By Caleb Taran
As a parent, seeing your child’s passion and excitement about learning is one of your greatest joys. Many students today are interested in and seemingly dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and math. As a parent who understands the value of education, their love for STEM is something to encourage. But concurrently, it can be challenging to keep up with it. Something your child might know, like the back of their hand, might be difficult for you to understand. You want to stay involved in your child’s STEM learning and help them, but how?
The good news is you do not have to be an expert in STEM to stay current in your child’s STEM learning. Here are five ultimate tips to stay involved in your child’s STEM learning today.
Help with Homework/Inquire about it.
Even if your child’s schoolwork only requires a little hands-on assistance, setting aside time to ask them if they need help will go a long way. You can also ask questions about the work, such as what it’s about, the purpose of the assignment, and their thoughts. In the future, when they need help, they’ll feel more comfortable reaching out to you. This communication and relationship will allow you to learn about your child’s academic status and the content of their education. This kind of collaboration could make them more open to asking for assistance and questions and sharing information about their educational lives.
Stay in touch with educators.
Having a clear avenue of communication with your kids’ teachers is essential. Students might be unwilling or unable to explain what is happening in the classroom adequately. While this applies to any subject, it is crucial in STEM, with its high expectations and opportunities. Find out the email addresses of all your child’s STEM-related teachers and ask them for their thoughts, advice on your child’s progress, and how they could improve.
Read up on STEM yourself.
If your child truly has an interest in STEM, and you want to stay on top of what they are learning, one of the best things you can do is learn about STEM yourself! It isn’t easy initially, but you can discuss it with your child if you need help understanding something. It will mean a lot to them that you are expressing an interest in one of their passions; if done right, it won’t seem intrusive or heavy-handed. This involvement will also make helping them and communicating with their teachers smoother and easier.
Give your child space.
Above all else, it’s important not to hover over your child regarding their STEM education. They will appreciate having the time and space to solve problems and learn independently, and it’s healthier, too. Both you and your child will have lots of work to do throughout their young life and education. But, you do not always have to do it together. Use your judgment to determine the right time and place to get involved.
The National STEM Honor Society is a group that aims to inspire a lifelong love of science, technology, engineering, and math for students of all ages. Not only is starting a chapter an excellent way to have colleges notice one’s commitment and resourcefulness, but it’s also a perfect way to forge connections with like-minded individuals who can help you throughout your career. In today’s world, STEM educators and parents should foster interest in science, and this is a perfect opportunity to do so. Consider starting an NSTEM chapter at your school.
Do you want more resources on the topic of tips to stay involved in your child’s STEM learning? NSTEM’s vast resources database provides thousands of searchable STEM resources by category, school level, and state. This comprehensive library includes info on enrichment activities, curricula, internships, scholarships, and more. Check out a free sampling here. Or get an NSTEM membership today to unlock the complete list.
In middle school, students are transformed, entering as children and emerging as young adults. Project-based learning enrichment helps students connect the dots between STEM and real life, making math and science relevant for them and keeping them engaged and interested. With a meaningful middle school experience, students are far more likely to focus on STEM disciplines in high school and beyond. To start your 6-8 middle school chapter of the National STEM Honor Society, click here.