Summer Session 2020 : The STEAM ENGINE

What’s your Summer looking like post pandemic? Let me correct myself – this isn’t over yet. Even though the country is resuming it’s normal summer routine, me and mine are electing to stay in. Better safe than sorry. But we aren’t the only entities staying shut for the summer. So are a lot of summer camps, day camps and enrichment activities. You may be looking for a Plan B. So let me introduce you to my Plan A.

This Summer, I’m creating a STEAM Engine right in my living room. We all think of trains when I use those terms but I’m referring to an educational focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Gone are the grammar posters, the worksheets and the flash cards. We plan to spend the summer in one engaging task after the other. No grades or quizzes. You learn because you want to. Let me break down the schedule for you. On June 1, we’ll start day 1 of STEAM. Our days begin at 10am and complete at 2pm. There is no lunch break or nap planned. If someone gets hungry I suggest they grab a nearby healthy snack. The rules are simple. Have fun. When the day is over (as well as before it begins) you’re free to do whatever you please. But for 4, blissful, enriching hours, 4 day a week (we are taking Friday’s off) I am your dedicated teacher and lab partner.


Topics of study this summer include: Physical Science and Chemistry, Human Anatomy, The Solar System (Especially Planet Earth) and Botany. The Botany Class is a continuation from Quarantine Homeschool where we started our very own little garden. Cash will be using both a microscope and telescope this summer.


We’re focusing on Coding and Robotics. Learning Resources Inc has a great little learning toy named Botley that I’m looking forward to unboxing on video. If time permits we may finish out the summer by building a little Raspberry Pi machine. We’ll see.


We’re playing with LEGOs and KNEX. Nothing unusual in my house. But this time there will be building parameters and maybe even a little drafting before the build. We’re going to tackle a few engineering problems and see what happens when we increase loads and lengths on bridges.


To me this is the easiest. Which means it will be the most heavily curated of the projects. Art is not chaos. We’re going to read about real life artists and attempt our own interpretations of their work. The Media is truly mixed – we’ve got clay, acrylics, watercolors, wood and who knows what else packed into the art box! I did however say “Arts” and not “Art”. The same goes for Music. We’ll alternate between the two. I would add more disciplines but hey, he’s only 5. This should do it.


This will be his favorite. Or it may tie with something else for favorite when he gets into the other subjects. He’s learning his math facts sans fingers. We’ll be using, Numbers and Pizza Co. (Osmo), Hot Dots Addition Cards and a few other hands on manipulatives including a Learning Resources Inc Cash Register, an Abacus from Ikea and lot of little things to count with and practice place value.

My “Learning Wall” is almost reset and looks pretty good (to me). I’ve got to finish my Element ABCs (because my baby thinks “A is for Apple” is for babies) and refine the space a little. If you’re interested in downloading my Element ABC’s I’ll include a link to my brand new TpT (Teachers Paying Teachers) store. Right now, that’s all I’ve had time to put on it.

Need help planning your summer? Questions about mine? Drop me a message. I’m always here to help.



Botley by Learning Resources :

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