A question that educators often hear from parents is how to integrate content into home life, particularly for math and science. This concept is actually easier than you think! Whether you have toddlers or teens, you can bring math and science right into the home. Here are some simple suggestions to get you started.
Most importantly, use what you are already doing. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to bring math into your everyday outings and conversations. If you are heading to the grocery store, let your toddler grab a cart or basket and ask them to grab a specific number of items. Simply telling them to grab two cans of tomato sauce and one bag of cheese allows you to add up ingredients once they’ve been collected. This simple task means a lot when it is something you do a lot! Bringing your teen to the store? Have them figure out per unit prices based on different sizes of a product to see which is the best deal. Are they into Fortnite? Have them figure out the conversion rate from V-bucks to dollars. Math is everywhere!
You don’t need to take up lots of extra time to make science part of the conversation, either. Just talking about new ideas can bring the discussion into your everyday life. If you have a little one who loves the ocean, discuss all the wonders that exist and how they survive deep in the water. If you have a comic book lover, talk about what it would take for those superheroes to actually exist. If you have an athlete, discuss topics like momentum, force, speed, trajectory, etc. Science is a huge part of everyday life, so you just need to pick out ways to pique children’s interests (just like with fostering a love of reading).
MAKE IT SPECIAL
If you want to make something special of it, there are tons of places you can go to work on math and science skills. Baltimore is full of amazing resources, such as Port Discovery, the Aquarium, and the Maryland Science Center. These places really appeal to a variety of ages and can incorporate skills from counting sharks in the water to discussing the gallons in the various tanks at the Aquarium. A short drive from Baltimore can take you to the wonders of the museums in Washington, D.C. – there is truly something for everybody, from dinosaurs to space!
There are also lots of fun science experiments that can be done right at home with our young learners – building volcanos, creating ocean bottles, making rock candy – they are limitless and can fit a variety of budgets.
Just remember that as a facilitator of your child’s education, sometimes all you need to do is talk and listen! Allow wait time and tap into your child’s interests to foster creativity and wonder that will last a lifetime.