What weird weather we’re having in Northern Michigan this weekend! Usually the first week of March still finds us under many feet of snow. Much of our snow is melting so everything is wet and mucky outside, which is why I still ask parents to send students with boots and snow-pants whether it’s 10 or 60 degrees when they attend… We play outside often in our education through recreation programs.
Mi Families facilitates programs for families and those who work with families through provider trainings, parent workshops, family events, homeschool classes, tutoring services and educational child care. All programs offer hands on curriculums, meaning lessons are fun and engaging for all ages/stages. Our multi-age/stage classrooms are themed focused and we are currently transitioning from February’s LOVELY themes to March-ing around the WORLD – and outta this world activities!
Students of all ages are curious about the world and easily engaged by such themes. Using pre-packaged curriculums, such as Mother Goose Time, makes lesson planning easy for our early education programs and adaptable for younger kiddos to learn such concepts – while older students expand on the topics. As it’s time to start planning our Spring and even Summer subjects I asked participants for input and many requested more STEM activities.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) is an academic focus designed to help students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. STEM encourages creativity that some felt should include artistic studies. With hopes that STEAM lessons would naturally encompass the Arts through language (ex: collaboration and communication), and social studies (ex: design and engineering challenges).
Art is often viewed as an elective study instead of being a practical function. Through decorating art work students begin to learn colors (science) and shapes (math) that lead to geometry and later the understanding of graphic use for marketing and presentation. Through make believe children learn creative brainstorming and innovative performing art skills for later speech and persuasive writing approaches.
Arts can add to the creativity of teaching STEM, but it’s important to realize scientists and engineers don’t lack creativity and ingenuity … Both the left and right sides of our brains NEED ART. ART = SMART! One student pointed out that while learning about the earth we should do lots of art as ART is in the middle of eARTh! During any theme one can integrate all subjects – but during our world studies – it’s been easy to add in “STREAMS!”
STREAMS = Science, Technology, Reading (& wRiting), Engineering, Art, Mathematics (&Music), Social Studies (&his-Story) … Integrating all subjects through an engaging theme keeps students learn new things – and as Dr Seuss just reminded me on his birthday “It’s better to know how to learn then to know.” And if you’d like to learn more about our programs feel free to email Christi@MiFamilies.com or visit www.MiFamilies.com.
Feel free to network with our team members or family participants on LinkedIN, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc … also check out www.MotherGooseTime.com to learn more about the some of the products pictured in this post and their theme based approach to early learning. Mi Families supports any curriculum that encourages learning through fun – hands on activities 🙂