Educators are now bringing innovation to STEM teaching methods to prepare students for the future. In fact, it has now become an essential part of the idea of holistic learning in children.
However, as per a report by the White House, not more than 20 percent of high school pass-outs in the US are groomed well for majors in STEM. This substantiates the fact that not everyone is doing well when it comes to STEM learning. STEM learning is not at all an easy fundamental of learning, and many students may find it daunting. Having said that, your child needs equal support from their teachers and you to master STEM learning.
Moving forward, learning the elements of STEM in the classroom may not be enough. Your child needs a conducive STEM learning environment at home as well to learn holistically. In this blog, we discuss how you can contribute to your child’s pursuit of STEM learning. Your involvement in your child’s learning can optimize the entire process. So, let us glance at the various ways in which you can create a conducive environment at home that supports your child’s STEM learning. After all, supporting your child’s education is one of the best ways to create a great bond with your child.
Mathematics is an imperative element of STEM learning, and it is often seen that many children tend to fear it. From ages as young as five or six, children develop a phobia of mathematics or math anxiety. Furthermore, when these issues go unaddressed for long, the math anxiety further grows, and children start believing that they will never be able to perform in mathematics. As a parent, it is important that you identify if your child is too afraid of mathematics. In case your child has this phobia, you need to assist your child in all possible ways. Moreover, you have to make your child believe that mathematics is all about practice. You need to be a part of your child’s mathematics practice, and you should recognize every element of improvement they exhibit. Your responsibility does not stop at asking your child not to be afraid of mathematics.
You have to be a part of the process where your child begins to put greater concentration on learning mathematics. You have to absorb your child’s fears of mathematics and make it about the process rather than the answer. It is ok if your child gets the first few answers wrong as long as there is persistence. Moreover, you need to create room for mistakes because that is how
people learn mathematics and build a rapport with it. You have to make your child believe that with hard work and consistency, the right answer is only a matter of time. From a daunting subject, you have to translate mathematics into a fun activity for your child. For that, you can even gamify mathematics to increase friendliness. It will require greater participation and involvement from your end. Remember, effective STEM learning cannot exist on the sidelines of reluctance for mathematics.
The journey of almost all verticals of science and technology started with curiosity. Newton was curious to know about what pulls an apple hanging from a tree to the ground. Similarly, Google was curious to explore the possibilities of driverless cars. As an outcome of such eagerness, the field of science and technology has shown rampant growth, and the world has come a long way. Who would have imagined this ongoing digital revolution ten to fifteen years ago? All thanks to the charm of curiosity and how some great minds pursued those curious thoughts.
Similarly, you have to incite keenness around science and technology in your child. For that, you can ask them open-ended questions based on science and technology. For instance, you can ask them how they feel artificial intelligence is changing the world or about the greatest creations of AI. You can indulge your child in discussions on outer space, digital payments, defense technology, and so on. However, for that, you will also have to augment your curiosity and knowledge. This will help you to explore their enthusiasm for science and its aspects. Besides, you can engage them in coding, reading about the greatest inventions of science, and even watching sci-fi movies with them. All these little things would add up to build immense curiosity in them pertaining to science and technology. Further, this curiosity will promote enhanced interest and active STEM learning in your child.
For promoting active STEM learning at home, you can explore the possibilities of various at-home STEM activities. These activities will engage your child’s mind in a worthwhile way, and the fun element will build interest. You can discover various possibilities of adding STEM-based activities to your child’s everyday routine. You can use the following activities to create a conducive environment for STEM learning at home.
Magnetic slime activity
Building a balance scale activity
Number matching activity with sticky notes
Counting cups activity
Activities with dices and dominoes
Cloud in a jar activity
Besides, there is a host of other online and offline activities you can leverage. Also, you can use various STEM learning DIY kits that will blend learning and fun. A wide spectrum of educational technology companies offers a broad range of DIY kits for STEM learning. They can be useful to promote greater cognitive abilities in your child that are needed for STEM learning. In fact, in the present era, where children are at home for months due to the pandemic, these DIY kits or activities can prove to be the most effective active learning strategies. Leveraging interactive technology has become a necessity for effective learning in contemporary times. You should make use of the resources at your disposal to the fullest! It brings great convenience and the scope of positive outcomes we desire.
A growth mindset can lay down a perfect foundation for excelling in STEM learning. As cited by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, growth mindsets exhibit great belief in learning. To explain, it defines a growth mindset as an ideology propagating the fact that intellect is improvable. People who have a growth mindset learn through hard work and persistence rather than believing that intelligence cannot be changed. Besides, such people are not deterred by hurdles to learning. They rather embrace challenges, endorse intrinsic motivation, and put additional effort to learn. Incessant motivation is an attractive feature of growth mindsets. This is exactly the approach that your child needs for STEM learning.
As we know, STEM learning can be challenging at times. Children will need persistent effort and hard work to excel in STEM learning. In fact, at times, the challenges and problems given the complexities of STEM learning can be too overwhelming. In such situations, children will often tend to disengage from learning or will have the tendency to choose easier subjects. Hence, having a growth mindset will help your child to embrace the hustle and not quit in between. A growth mindset will prepare your child for the challenges of STEM learning and also the future. You have to find various ways to incorporate the values of hard work, discipline, consistency, and commitment in your child. You can utilize various ways to develop a growth mindset in your child.
STEM learning is not something your child can master while watching television. STEM learning requires a disciplined approach and a distraction-free conducive environment. Hence, it is better to dedicate a separate STEM learning area in the house on the lines of the classroom
environment. This will offer your child the perfect atmosphere to learn the various elements of STEM learning. You can stuff this area with equipment and props for STEM learning activities. Also, it is recommended that you create this area in a way that you can monitor your kids’ learning.
Moreover, you can further add various tables and charts of mathematical functions and operations. The more creative you can be with this specific area, the more engaging it will be for your child. You can look for various ideas over the internet. Also, you can have a discussion with your child’s class teacher to get insights on the creation and arrangement of a special area dedicated to STEM learning. Identical learning environments in the classroom as well as at home will enable greater adaptability.
To encapsulate, STEM learning is crucial for your child to have a competitive edge over others. STEM learning is the future of education, and excelling in this vertical of learning will enable your child to have diversified career options in the future. While teachers play their part in the classroom, you can also play an active role in enhancing your child’s STEM abilities. Given the significance of STEM learning for your child, you should participate in the process with elation. The kind of learning environment you give your child at home will be a vital cog in the wheel. For that, you can incorporate the above ideas to create an ideal environment for STEM learning. Now when jobs have translated to work from home jobs, you have more time to play an active role in your child’s learning. It is up to you how you smartly utilize this added advantage.
About the author: Jessica Robinson is an epitome of creativity. She has dedicated her life to educational writing and works for ‘The Speaking Polymath’. She has been creating magic with her powerful words for over a decade