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How Easy is to Plan and Do an Educational Activity - STEM
Beverley Paine, June 2022
What I did this morning when thinking about doing a science / tech challenge that involved magnets with the kids (7&9), I googled 'magnet challenges primary', browsed a couple of sites, and came up with the idea - 'build a recycling sorting machine'. I then googled that, again adding the word 'primary'. This led to me to a few videos and sites with worksheets and lesson plans.
When the kids were gathered around the dining table we chatted about what happens to rubbish when we put it in the bin and used google maps (satellite) to find the nearest rubbish dump. We then watched a video about sorting recycling, talked about why we recycle, did a worksheet on what can and can't be recycled, and then I introduced the challenge.
The kids already knew we were going to build something because I had a selection of materials from the junk box ready, the magnets, plus sticky tape, scissors, etc and a tray of assorted bits of 'rubbish'.
I thought of the idea at 10am, assembled all the bits needed by 11am and we spent a couple of hours on the activity. I took photos of their finished machines which I then printed and stuck in their science scrapbooks. There is so much free stuff online - ideas, videos, worksheets. I had to stop myself from clicking on everything - it helped that I had thought of an idea, though sometimes I get ideas from from what I find on google. For instance, I saw a Gauss rifle (which uses magnets and is not a gun) today and have bookmarked that video, and will buy some dowel to use, maybe for next week's experiment. Today I found it easier to design my own worksheet after seeing a few on offer.
Twinkl makes homeschooling really easy. Plus April's list of Free Australian Homeschool Curriculum Resources is super helpful too. https://theeducatingparent.com/FREECurriculumResources.pdf
Today I picked a topic of interest to me but one that I know is topical and of interest to the kids. If the kids weren't at all interested, I would have asked what they'd like to build, or suggested just mucking about with the magnets. I don't do this everyday, but every now and then we enjoy doing something structured like this.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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