As most of you know I have an extremely energic and curious 4-year-old named Zoey! Now that we are working from home and she is home with me fulltime, she gets to see what Xplorstem is working on each day. She was super excited for us to finish and launch the Soap and Viruses Adventure pack. Even though she is only 4 I thought the packet would give us a fun activity and maybe just maybe she would learn a few things! To make things more interesting we thought we would document our adventures on Facebook live.
After going through the packet, my daily plan was simple; work through the packet section by section and do one section each day. I had no plans to deviate from the packet I was just going to test it out and see what worked and what didn’t. I also made the decision not to show her the packet a head of time or start introducing any of the topics. My main train of thought here was I did not want her to lose interest or be bored, I wanted to be able to watch and see if she was learning in real time. And learn we did!
We started day one by making our hypothesis and learning some new words! Day one went swimmingly, she was engaged, asking questions, and it was abundantly clear she was learning. I was so excited by this and started looking forward to day two; if day one went so well day two will be even, better right? Oh, was I wrong; I extremely underestimated the attention span of my 4 year old.
Day two was a little rocky, Zoey was hungry and bored, and it became harder and harder to keep her attention. However, she still was learning and asking questions, but she was ready to cut to the chase and do the experiment!
After stepping back, it was clear what needed to be done, I did not have to follow the packet line-by-line. After all, this is designed for kids of all ages and not all kids are the same! We tell the parents using our program and packets this. . These packets are not meant to cause stress or be a ridged lesson, we have created Xplorstem with the goal to spark a joy of science and educate! And that was exactly what was happening, Zoey just needed some slight adjustments to make it work for her age and her interests.
For day three I decided to skip straight to the experiment, once again things went great. Zoey loved making a new guess based on the new terms we had learned, and she could not do the experiment enough times! It was so fun to watch her engage with the scientific process. We decided that for us that was enough, we briefly talked about the experiment together and ended our adventure.
A few weeks have passed since we first worked on the packet, Zoey now can’t stop talking about atoms and elements; today she even told her daddy while waiting for the SpaceX launch “Did you know that the elements that make up us also make up the stars!?!?” and is still talking and how oil and water don’t play well together. In this time, I created a new age appropriate lesson plan for Zoey and I am looking forward to doing a few more activities based on some of the lessons we skipped! Stay tuned for my lesson plans! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss our lives.