The Importance of STEAM
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) topics are considered equally important to integrate in a child’s early development as teaching literacy skills. STEAM education enhances children’s language development, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and collaborative abilities. In addition, these subjects lay a foundation for future academic success and increases the likelihood of children pursuing one of these fields.
Summer – a break or an opportunity?
Summer learning loss, summer setback, or summer slide occurs when young children lose academic skills over the summer. This issue is not a new or uncommon phenomenon, dating back to 1906, educational researchers found a correlation between summer break and lower test scores of young students.
On average, students can lose about 2.6 months of math skills and 2 months of reading skills during the summer months. Additionally, scores on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation are much lower than the beginning. This leads teachers to spend up to 6 weeks re-teaching old material to make up for this loss. This issue has no bounds to age, it can start as early as 1st grade and continue all the way up to the high school level.
Good news for parents, you do not need to be trained educator or take extra vacation days in order to help prevent learning loss for your child. Utilizing about 2-3 hours of your week, there is a list of activities you can do with your child that provokes brain stimulation without your child even thinking they’re doing homework!
Where do you start?
STEAM or not, keeping your child’s brain stimulated in the summer is not solely about forcing them to read a book every week or do daily math exercises. Keep them creatively thinking by encouraging daily writing in a journal or spend a night baking and decorating cookies or cupcakes. Organize family activities as simple as playing games like Scrabble or trying out different recipes to cook and allowing your child to measure out the ingredients themselves. These activities will not only enhance bonding time, but it will feel less like a chore to both you and your child. Finally, enjoy the outdoors together and take your child on a walk to talk about what the both of you are seeing around.
Since STEAM is proven to help children’s brain growth some DIY activities leading into the school year will ensure your child will start off on the right foot!
- Transportation themed coloring sheets
- Imagination Library
- Raleigh Parks Nature Color Hunt
- Scientist coloring sheets