Is a Homeschool STEM Education Possible? 5 things homeschooling families should keep in mind
Homeschooling is a growing trend in the U.S., with an incredible variety of reasons for choosing it over a more traditional education. Some may select it because they aren’t in a school district that they feel will meet their student’s needs, while others may opt for homeschool because they don’t want to subject their learners to school cafeteria food.
We’re mostly joking about that second one, but we think homeschooling and traditional education can be both be great if parents and students put forth the effort and time! That being said, homeschool families have an especially unique opportunity to help their students enjoy their studies, especially in the STEM subjects. Keep the following 5 things in mind when prioritizing STEM in a homeschooler’s education:
1. Choose a curriculum that is hands-on
There’s no way around it; reading from a textbook is boring. Search for curriculums that pique the interest of students through experiments and hands-on learning. Research has shown that learners perform best when more of their senses are being used: manipulating and touching objects helps activate multiple areas of the brain! Engage your homeschooler by giving them opportunities to learn by doing, not only reading in a textbook.
2. Encourage an interest in STEM subjects from an early age
There are a variety of toys for young students that encourage them to develop ability and interest in STEM fields, and even very young children can begin to use learning apps thanks to the intuitive nature of modern technology. As students grow in their understanding and ability, introduce them to the powerful and exciting world of programming! Not sure where to start? ROBOTERRA’s CastleRock application is an exceptional platform for helping students age 10 and up to learn the amazing things they do with programming!
3. Introduce STEM subjects with topics and experiments that your student is interested in
Is your learner crazy about airplanes? Robots? Perhaps she or he loves to create homemade concoctions such as homemade slime! Take advantage of whatever your learner is naturally inclined toward and show them the amazing things science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can do!
4. Engineering and mathematics are crucially linked, so help your homeschooler stay on track in mathematics
If your student consistently struggles with mathematics, evaluate the curriculum you are using to be sure it suits your student’s learning style. As homeschool students progress into more advanced classes that some parents may feel unprepared to teach, consider a supplementary class. These programs often have a low student to teacher ratio and affordable tuition. Try searching for a supplemental program in your area, but if you are unable to find one near you, consider hiring a tutor to work with your student and help them develop confidence in advanced mathematics.
5. Say yes to creativity!
Art projects with paint aren’t the only way to express creativity! Students can use ingenuity and innovation in every aspect of their education. Creativity is an essential element to every subject because it is critical for problem solving. Encourage students to attempt to solve problems on their own before offering help, demonstrate that some solutions can be found in more than one way, and praise students for thinking outside the box whenever the opportunity arises. Let them try out a variety of creative outlets including activities such as music, art, and creative writing!
To get your student interested in robotics and/or programming, try the Roboterra Origin™ Kit!
It’s equipped with everything students age 10 and older need to build a robot and learn to program it at the same time, regardless of their initial skill level in the field. This means students receive real-time feedback and are immediately able to see errors and are motivated to solve them!
Learners are able to work at their own pace, and don’t necessarily require a lot of guided instruction thanks to our cloud-based application, CastleRock. We created ROBOTERRA because we believe that young learners can and should have the opportunity to try their hand at learning robotics in a fun but effective way- try our Origin Kit and watch your student blaze their own trial!