The importance of science, technology, engineering, and math as an essential part of our kids’ development and academic achievements cannot be denied. Plenty of research has been done about why children should be interested in these fields. However, more than once we may have struggled to keep our kids interested in these subjects without losing our temper. We should remember, though, that there are many ways we can promote such interest without having to force it upon them.
First of all, we must remember that our kids don’t have to be in a Love It or Leave It relation with STEM subjects. There will be parts of this that they might enjoy more than others, and that is ok. Also, sometimes kids might not be fully aware of just how much they are interested in these subjects, yet when activity time comes, they are active and willing to participate. Therefore, we should let them and help them discover this interest in STEM instead of trying to force it.
A great way to motivate kids with math or science, for example, is by showing to them how applicable to everyday life they are. All we need to do is present it to them in a way that it doesn’t feel like we’re schooling them or trying to make learning fun outside of their classroom. Cooking, music, shopping, and banking are mundane situations on which math and science are inherently present. Thus, we can take advantage of these situations and help our kids approach them more critically, trying to understand how and why a given event is happening.
Making their exploring and discovering process a hands-on situation will help with getting the interest and attention of your kid as well. Nothing beats this kind of learning experiences, as they offer a more relevant example of STEM in real life. Taking trips to museums or the zoo can offer great opportunities for kids to learn how things work in such a way that they will want to keep on learning after the trip is over. Playing with STEM toys and games and watching science and technology toys are also pretty effective.
Whenever we want to motivate our kids to get more interested in STEM subjects and activities, we must remember to emphasize the learning process more than the grades they might get. Therefore, we should remind our children that an important part of their development is the learning they will get as a result of the tasks they could be completing. Besides, when STEM subjects are grader more rigorously than other subjects, not passing a test or not getting a high grade can end up giving our kids anxiety and a strong sense of failure. Thus, we must try to motivate them and encourage them to do their best, without giving them any more stress than they might already be facing.