STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM represents a grave area of concern for our nation as we don’t have a sufficient number of students ready to enter the STEM pipeline to pursue careers related to science, computers, math, and engineering. Without a strong STEM workforce, our nation might not be able to continue to compete globally.
When you have a child that is interested in one of these topics – science, math, computers, or engineering – you should encourage that interest and try to provide them with as many tools as possible to help them succeed. In fact, if your student wants to pursue a STEM career, then homeschooling is a great option for them.
In a public or private school setting, a mathematically gifted child is typically forced to slow down to the learning speed of the rest of their class. Math class becomes boring to them as they become restless, and soon they aren’t even learning the material they should be able to quickly master. They develop a distaste for mathematics that carries on through the rest of their education.
However, if that same student were homeschooled, then their parents can adjust their curriculum to match the speed at which the child can progress, allowing them to study advanced material as soon as there are able to handle it. Their interests can be encouraged through advanced projects, field trips, and more.
Another way that homeschooling can help a student prepare for a STEM career is that homeschooled students learn to not depend on a lecture-format to teach them everything they need to know. They are already familiar with how to use the index on a textbook, the usefulness of reference books, how to find facts from reliable sources on the internet, how they best learn, and that it’s their responsibility to seek help when they don’t understand something. This gives them an incredible edge as they enter college to study STEM-related subjects, which have a reputation for being notoriously difficult anyway.
Yet another way that homeschooling is a plus for those looking to enter STEM careers is that homeschooled students typically have a strong educational foundation as they enter college. This makes it easier for them to do well in their general education coursework, too, freeing up their study time for more challenging, advanced classes.
Homeschooling gives your child an opportunity to pursue their passions at their own speed, avoiding the boredom and rebellion that can come with being a gifted child in a regular classroom. It allows them to move at their own speed, and have their interests encouraged. They learn how to learn, preparing them for both college and life-long learning. They’ll also enter college with the general education requirements firmly under their belt, allowing them to focus on the courses that are more challenging, or the courses that they truly love.
Homeschooling is a fantastic way to encourage the blooming scientist, mathematician, engineer, or computer programmer in your family. Think about giving them an opportunity to excel.
Mimi Rothschild is a veteran homeschooling mother of 8, writer of a series of books called Cyberspace for Kids, and passionate advocate for children and education that is truly worthy of them. In 2001, Mimi and her late husband founded Learning By Grace, a leading provider of online Christian homeschooling Academies.