Exploring STEM subjects with your child
A common question many parents have, is what does my child study at school and how can I help? Whilst most have a vague idea through their child’s homework and occasional parent’s evenings, it is still something many don’t truly understand. One of the main areas of learning when it comes to school, are STEM subjects. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths, and are a collection of subjects that are heavily focused on to ensure students gain the skills needed for future careers and employment options. As a parent, it is important you do your best to support your child outside of school hours with this area of learning. This is because STEM can go as far as helping students to develop different skills such as investigative and problem solving. By simply nurturing your child’s interest and love for these subjects, to helping them expand their knowledge, you can ensure they will do well, especially when it comes to exams. Here is some advice from this nursery in Harpenden on exploring STEM subjects with your child.
Children are naturally curious, which means that it is important to encourage it when it comes to STEM learning. Take the time to ask your child different questions, encourage them to ask just as many questions back and guide them to find the answers in the best way possible. This can be as simple as observing the world around you and asking questions about why things work the way they do. At first your child may seem confused but keep on top of it and watch their curiosity overload.
Take learning outdoors
Traditional methods of learning are great but are not the only way to teach children new things. Nature is the biggest classroom around, exploding with facts and information to be explored. There are a number of opportunities for learning in the outdoors that align with STEM learning. One activity that you can do is taking your child on trips to places like the beach. Here they can explore different materials and gives you the chance to discuss states of matter as they play with the sand and water. Another activity you can complete is a simple walk in the forest. This offers the chance to discuss ecosystems and animal habitats. During your walks, encourage your child to keep their eyes and ears peeled and ask them what it is that they see and hear. Taking learning outdoors and exploring wildlife and nature with your child is one of the easiest ways to practice STEM learning with your child.
Provide them with opportunities
There are many resources available to help children explore STEM subjects. Books, videos and online resources can also be used to introduce your child to different areas of science, technology, engineering, and maths. Visiting science museums or attending science fairs can also be a great way to spark your child’s interest. Ensure that the activities they practice are hands on, as this helps your child understand concepts better when it comes to STEM learning. Building structures with blocks, experimenting with water, and playing with magnets are all fun ways to explore science and engineering concepts in particular.
As with anything, practice always makes perfect. Maths is one of the most important subject’s students will study as other subjects such as science rely on it as well. Unfortunately, many students struggle when it comes to learning maths and tend to shy away from it or avoid it altogether. The key to helping your child make progress in this subject is by practicing it. Alongside homework that your child will complete regardless, spend time with your child to practice some learning activities at home. Look for ways to make it fun and remove the deep-set view of maths being a subject that is dull and boring. Simply changing your child’s mindset can make all the difference and help them when it comes to succeeding in STEM learning.