STEM is an important focus in any elementary homeschool science study. This program has everything you need to create captivating and engaging STEM learning in your homeschool.
Since I began sharing my weekly lesson plans, a question that has come up frequently is how to find online tools that are appropriate for younger learners.
“It seems like your son does a lot of his science online and with videos. My son is in elementary school and none of the resources seem age appropriate. We can’t just turn on YouTube. Do you have any suggestions?” – Tammy, mom of an eight year old
As more and more of you have asked this same question, particularly related to science, I set out to find options that would allow for interest-led, online based learning (just like what my son does each week) for elementary age homeschoolers.
My son helped me narrow down the choices, looking at various programs and imagining how he would’ve responded to them when he was younger.
STEMWerkz is our top choice.
Why STEM Learning Matters In Your Homeschool
Before we get into the program itself, I think it is important to discuss why STEM has become such a hot topic in education.
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. (Recently, this has been expanded to include Art as well, creating STEAM.)
STEM learning is not just about presenting these various subjects as usual. It is much more about critical thinking, problem solving, and ingenuity.
For struggling learners, STEM learning tends to be much more experiential and hands-on. It can bridge the gap for children who do not learn best with a standard textbook and worksheet approach.
STEMWerkz For Your Elementary Homeschool
STEMWerkz is a multi-channeled, online streaming service for children to learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an engaging and multi-sensory approach. They make learning STEM fun with a variety of options, allowing your child to match their level of understanding with their natural interests.
STEMWerkz has over 1,000 interactive lessons and games, all created to nurture the thoughts and practices of scientists and engineers.
The basic tenets of this program include:
- Play: STEAMValley is an immersive game that challenges learners to solve problems, learn and then apply knowledge in science, math and design.
- Freedom: STEMWerkz is the ultimate online interest-led program. Designed to encourage autonomy and exploration, learners explore at their own pace and based on their own interests.
- Joy: The STEMWerkz environment has shown to be able to engage learners for a prolonged period of time, promoting excitement and amusement as they advance in their understanding and develop problem solving skills.
Based on these ideals, the platform includes all of the following:
- STEMWerkz Channel – think of this portion of the app as the “Netflix for STEM Learning.”
- STEMWerks Academy – a global online classroom with live lesson options.
- STEMWerks Quests – a series of curated lessons across a variety of topics that the learner is able to complete on their own, without parent support (completing a “quest” earns your child a badge to keep it fun)
- STEAMValley – a fully functional online game to discover and apply the learning
The Benefits Of Using STEMWerks In Your Homeschool
As my son and I reviewed all the various options in the STEMWerks platform, we made a list of the things we thought would make the biggest difference for your child.
- It’s an app that can be used anywhere. across multiple devices. My son loved this because he said it doesn’t “feel like school.”
- Video based learning, particularly with science, is both of our favorites.
- He loved the interactive portions of the learning. For example, your child will actually pull a thermometer on the screen into a beaker to test the temperature of a substance. This multi-sensory component is woven throughout the learning (not just in the game!).
- There are so many different options. My son likes that you could watch a video, play the game, or attend a live class. It definitely keeps it interesting.
Interested In Trying STEMWerks In Your Homeschool Science?
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.