I am not sure how publicly I have talked about our homeschool journey, but it has been a wild ride and that is probably why I don’t talk about it much. We are in survival mode most days. The irony being the whole reason we chose to have this be a “gap year” for the kids was so we could learn to thrive and not just survive. It is exhausting, overwhelming, and 100% worth it.
We were spinning our wheels at our STEM based charter school and though both kids were excelling academically they were drowning in reality. The details are unimportant, but ultimately we decided that the level of stress and pressure they were enduring daily was not the childhood we wanted for them. Thankfully, our state has an amazing Virtual School that is free and oh-so-easy for a person like me to successfully navigate.
Who could use some STEAM?
When I say “person like me” I should be clear: Teachers are angels sent from heaven and should be honored in every way.
I am not an angel.
I consider myself a flawed, but loving and devoted Mama. I am not made of what it takes to teach children things like math. Thankfully it has been overwhelming but doable to stay on track this year academically. We may be behind in many areas, but not there. Except…
…when it comes to the “A” in “STEAM”. I will be the first to point to the irony that my children are missing the only part of their education that I thrived at. It is painful to admit, but something had to give and I have had so little left of me to share.
What is STEAM?
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. The argument for the necessity of the Arts in education has no place here because in my world and my corner of the internet it is simply a fact. Kids need the Arts. Mine have had very little time for expression of their artistic selves in their short lives.
So now that we successfully navigated the first semester of homeschool I promised myself that would change. Not only that, I would try to teach them it a bit myself!
We got some STEAM!
Thankfully, I was beyond lucky to stumble across a book on Facebook that was written by an amazing blogger named Andrea Scalzo Yi called “100 Easy STEAM Activities”. It was exactly what I was looking for to ease us into our STEAM education! I have always joked that I am not a “Pinterest Mom” but it isn’t just me… my kids are not sure how to be creative and crafty either.
We dove right in and we ended up doing three of the projects the first day! My older two learned a little, but mostly had fun. It had been a while since they got silly with learning so it was so fun to see. My four-year-old surprised me though when he figured out that his favorite color (green) is actually two different colors combined. He was so excited that he couldn’t wait to tell everyone he encountered about his discovery.
I have been really hard on myself as a mom and thinking I have failed them a bit on their STEAM educational paths, but this is one of the steps in the right direction for us and I think some other families could enjoy it as well!
Disclosure: Andrea was sweet enough to send me an advance copy of the book, so I did not purchase it myself. Though I would, and you should!
I don’t have an Amazon affiliate account, but if you want to buy it there click the image below:
Or you can head over directly to her website and she will set you up with an order!