our children are exposed to as many educational things as possible. Ultimately, we want to cultivate a desire to learn, to discover, and to be inventive in our children.
We don’t to produce cookie cutter kids. We want to foster an intelluctual curiosity in our children. We want them to have fun right now tinkering and being creative kids!
How to Begin Incorporating STEM Activities
A good beginning step if you want to incorporate STEM activities into your homeschooling is by referencing a book with STEM activities. I have started using the book “The Everything Stem Handbook.”
The first activity we did from this book was to make a Geometry Monster. I cut out different geometric shapes, and I talked to the children about the shapes. Then Annaliese and Andre made Geometry Monsters using the shapes. I think that this is a good way to talk about shapes and to let your kids do a simple hands-on activity. Though I would suggest drawing and pre-cutting the shapes perhaps the night before you do the activity as it took me a while to draw out the shapes since I wasn’t just working with simple shapes such as squares and triangles but also with shapes such as trapezoids and parallelograms. An even better idea is probably to use simple software such as Paint to draw your shapes and then to print them out and cut them.
Ultimately, I want to cultivate a desire to learn, to discover, and to be inventive in my children. I want them to have the option to be scientists, engineers, or mathematicians, and even if they don’t decide to go into any of these fields, I want them to have FUN right now tinkering and being creative kids!
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