ThinkFun's Education Blog
Here to help parents make learning fun!

Subscribe

About Cait: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, MA/CAGS is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies. You can also find her hanging out with Kara at The Homeschool Sisters Podcast, contributing to the Huffington Post, and chatting about gameschooling in the My Little Poppies Gameschool Community.

Read More
January 30, 2017
Alana Hackes

The Importance of Recess

STEM Education / Play, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

 

When I think back on my elementary school years, many of my memories are tied to the time I spent on the playground during recess. The playground is where I made my first friends in school while playing games together. As a kid, I spent much of my class time longing for recess and time to play. At my school, we had recess twice; once in the morning for 15 minutes and once in the afternoon for 30 minutes. If an ounce of that time was taken away from me, as a kid, I would’ve revolted.

Read More
January 09, 2017
Rachael Rufino

3 Easy Enrichment Methods to Start Now

Kids And Creativity, Creativity, Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

It’s difficult thinking up new ways to keep children interested, stimulated and occupied day-to-day.  In fact, the same can be said for all cognitive beings.  Preventing boredom in children, adults and even animals can reduce stereotypic behaviors (such as nail-biting, hair-twirling and pacing) and have profoundly positive effects on their quality of life.  By introducing new stimuli, you are providing a person or pet with an interesting, and sometimes challenging distraction. 

Read More
December 17, 2016
Rachael Rufino

Do These Optical Illusions Have You Fooled?

Creativity, Learning Through Play, STEM, Brainteasers, STEAM

 

Can you see the hidden 3D image in the stereogram above?  Continue reading and the answer will be revealed…

Optical illusions help us understand how we perceive the world around us and why.  Sometimes what we believe we are seeing, isn’t reality.  Why does this happen?  Our brain works to interpret everything we see, and sometimes shadows, lighting, shapes and other factors mislead that interpretation.

Stereograms

Our depth perception is challenged with stereograms.  Finding 3D shapes within a 2-demensional image isn’t easy, but by staring at a repeating pattern in wallpaper, the brain is tricked into matching pairs of them to perceive a virtual plane behind it.  This virtual plane is where the hidden image lies.  This was discovered by Dr. Bela Julesz in 1959, which helped change the belief by most vision scientists at the time that depth perception solely occurs in the eye.  It is now known that depth perception is a neurological process that occurs in the brain. 

Read More
October 29, 2016
Sophie Miller

Fall Learning Series Part 6: Household Chemistry

STEM Education / Play, Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

As recently as the 17th century, there was a branch of science called alchemy, which resembled magic more than it did science.  The focus of alchemy was primarily on transformation, such as the many famous attempts to turn lead into gold.  Alchemists believed that these transformations would lead to immortality and the purification of the human soul, making alchemy a religious and spiritual study.  While the practice of alchemy is uncommon today, this branch of investigative reasoning has evolved into one of the most widely-explored scientific studies in the world: chemistry.

Read More
October 24, 2016
Alana Hackes

Improving Second Language Learning

Learning Through Play

It was 8am and before walking into the classroom, I knew my students were going to be disinterested in today’s lesson. Our 8am class was nearly three hours long and happened three times a week, and today was the third class… Friday. I loved teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) because the students I taught were always so eager to learn and I was eager to teach them. At the same time, I knew as well as they did that it was hard to keep that enthusiasm going in an early morning class, especially when learning a second language. It was on days like these that I would break out a game and would see a burst of energy in my students.

Read More
October 17, 2016
Sophie Miller

Homeschoolers in the Spotlight: Part 1

Learning at Home, Learning Through Play

Raeca, now 6, was in Kindergarten last year when her mother Chantel started wondering whether she might benefit from a different learning environment. Chantel, who received her Bachelor’s degree in education, visited Raeca’s classroom as a substitute teacher and saw firsthand that an institutional environment didn’t seem to be the best place for Raeca’s learning style. “While she enjoyed going to school and loved being around her friends she was also obviously a little bored,” Chantel frankly states. “Teachers need to teach to the middle-to-lower end of the class” in order to make sure that even the slowest of learners don’t fall behind the rest of their schoolmates. In this environment, brighter kids like Raeca won’t be “challenged or pushed to grow,” resulting in a feeling of drudgery and an increasing resistance to go to school each day. With her background in teaching, Chantel decided to try homeschooling Raeca and her three-year-old son Ephraim.

Read More