Education today comes in many forms. Sure, there is the traditional "school day" which most of us grew up with. We are a proud family with three teachers in it, all who work so hard to make sure their classrooms are filled with every opportunity for young minds to learn and grow. There are also options like arts academies, Montessori's, charter schools and of course home schooling. It's a parents intuition that quite often dictates what might help their child thrive academically. Myself, I look back on my "school years" and I wonder if I might have done better in a different structure for learning. I had ants in my pants, I was highly creative and imaginative in a time where it was more about the "Three R's" (reading writing and arrhythmic...for those who don't remember that acronym) and traditional school and I didn't quite get along. Would it have been different if there was another option? Who knows?
Today, with the options it also brings a need to teach a few things that you might not have direct access to at home. Sure, the standards can be taught, but what about things like the "hands on" learning that it takes now a days? How do parents who home school access some of the necessary S.T.E.M. (Science Technology Engineering and Math) tools to help their kids along with that discipline of education? Well, it's right here in Muskegon. In fact, it's right in the heart of Downtown Muskegon at the Fab Lab at the Sturrus Center of Muskegon Community College.
Thursday's from 8-12n the Fab Lab is open to area families who home school. It is staffed with educators who can help provide a curriculum if you need it, or they can provide a little guidance...or maybe just a push in the right direction to meet up with the person who "really knows" the particular technology that is of interest. Is it computer aided design? Maybe it's 3-D Printing? Maybe you need to learn laser etching, die cutting....you name it. If you can dream it, they are probably doing it at the Fab Lab and if they are not doing it, they will most likely get the hive mind going and find a way. It's a pretty innovative bunch down there.
I first found out about the Fab Lab for home schoolers when I was there a couple weeks ago doing a story on Big Brothers Big Sister of the Lakeshore, and that's when I met Holly Magalei who is the Fab Lab STEM Coordinator. We sat down for a chat about what's offered for parent who home school....take a listen.
Pretty cool huh? Did you even know that something so amazing was offered right here in Muskegon? If you are a home school parent and would like to know more, it's as simple as a visit to the website of the Fab Lab. It's a wonderful way to integrate some of that essential S.T.E.M. education into your child's life and with instructors like Holly on hand, who is a home school mom herself, you will have a great hand learning the "hands on stuff" from people who understand the home school experience. Click on the image below for more information.