Into week two, the children continued to pick the themes for the week to which I developed and/or borrowed hands on projects to explore their teams. https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/ is an excellent resource to exploring multimedia learning for families. Adapting these activities for a grade 1 level included drawing about their learning and simply exploring the cause/effect of the experiences. Adapting these activities for a grade 6 level included response writing, note taking, encouraging application of knowledge to seek results. Although two different age levels, the combination of play and reflection created a family environment that we could all engage in together.
I want to emphasize that we do not have to be experts in any of these areas and it is ok to rely on websites like BrainPOP to provide more concrete knowledge. Our role as parents in this situation can simple be to spark the curiosity of learning and exploration in our children. By delighting in their discoveries, supporting them in their challenges and giving them space to explore, we can give them the security they may need to both fall in love with learning about themselves as well as feel a sense of safety in the midst of uncertain times in the world.
DAY 6 STEAM:
Today’s curiosity led us to explore dreams and was framed by the question: why are dreams important to our brains? The focus explored a bit of science around dreams using sleep, memory and and the brain. We then explored the cultural significance of dreams through access to the land and mindfulness strategies that help us to relax enough to fall asleep.
Lesson themes: science, culture, health, art
DAY 7 STEAM:
Today’s curiosity led us to explore evolution and was framed by the question: why do living things change over time? The focus explored the science of evolution, including some colourful videos about Charles Darwin and Natural selection from BrainPOP. We took some creative time to explore survival traits by creating our own creatures and looking at how they adapt in different landscapes. We took our theories to the land and talked about the resilience of nature as well as the resilience of Indigenous People.
Lesson themes: science, culture, art
DAY 8 STEAM:
Today’s curiosity brought us to light and was framed by the question: How does light move through the world? We explored the science light, refraction/diffraction, colors and rainbows through videos and hands on experiments. Gathering random glass objects around the house, we played with the movement of light and applied our knowledge into crafting our own kaleidoscopes using recyclable material.
Lesson themes: science, art, engineering
DAY 9 STEAM:
Today’s curiosity led us to sound and was framed by the question: can music be a science? We explored the science of sound, hearing and rhythm while touching upon evolution of music history and cultural knowledge. We then gathered recyclable material and played with vibrations and pitches. They ended the day by recording their own song to explore their experience of the current times. Hands on and individualized interaction with our children in open-ended exploration creates special places to talk about many things. While they may be learning tidbits of information here and there, what is happening underneath is that creation of connection, safety and stability. Hands on learning can be attachment building.
Lesson themes: science, art, engineering, history, culture
DAY 10 STEAM:
Today’s curiosity led us to explore cultural history from a different perspective. Inspired by the new found love for Anime, the children were wondering about the history of the craft. Covering an entire history of country in two hours of exploratory learning is not possible, but bringing some cultural stories, landscapes, art and moments of shared history can spark enough curiosity to learn more about different places in the world. What we can truly teach by following art is cultural humility.
Lesson themes: history, art, cultural competence
At the end of the week or even the day, we might find ourselves exhausted. This is normal. We are trying something new and it takes time to adjust; to adjust to children being home; to adjust to working from home or not working at all; to adjust to loss and grief’ to adjust to different ways of spending time.
Adjusting is hard work.
Take some time for you in ways that your are able to.