As a parent, you may have noticed the word STEM popping up every now and again. But what does it actually mean? STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths; four very important subjects in terms of your child’s education. STEM subjects offer children a variety of crucial life skills that they can carry through life, from problem solving to critical thinking. What’s more, children who have a strong interest in one or more of these subject areas will likely be faced with some fantastic career opportunities when they’re older.
There’s no time like the present to get started with something like this. Your child needs to understand how each of the STEM subjects are linked and why they are so important in the real world. These subjects are typically integrated in the school curriculum, but as many parents are having to home school their children as a result of the global pandemic, it’s worth exploring them at home as well. I have teamed up with an independent prep school in London to offer the following tips for parents who’d like to start exploring STEM subjects in the home.
There are lots of things you can do to get started and a range of fun and interactive activities you can do as a family. One of the simplest things you can do is point out the many STEM-related learning opportunities you come across naturally on a daily basis. For instance, if you’re taking a walk, talk to your child about nature, the seasons and how things grow. If you’re cooking a meal, ask your child to help and teach them how to measure the ingredients. Play lots of board games and puzzles to stimulate your child’s problem solving and numeracy skills.
Essentially, you need to familiarise your child with these subjects by making them something you talk about on a regular basis. For instance, if a new gadget has been announced or a medical breakthrough was mentioned on the news, talk about it with your child and encourage them to ask questions and do their own research. The more ‘normal’ these subjects feel to your child, the more likely they are to have an interest in them.
Don’t hesitate to contact your child’s school for some more advice and search online for resources you can use. For younger children, there are lots of STEM toys available on the market to stimulate their senses and curiosity.
Thanks for reading xxx
Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.
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