Getting Your Children Excited in STEM Without Pushing Them
You should really hope that your children receive a great education in all STEM fields, like science, technology, engineering, and math while they’re still in school since these domains can open incredible career paths for them in the future.
Unfortunately, few children show a real interest in these fields, mainly because of the unexciting manner in which these are presented at school. But as a parent, you have a wide array of tools and exciting methods to open your children’s appetite for such subjects and boost their love to learn and explore those.
If you still think that eagerly studying such topics won’t help your students much, then you should know that these fields not only open impressive career opportunities for them, but they also come with several other advantages.
Benefits of a Better Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Knowledge
STEM has one main great benefit and that is that it has applications in normal, everyday tasks. When presenting your children these advantages, don’t start by explaining to them that math will help them manage better their taxes when the time comes.
This makes them have a weird feeling of a punishment, like many of us, do. What we don’t realize is that these fields have applications outside the classroom, in every aspect of our lives.
Cooking – food science might be the best method to show your children the use of these fields. Plus, kids can learn chemistry, practice their math skills and learn more about plants, their anatomy and usefulness in the kitchen if you present everything appropriately.
The “edible experiments” you can find on the Mental Floss website will certainly entertain your children with a flavorful reward at the end. All these, while they learn something from every bot of STEM fields – except for engineering.
Also, you can always explain to them what happens when mundane things take place in the kitchen, like water boiling. And you can always teach them why you should melt butter if you want those incredibly chewy, incredible cookies. Food science is a great way to show your children how useful science can be in everyday tasks.
Music and Reading Poetry – you might be surprised to find out that music and reading poetry are tightly related to math. When your children take their music lessons, you might want to point this out to help them improve their technique.
Tech and Other Things They’re Interested In – well, you could start by explaining to them that Google is entirely made with code when they next go to their Google machine to find the latest episodes of their favorite cartoons. Such small aspects will intrigue your children and they will become increasingly interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Banking and Shopping – every time when you’re dealing with money and finances or when your children ask you for money, you should reinforce those principles by taking them shopping, encouraging them to save money and get involved in household tasks if they want any.
This is a great way to show your children how useful math is without frightening them. Even playing Monopoly with them will help you exemplify how useful some math knowledge is.
Making It Interesting
While sneaking this information into your kids’ daily lives, you could start encouraging your little ones to have fun while getting familiar with these topics. Teach them the science of slime (you can find plenty of YouTube tutorials out there), help them invent their own (rudimental) video game and so on. But no matter what you choose, don’t try to make it a lesson.
At least, not in the beginning. After that, you can start integrating into their weekly science-learning routines some online chemistry courses and other similar activities. In the beginning, until you get themselves hooked, make it all about experiences.
Frequent Trips to The Zoo – while you can always choose a science museum, it doesn’t have to be one. Zoos are just amazing starting points to teach them about different species’ biology and evolution. They will certainly find it mesmerizing.
STEM, Children’s Museums, History Museums, and Art Museums – these all show a huge potential in teaching your children, in a fun, non-pedagogic manner something about science and other STEM fields.
Purchase Some STEM Toys and Games – if you have an engineer or coder in your extended circle of friends, you could ask them to design some toys and games you can play with your child. If not, you will certainly find an entire Amazon section of STEM toys that your children will find thrilling and entertaining to play with.
Also, there are numerous free apps that will teach your children how to code at a very young age. Watch with them technology and science shows. Yes, you are familiar with “Bill Bye, the Science Guy, but have you considered watching the series with your kids?
Mythbusters is also a great series that will open your children’s appetite for STEM subjects and experiments. And here is an extended list of science shows that are just great for children.
Let Your Child be the IT Guy of the House – when you try to fix something on your computer, make it seem like you don’t know what you’re doing and have your child read the instruction manual of what needs interventions. This will help them become knowledgeable in this regard and will certainly develop a passion for similar matters in the future.
Don’t Make It About Grades – Praise the Process
STEM fields are certainly difficult. They’re rigorously graded and tests tend to be more difficult than those practical experiments in the house. Yes, at some point, you will have to motivate your kids to score higher grades in these fields, to follow a similar career path, but until then, make sure that you praise the process and their evolution.
Many children quit studying such topics because simply put, they get discouraged by their grades and tests’ toughness. Praise them for their process, and not for their intelligence or mental abilities. Make sure they come to realize that everything is about how you do it, not your IQ.
The transition of a student from a traditional school to an online learning mode might be not that easy after all. It is normal for your child to take some time to adjust to this new mode of learning from home. While some students have the ability to adapt quickly, but others need a longer time period to go through the transition phase.
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