Steam to Power Your STEM Learning
March 2, 2022
STEM Tools Can Help You Teach
Are you trying to incorporate a bit more technology in your homeschooling? We make use of some educational apps—Chloe, Sani and Zion use the iPad or their laptops for some of their assignments. Apps are especially handy when we’re traveling or on the go. Using robotics is another fun way to teach math and science.
Check out these articles from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine with some good STEM teaching tools:
- STEM, STEAM, What Do They Mean? by Marla Szwast explains these terms and how they can help you teach your kids to be critical thinkers.
- Kendra Fletcher’s Great Apps for Little Kiddos has some ideas for introducing technology to your littles.
- And Getting Into STEM and Robotics at Home by David Cox shows some fun ways to introduce science, technology, engineering and math in your homeschool.
By the way, Mama, I heard you could use some encouragement. Did you know that while these trials are difficult at the moment, they won’t always be? And did you know that even in the midst of these excruciating tests you are enduring, you can be an encourager—even a counselor—to others? You know up close and personally what they are going through; you’ve experienced it firsthand. You’ve cried the same tears, prayed the same fervent prayers. Hoped and hoped, even though you were heartsick.
You can relate, Mama, and someday, you will lay hold to a perspective even more sharply and clearly than you do now. Know God’s word (the Bible) correctly because someday you will be a wise counselor to others. Maybe to a future daughter-in-law. Perhaps to your own grown-up granddaughter. Yes, your child’s grown-up child. Fast forward, Mama—look ahead. God has much to do with your life; it’s not winding down yet. He is preparing you even now for what is to come. He works all things for the good of those who love him. (Read Romans 8).
Bury yourself in God’s word, and grow in Godly wisdom, because deep pain which turns to joy results in a Godly COUNSELOR like no other. And someone in your future needs you. Don’t you dare wind down. Do you understand that? YOU WILL BE NEEDED.
So embrace this period with pure JOY, knowing that the King of kings has a plan for His beautiful daughter—you—even in all of this.
And it IS a lovely plan. Get through this moment with peace and steadfastness, Mama, so you are ready when He calls you to what’s next. He is with you! He will help you! Don’t think for a minute you are going through this alone. He is holding your hand, and His hand rests on your head.
Can You Speak Chemistry? Fluency in Chemistry for Kids
Did you know chemists speak to each other in symbols? Imagine a white board full of shapes and arrows, or a swirling DNA double helix or a large mass of Tinker-Toy looking connections representing a protein. In my thirty years of teaching Organic and Biochemistry at the college level, I have come to uncover that student success in chemistry relies on understanding how to interpret symbols . . . much like reading music. Research has shown that the ideal time for kids to learn how to read musical symbols and play an instrument occurs before the age of 10. My research finds the same brain plasticity applies with early, eager learners grasping chemical symbols and applying them to writing symbolic formulas and to writing balanced chemical equations.
So much of chemistry is not dependent on math. Chemists understand a world of symbols, and when they look at these symbols, they see molecules ‘dancing’ and interacting with each other, much like a musician looks at music and can simultaneously hear it.
Let’s capture early, eager learners ages 8 to 108 with chemical symbols so that they can become fluent in chemistry and have access to and success in all the wonderful and exciting STEM subjects that depend on chemistry!
Dr. Colleen Kelley is the creator and founder of Kids’ Chemical Solutions (www.kidschemicalsolutions.com), and she is pioneering the introduction of college-level chemistry concepts to kids ages 8+ through her comic-book-based curriculum. Her research shows that kids can master chemistry concepts found at the college level by independently reading her comic books. Dr. Kelley is a chemist at the University of Arizona and has two recent publications in Chemistry Education Research and Practice.
Raising Real Men
Art is the “A” in STEAM Learning
Hal trained as an engineer – and took all the STEM classes before they were called that. Amid all the calculus, physics, chemistry, and such, he didn’t have a lot of time or patience for liberal arts. They didn’t seem serious enough, when he had labs and projects and analysis to do.
It wasn’t until much later, when we began homeschooling, that he began to appreciate the value of art.
Art is another form of communication. We often think of writing and speaking as communication skills, and they are, but the arts are another form. Whether it’s music, dance, or illustrative art, each of them can carry emotion and thoughts – sometimes more effectively than the written word!
You don’t have to be good at it to enjoy it. There are very few Mozarts or Rembrandts in history, but there are many who learn enough skill to take joy in the creativity. Giving our kids the opportunity to experiment with painting, drawing, music, or other media can introduce them to the basic skills. And in our experience, no skill ever goes completely unused.
Your children may have talents you never imagined. Neither of us are particularly artistic, but our kids are another story. By just making art materials available and encouraging them to experiment, we learned they had abilities we don’t – and we’ve been able to nurture those.
Our God is a Creator, and we are, too. When we build and create, in some way we are following our Father’s example. God empowered craftsmen and artisans to beautify His worship (read Exodus 31, 35, and 36), and when we create beautiful works to reflect God’s creation, we’re adding our voice to His praises!
A great way to introduce your older students to different arts and craft skills, even if you aren’t artistic yourself, is our Craftsman Crate subscription box – teaching real skills with real tools in complete kits – NO trips to the store! Use the coupon code THMCRATE15 for $15 off a three month or longer subscription here!
Hal & Melanie
Art and Science Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly
I’m often asked by parents how to get their children (or themselves) interested in science. They stress about doing experiments and covering technical topics. They don’t know how to make it fun. So I like to talk them off the “science cliff of despair” by sharing these encouragements:
1. Science is simply exploring the world around us (observing, asking questions, and seeking the answers to them).
2. It is a means to learn more about the Creator-God who spoke everything into being and set it in place for our benefit.
3. The more we learn about the order and complexity of our world, the firmer our understanding that, indeed, there must have been a Creator to make it – it just couldn’t happen on its own.
4. Science can be fun, particularly when you add art and creativity into the mix!
Painting trees can turn into a discussion on colors, pigments, and light waves. Or how a tree houses an ecosystem of bacteria, lichen, mosses, and a whole host of animals. That can expand to pinecone crafts, leaf imprinting, bark rubbing, leaf collages, and more.
Modeling clay allows kids to sculpt structures and is a natural way to talk about the science of design; how thick-walled structures will need less support than thin-walled ones, or that clay is made from materials in the earth – and what those materials are.
Photography lovers will enjoy understanding how that artistic pursuit involves learning about light, shadows, and even color.
Music-lovers have a complete study in physics, such as how sound waves move through gaseous air versus liquids or solids. What causes pitch or loudness? Why do the strings of a guitar make different sounds when they are plucked softly, vigorously, or when strings are shorter or longer, thicker, or thinner? Can music exist in the vacuum of space? So the A for “Arts” in STEAM plays a very important role in science education. It helps children more easily visualize abstract concepts; it stimulates more areas of the brain for improved learning; and it is fun!
About the author
Sherri Seligson and her husband David homeschooled their four children for twenty-one years. Before being promoted to mother, Sherri worked as a published marine biologist at Walt Disney World. With an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, she has authored Apologia’s General Science, Marine Biology, and several upper-level instructional video courses. An international conference and retreat speaker, Sherri uses transparency, truth, and humor, as she encourages moms on their homeschool journey and teaches families the importance of studying God’s creation. www.facebook.com/SherriSeligsonAuthor www.sherriseligson.com
Pillar of Faith
Diane Heeney – Fanning the Spark of STEM
Do you ever wonder what your lifespan would have been if you had lived in another time? Antibiotics, steroids, insulin, statins, and vaccines alone have saved countless people who would have surely been given a death sentence a few generations back. Astounding progress has been made! Where will our future scientists, doctors, and researchers come from? The pandemic has caused an accelerated awareness and interest in STEAM professions, particularly medical.
We need to be on the lookout for that spark in our kids that might indicate an interest in the fields of medicine and research. Is your child strong in math and science? Does she like watching shows like Bionic Vet, and playing virtual surgery games? Is there strength in problem solving and strategizing? Does he show a marked attention to detail? Does your child process information with ease? These are earmarks of a potential future med student.
A Christian pursuing this field will aim to model the Great Physician. So, while the child may naturally manifest the above skills/earmarks, a deepened level of fellowship and communication with Him must be cultivated so that faith, empathy, hope, humility, and servanthood are manifested as well. Fan that spark!
Your membership includes exclusive access to the Hey, Mama! Bright Spot Zoom chat! The Teaching Music Appreciation discussion begins at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Register from the Activity Calendar tab of your Member Dashboard today and come prepared to learn and be inspired.
Whether you started teaching from home on day one or you recently pulled your child out of public school, we are all in this together, heading toward the same goal. We want to help you finish well by giving you the chance to homeschool your family for only $15 a month. Purchase a SchoolhouseTeachers.com Quarterly Membership so you can finish this quarter in style. New members can use code: FINISHWELL to pay only $45 (now $59.97) quarterly. Lock in this low price to not only complete this school year in confidence but in the years to come.
Did you know?
Every class is INCLUDED for ultimate members!
There is so much to learn in God’s wonderful creation. In the Exploring God’s World with Kindergarten Science course at SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you can take your little explorers on an adventure through several early science topics. Check out this course for kindergarten or try another grade in the Exploring God’s world series, available for grades K-6.
Read this article
in the winter issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
How would you like the motivation and encouragement of a homeschool convention right in your hands? We’ve gathered the best and latest homeschool inspiration, advice, and more for you inside the spring issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. But quantities are limited, so reserve yours today! www.GrabIssue.com.
Congratulations to Tina Ford from Grand Forks, North Dakota, who won our January giveaway!
for the month of March
Skunk Tales: Making Sense Of Scents A Family Devotional
Lynn Marie Hurtado
Skunk Tales: Making Sense of Scents is a genuine and enjoyable family devotional for all ages. Skunk Tales includes thirty-six chapters of original stories from the author, Lynn Marie. The book foreword has some encouraging insight for parents that includes Scripture, written by the author’s friend. In the “About this Book” section, Lynn Marie explains her inspiration for the book and how to use the book with your children.
All thirty-six chapters of Skunk Tales are just the right length. I usually run into issues with family devotionals being too short with not enough substance for my older children while still captivating the attention of the younger ones. Skunk Tales was the perfect balance of engaging and entertaining. The chapters were lighthearted, relatable, insightful, and plainly applied Scripture in our lives. I loved how many of the stories in the book used animals as a topic. All my children enjoy nature and learning more about animals.
The Scripture choices for the chapters were spot on. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Pooky’s Timeout,” which has a few different enrichment activities for the chapter. The discussion questions are thought-provoking, and we had some excellent conversations because of it! More Scripture, worship songs, prayer, a fun activity, and a way to apply the theme of the chapter are included. I especially enjoyed the idioms for every chapter!
Read the full review on our site from a mom with lots of details about using this as their family devotional.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN Skunk Tales: Making Sense Of Scents.
Building Brilliant Minds
FREE Download: The Top Ten Reasons to Study Architecture and the Arts—Project-Based Learning with a Purpose, the Building Brilliant Minds—Reading and Supply List for Young Designers + BONUS tips. Learn how Music, Art/Literature and Architecture courses through Building Brilliant Minds provide students hands-on learning experiences with challenging projects, which encourage critical thinking, as they are coached to design creative solutions—all done “with an element of FUN!” Go to www.buildingbrilliantmindsonline.com for your copy!
This free product and more are found in our 2022 Freebie Directory: TOS Freebie Directory – The Old Schoolhouse®
The Value of Homeschool Conventions
Are you discouraged with aspects of homeschooling? Have you fallen behind schedule? Do you have curriculum that’s not working for you? Do the textbook choices in catalogs make your head spin? Do you feel alone in your tedious, daily endeavors? Would talking to an expert help you? Attending a homeschool convention could really perk you up and encourage you, while adding a whole new perspective to your home learning atmosphere!
In the pages of this WeE-book™, you’ll find answers to your questions and important insights, guiding your path to that rewarding homeschool convention experience.
Find more freebies at The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Store: Freebies Archives – The Old Schoolhouse®
With the TOS Mobile App, search topics of interest spanning more than a decade, share articles, browse interactive content, and follow the links to hundreds of related resources. Each issue can also be downloaded and read offline.
Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those CONSIDERING homeschooling know about the enormous FREE info-pack which awaits them here: www.TryHomeschooling.com.
|We Want Your Feedback!