Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Creating and Implementing STEAM for Homeschoolers

According to NHERI, the National Home Education Research Institute, there were 3.7 million homeschooled American children in the 2020-21 school year. The number of parents opting to teach their children at home spiked during the pandemic and although it has since come down, it is still significantly higher than pre-COVID predictions. Homeschoolers are traditionally big library fans because libraries offer access to free materials to support their lessons. But we can offer so much more: we can bring them STEAM! More specifically, we can offer homeschoolers STEAM programs that are often beyond the abilities of their parents or other informal teachers. Let’s take a look at how we can leverage library resources and staff to bring the less accessible parts of STEAM – technology and engineering – to the homeschoolers in our communities. Step 1: Program Planning When designing a homeschool STEAM program, one thing to keep in mind is…

Blogger Kary Henry

Dig It! Homeschool & Archaeology

The ALSC blog has a category of posts labeled “Children’s Librarians Are Experts.” This label recognizes the many and diverse talents of children’s librarians. I employed a version of this when I asked my talented and awesome colleague, Cristina, to run archaeology programs for our homeschool students. The homeschool students absolutely loved getting to learn from a real archaeologist. Cristina loved leading a program about a passion of hers. And I loved not having to lead a program getting to watch a colleague shine!

Blogger Kary Henry

Homeschool Art Featuring Aminah Robinson

Many of my homeschool programs focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts. But I truly love art! So I’m grateful when I come across an artist who so intrigues me that I’m able to focus on another important acronym: STEAM. Aminah Robinson was just such an artist. When I discovered her art on the Columbus Museum of Art’s website, I knew I had a unique and wonderful homeschool art program just waiting to be shared.

Blogger Kary Henry

Homeschool Book Club Activities

I offer two homeschool book clubs, both based on the Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards. The younger students read books from the Bluestem list, and the older students read from the Caudill list. Recently, I was struggling to create engaging and fun book-based activites that would work in a virtual setting. My niece, Amanda, came to the rescue! Amanda is a brand-new (and, proud aunt brag, fantastic!) elementary school teacher and had created a cool activity for her students. She graciously shared the idea with me. I’ve now adapted it into multiple versions. Each time my homeschool students have said things like, “This is the coolest thing ever!” and “Can we do this again next week?”

Blogger Kary Henry

Picture Books + Homeschool Science = Win!

For my final homeschool program series of the school year, I found a winning combination in picture books and science. The homeschool parents we serve love when I offer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) programming. I love to share picture books with the homeschool students, no matter the students’ ages! How to combine those two? Use picture book biographies as springboards for STEAM programs for homeschool students.