STEM in the early years

STEM resources for the early years can be simple and fun, with little to no prep work by momma.  Huge projects and crafts tend to stress me out, so I opt to find engaging learning for my young crew via literature and/or play.

We really love to use our local library's non-fiction section to save on cost and space on our book shelves.

Science

When I first started homeschooling, the thought of teaching science was so overwhelming to me.  With thousands of topics where do you even start!? 

5 years later I'm finally relexing about the subject.  It is just so easy if you go with what your child loves.

Begin with a general science book.



This Science Encyclopedia, by DK Publishers, and others like it, can be found at your library in the juvenile non-fiction "500" section.

Just let your child thumb through it at leisure and soon he will be begging to learn a more specific topic.

Go to thrift stores and see if you can't find any DK books or national geographic readers.  Purchase field books written for your state/province and teach science wherever you are - at the beach, on a walk in the park, ect.

You will soon learn your child's passion and can begin to select more specific titles from your library.  For us those topics are dinos, sharks, and anything that mom doesn't like such as bugs or snakes.

activity:

Simply get outside!  Science is all around you.

play:

This will vary depending on your child's personal interest.  Connor loves to learn about the human body, in addition to what I already listed.  Halloween is a great time for us to stock up on "homeschool science material" - ha!

I find that non-drying Modeling Clay is also a great thing to have on hand.  Connor will spend great amounts of time building little guys, or a dino museum - or basically anything we happen to be studying in science, he will make a model of as he listens to the story.



Technology

Book



"How Cool is This" by DK Publishing explains the tech behind a number of everyday things, such as glow sticks or bubble gum.  So fun to look through!

Activity:

If you have something (safe!) break down around your home, let your child open it up!  Our youngest (2) submerged my dear camera in a bowl of milk, after turning it on.  Sparks flew.  No amount of "rice soaking" was going to save this thing.  We removed the batteries and handed her over to big brother (7).  He was so amazed by the whole process, which kept him and dad busy for a good couple of hours at least.


Play:

We first discovered Snap Circuits from our library and now each time we go Connor makes a beeline to the area that houses several.  They are such a great "thinking" toy and there are many different kits to choose from.

Tinkertoy is such a great "learning" toy to own.  These are toys your young one won't soon outgrow.

Engineering

Book:



Engineering the ABCs is a great introductory book to Engineering. 

Rosie Revere, Engineer, is a cute little story book of a young girl inventor.  So inspiring! 

These are just two of a number of books you might find at your library.

Activity/Play:

Building toys are great to have around for this topic.  In our house, ZOOB is the most favorite "thinking" toy.


Additional great toys to think about here would be Engino or Goldie Box. (these are in my wish list for when my children are a little bit older).

For the younger crowd, just simply play with building blocks or building type toys like WEDGiTS .  Wooden, foam, assorted - it don't matter.  Whichever is easiest to get your hands on.  Build forts indoors.  Build forts outdoors.

Mathematics

Books:

I have a guy that just hates doing math.  So I hide his math learning in books and in play.  He doesn't even realize he's "doing" math, so long as it's not a worksheet.  There are SO many good books out there.  Think about your child's favorite "thing" and see if you can't find a book on that subject that includes math!

For us, that "thing" is dinosaurs.

 

Add in fun math books to your home library:



(My kids fight over the Poke-a-Dot books)

At Living Math Book List you can look up books on specific topics you need to focus on with your child.

Activity:

Measure and mark, on the floor, how long you are compared to different dinosaurs!

Play:

There are numerous games and manipulates you could use to encourage math.  We personally love Math-U-See for the visual and hands on learning.

Stock your game shelves with fun games like


What are fun ways you incorporate STEM into your school?
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Come see what the rest of the crew has to say about this subject.

STEM Resources for Homeschool

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