Home-School Tutoring Sussex and Kent has been doing some exciting online STEM workshops during lockdown.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths and is a cross-curricular way of learning that engages children, expands their knowledge and encourages creative thinking.
Having already offered STEM workshops face-to-face, Vicky wanted to continue to offer these workshops online. Vicky says:
“Many of the children who attend my in-person workshops were sad we couldn’t continue, so it was a way for us all to still ‘see’ each other for science.”
Vicky was also aware that “with schools closed, many parents have been thrown into homeschooling, with no warning or experience and that it can be difficult to motivate children to learn. I know because I’ve tried!”
“My children taught me, the hard way, that ‘homeschool’ was not going to work, so I learned to home educate instead. Children learn when they’re having fun. They like parents to engage with their learning, but they don’t want them to lead it. They want you to be a fun mum or dad, not a grumpy, demanding teacher. When children are actively engaged in a subject, they discover things for themselves. They retain that knowledge too and this why the STEM workshops work really well.”
Vicky and Chris, who run Home-School Tutoring Sussex and Kent, educated their three children up to A-level.
The STEM workshops went online back in April and were created as a way to bring the fun back into learning, alleviate lockdown boredom and develop vital skills that future employers demand. Without worksheets!
They have covered many different themes. The most recent was called ‘Sneaky Spies’ STEM challenges’ where children were asked to help unravel the mystery of the missing golden statue ‘Owlbert Einstein.”
The priceless owl statue had been stolen from the museum by a sneaky spy and the children were asked to crack codes, carry out experiments and investigations using their science and engineering skills, to help find the missing statue.
The ‘Sneaky Spies’ STEM workshops were a huge success. Vicky was delighted to see “how engaged the children were and how they all made good use of simple items from their own homes (we would normally provide equipment for the in-person workshops). I tried to find the right balance of interesting experiments with simple items everyone would have at home already.”
Vicky was really encouraged that older siblings joined in and she was told that some carried on their experiments after the session, later that day, or on to the next day and they couldn’t wait to show their relatives what they had done.
Parents remarked how much their child enjoyed the sessions (and many parents said they enjoyed them too!)
Vicky says that “it was so rewarding to get such positive feedback and to see the children engaged and doing something practically rather than just having them sit and listen to a teacher on a screen.
Being a tutor is more than just delivering a lesson; it’s about the interaction with students and this can be done just as well online!”
Vicky also adds:
“Children who don’t flourish in a traditional classroom setting are often the most talented at problem solving; but their intelligence is not always recognised. In these workshops, it’s their time to shine and we love seeing that.”
“Fantastic session. The children loved doing the experiments. Great fun. Great teacher.”
“Our son was so inspired by the experiments; he spent the time testing them to their full. Afterwards, he said “I love Science, it’s the best!” Wow! Thank you so much Victoria. We can’t wait for next session.”
“I have been finding it hard to get my daughters to engage with online lessons, but they really enjoyed this lesson. My daughter said, “it was really fun and interesting.” Would definitely recommend the class.”
“Owl’s well that ends well”
Vicky and Chris are pleased to let you know that Owlbert Einstein has been returned to his friend Monty. Well done to all the STEM scientists who joined the HST STEM workshop to save Owlbert.
Home-School Tutoring Sussex and Kent offers high-quality, bespoke online tutoring and workshops and in-person tutoring (when this commences again) across the whole of Sussex and in West Kent. If you are thinking about becoming a home-educating family, Vicky and Chris would be delighted to share their ideas and experience with you.
You can contact them directly on:
Victoria Bharj BA (Hons), Cert TESOL
T: 01424 84 85 86 / m: 073 66 99 67 07 or Chris Williamson m: 073 66 99 41 95