The Pitfalls of Using YouTube for Homeschooling

The Pitfalls of Using YouTube for Homeschooling

I read on Brandwatch.com’s article “36 Fascinating YouTube Statistics for 2016”  that 3.25 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched each month. 3.25 billion hours!  And that the average viewing session lasts 40 minutes. That’s a lot of YouTube, my friend. Admittedly, YouTube is my family’s go-to when we want to learn a quick something. You know, in answer to those “How do they….?” questions. My children learn much more from watching videos than from reading a book or website, and YouTube is a one-stop shop. But, there are a few problems with using YouTube for homeschooling.   We need to stay focused on the task at hand when we search. YouTube can be pretty distracting. Right when they open it, my kids see the newest uploads from our subscribed channels. And the recommended videos may not be relevant and appropriate. With so many choices, we end up feeling like we need to watch multiple videos (and contribute to the 3.25 billion hours). You never know what you will stumble upon as you search on YouTube. Yes, you have a little bit of a safeguard if you view in restricted mode, … [Read on, my friend]

200+ Live Online Homeschool Classes

200+ Live Online Homeschool Classes

If there’s one thing (well really two things) that I’ve discovered about techie homeschoolers, it’s that…. You favor an eclectic style of homeschooling You’re receptive to discovering new online tools and resources to use in your home education Good thing….because I like to share what I find on my quest for more digital learning opportunities. And I would have been really bummed if you didn’t want to know about the latest things I’m excited about. One of my best discoveries is Outschool. It’s the best source I’ve found for LIVE interactive online courses for homeschoolers. Yep…I said “LIVE”, as in you log in to a secure classroom and the teacher and kids interact directly, in real time. It’s one of those gigs that I would have never imagined when I was a kid or even a college student. I remember how “rad” it was that I could send electronic notes back and forth to my sister sitting in another computer lab 45 miles away. (Note: This is a sponsored post. Outschool compensated me in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by Outschool.) Outschool is … [Read on, my friend]

Techie Homeschool Project: Illustrated Quote Graphic

Techie Homeschool Project: Illustrated Quote Graphic

You see them all over social media…a beautiful photos with inspiring quotes. It brighten your day, get you thinking and encourage you to keep on going. Illustrated quote graphics are a great project to add to any homeschool study. No matter what you are studying, you can find a memorable quote. It might be wisdom from a notable person or a quote from a favorite story. When your children create their own illustrated quote graphics, they’re activating deep thinking. They’re evaluating memorable words of others, then discovering the perfect picture to go with those words.  Plus, they are developing a techie skill and maybe igniting an interest in graphic design. When selecting a photo for your project, be sure to follow the rules for using online images. (Learn more about that HERE) Or take your own pictures or use original artwork. There are plenty of apps that will create your quote graphic instantly, but I encourage my daughters to create their own with a graphic design program like PicMoney or Canva. They’re able to personalize their image and use lots of problem-solving and reasoning in the process. This tutorial for creating an Illustrated … [Read on, my friend]

Techie Homeschool Project: Filtered Photo Collage

Techie Homeschool Project: Filtered Photo Collage

In this day and age, it’s so easy to just click a few buttons to alter a photo. Whether you’re editing right inside a social media app or using an outside photo app, you can get just the right effect. But if you have a child just slightly interested in digital photography, it’s important for them to know the “how” behind those filters. What are exposure and saturation? What does “sharpening” do? What is the foundation of photo editing? And which looks do you like best?   In this project from the Techie Homeschool Photography Club, homeschoolers use PicMonkey to experiment with photo editing features and create a Filtered Photo Collage. Not only will your child be learning the basics of digital photography, but they’ll expressing themselves artistically as they decide which looks they like best.     To start, CLICK HERE to register/login at PicMonkey.  I recommend the 7 day free trial so you have access to all the features PicMonkey has to offer. If you don’t like the PicMonkey membership, just cancel after you complete your project. Now, choose a photo you’ve taken to use for your project. Your Filtered Photo Collage … [Read on, my friend]

Saying “Goodbye” to Netflix

Saying “Goodbye” to Netflix

Last week, I broke up with Netflix after 10 years. I remember the geeky joy I felt when we first found each other. I didn’t need to load up my (then) toddlers and babies to go rent a movie…Netflix would just send me one and I could return it whenever I wanted. And quickly, our relationship went to a whole new level and, they started streaming the movies directly to my TV. STREAMING …what a concept!   But, things change and people change and my devotion to Netflix has waned. It hasn’t been wooing me with a great movie selection. And so many titles don’t fit with our needs and values. I don’t feel as “understood” so, frankly, my eyes have wandered. When Netflix and I got together, they were the only video streaming service out there. It was a great alternative to cable, something I did not want in my home. So, last Friday, the Napoli family said “goodbye” to Netflix.    My kids were shocked…there were a few outbursts and even some tears shed by our resident drama queen. But that all subsided when they actually let me … [Read on, my friend]

50 Udemy Online Courses for Kids

50 Udemy Online Courses for Kids

Udemy is a great resource for any techie homeschool family. This online learning marketplace is used by over 10 million students taking online courses in everything from programming to yoga to photography–and much, much more. Each of Udemy’s 40,000+ courses is taught by an expert instructor, and every course is available on-demand, so students can learn at their own pace, on their own time, and on any device. With so many courses available, it can be hard to find one that is right for kids.  But…I’ve got you covered, my friend.  Here is a list of 50 courses for kids on Udemy. Keep in mind that I haven’t tried all these courses, so you’ll want to check out the previews and decide if the course is a good fit for your family.   ART Drawing for Kids: How to Draw Step-by-Step Interactive Art Art for Kids and Beginners: Learn to Paint Acrylic Paintings Art for Kids: Learn How to Draw & Paint Animals in Acrylic Art for Kids & Beginners: Drawing and Watercolor Painting Watercolor Painting for Children Building Kids Confidence Through Drawing: Art for Children Art School for Kids … [Read on, my friend]

Olympics STEM Activity: Creating Graphs with Google Sheets

Olympics STEM Activity: Creating Graphs with Google Sheets

Let’s be real, my friend. We homeschool mommas like to turn whatever we can into an educational experience, right? With the Olympics fast approaching, we’ve got the perfect chance! Tackling Phys Ed is a given because you’re learning about different sports. And you can totally cover geography by learning about the different countries competing. History? No problem…just learn about the ancient Olympics. And there are plenty of notebooking and lapbooking options to practice writing. But, how about techin’ your Olympics study? Have you considered ways to reach STEM standards? Try out this STEM activity from the Olympics Online Unit Study. By tracking medal standings during the Olympic Games, your family will learn about spreadsheets and graphs. Check it out!         To complete the activity, you’ll need a Google Drive account and a basic understanding of Google Sheets. You can learn more about these webtools HERE. To complete this project: Sign up below to get your copy of the “Olympics Medal Standings” spreadsheet template to your Google Drive. Bookmark it so you can easily find it to update daily. Choose at least 5 countries that you’ll track medals for during … [Read on, my friend]

Techin’ Your Homeschool: Favorite Webtools

Techin’ Your Homeschool: Favorite Webtools

Techin’ Your Homeschool is a video show, intended to inspire and equip you, my homeschooling momma friend, as you guide your digital learners. I alternate between Periscope and Facebook Live, so follow me both places to find out when I’m “live”. CLICK HERE to follow me on Periscope. CLICK HERE to follow me on Facebook. “Like” the page and edit notification settings for videos. For more techie homeschool inspiration, join the Techin’ Your Homeschool community on Facebook.   Click each image to watch an episode of Techin’ Your Homeschool.  

Homeschool Webtools: Educaplay

Homeschool Webtools: Educaplay

Remember using graph paper as a kid to make word searches? Growing up, I would spend hours making crossword puzzles and word searches for my sisters. I’d put them in little books with riddles and mazes. That was my jam, my friend. So, I’m sure you can imagine the degree of geekiness that kicked in when I discovered a webtool that takes word puzzle. Educaplay is designed as a tool for teachers, allowing them to gamify the information they are teaching. But, I see it as having more value by letting our kids create games and puzzles. We all learn by doing, right? Today’s digital learners don’t want to just learn information, they want to take action related to their learning. [Related Post: Are You Homeschooling for the 21st Century?] Educaplay is one of my favorite homeschool webtools because it gives my family opportunities to be information creators, not just information consumers. We can create crossword puzzles, jumbled sentences, interactive “maps” (which could be any type of image), matching games and more. Users have to discern the best settings for their projected outcome. And once the puzzles are created, they can … [Read on, my friend]

Online Learning Sites Our Family Uses

Online Learning Sites Our Family Uses

When people hear that we do most of our learning online, they are curious about which resources we use.  These are the websites that we have liked best. Khan Academy Mango Languages Dreambox Learning Starfall Typing.com Math Aids Handwriting Practice Online Unit Studies Skrafty Creative Live Coursera Udemy DIY.org Code.org We watch lots of shows and movies to learn about things.  These are our favorite streaming sites. VidAngel Netflix Amazon Prime Video   How about you, my friend? What online resources do you use for your homeschooling?