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We are a homeschooling family this year! It was a decision that we didn’t take lightly as I really didn’t know how it would go. I had contemplated homeschooling before this year, but just always ultimately decided to put the girls into school, but with the craziness that we all know 2020 has been, it finally seemed time to try it out.
It also couldn’t have come at a better time because at ages 8 and 10, my girls are so excited and eager to learn. They’re self motivated, smart, and receptive to new learning styles and subjects. In all honesty, homeschooling has been such a great experience for us all!
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We did a thing! We’re joining the homeschool crowd this school year for 3rd and 5th grade. With so much up in the air with returning to school this year and trying our best to keep our family safe and healthy, we decided to not wait around for learning and dive right in. We’re nervous, excited, happy, scared, and ready… kind of!? 🌎 If you #homeschool, give me your short & sweet, best piece of advice!!! ❤️ #newhomeschoolers #newtohomeschool #homeschoollife
When I first decided to go down this path, I knew I didn’t want to invest tons of money in a curriculum because the more I read, the more I realized I may change my mind on a set curriculum. We tried out a few free resources, a few used curriculums, and finally settled on some that we like now.
But one area that is both the girls’ favorites is one I don’t have a set curriculum for… STEM. I’m sure most of you know that STEM includes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. While we do math every day, the others are some that we supplement during the week. In fact, the girls love the STEM projects that we’re doing so much, we have STEM Fridays where we revolve all our subjects around engineering type projects!
One of the coolest parts of my job is being able to review products and when I got the email about some upcoming STEM products like the following, I jumped at the chance to include them in our homeschooling day. If your kids love hands-on learning like mine, you’ll definitely want to add them to your learning days too!
Tileblox – Magnetic Building Blocks
I’ve seen these around for awhile, but always thought the girls were too old for them. Boy, was I wrong. Moreaya tends to gravitate more to these than Sophia, which kind of surprised me. I’ve found that she’s taken out the Tileblox during our quiet time several times.
The box is a small, 20 piece set, which is nice to have for quick builds, but Moreaya is already asking for a bigger set! I love seeing her creativity shine and the infinite builds she can come up with, with just the small set!
Ooze Lab: Colorful Crystal Lab
If there’s one thing these girls love, it’s experiments. Whether they are making slime, volcanos, or in this case, crystals… they are all in! If your kids are the same, they will LOVE the Ooze Lab: Colorful Crystal Lab.
The lab comes with a colorful set up, plus ingredients to make 11 different types of crystal projects. It also includes a colorful book with instructions, but also great science reading material explaining the different types of crystals and where they can be found, as well as their makeup.
If your children are patient, they are going to love this kit. Growing crystals has always been a popular activity with the girls, but now that they have their own lab to do these experiments in, they really love it. I call out having patience as some of these take a few days to fully grow, but they are definitely worth the wait!
SolarBots – Solar Robot Kit
Sophia was so excited when she saw this SolarBots box. She loves to build robots and the solar component of this project added even more excitement. This one is labeled 6+ with help, and 9+ solo, but Sophia was very frustrated when trying to work on this one by herself. We definitely had to call in help from her Dad, who also loves engineering builds.
This kit has lots of tiny parts that have to go together exactly to make the robots work. While she loves the kit and building with her Dad, this one did cause more frustration than any others we have tried.
But when you get to see the robots work off solar power, it IS pretty cool and worth all that building work! Check out my instagram post to see the robot moving!
Want even more products or projects to include STEM in your homeschool days? Here are a few of our other favorites!
Mystery Science – I’ve been loving this site as it is full of great, free project ideas for science experiments. My girls recently studied Space and we made Moon Rocks out of baking soda. So, what better way to study chemistry than to explode the moon rocks with vinegar!?
Snap Circuits – These are Sophia’s favorite as she loves learning how to connect circuits and how small changes effect the outcome. We ordered her Snap Circuits on Amazon.
Scratch Jr. App – Both girls LOVE coding and one of the best and easiest coding apps that I’ve found them so far is Scratch Jr. They both use the free app from the App Store. I still can’t quite believe they offer this app free as it keeps them entertained and coding for hours!
Kiwi Crates – After seeing Kiwi Crates being raved about all over social media, we finally decided to try them out ourselves. I enrolled Sophia in the Tinker Crate subscription, which is for ages 9-16+, and includes a little more engineering than the younger boxes. She’s loving them so far and I love that it comes in a monthly special box that she gets excited about.
Want to try a Kiwi Crate? Use this link and you’ll get a $10 credit!
Although there’s still plenty of summer and fall left, I wrote a post about some great Winter STEM activities that are great resources as well!
Whether you’re new to homeschooling or a pro, adding in special STEM activities is a great way to get everyone’s mind engaged. These are some of our favorite STEM projects that we’ve added to our homeschool curriculum.