5 Tips for Healthy Tech Habits in Your Family

5 Tips for Healthy Tech Habits in Your Family

I am “that mom” You know, the one who wouldn’t feed her kids junk food when they were little.  I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to put something in your body, it should be worth it. It should be full of nutrients that will sustain you and help you grow. I did this in hopes that when my girls grew up, they would make good food choices (because they certainly aren’t going to be eating only at my table forever). I was also diligent about teaching them to make good reading choices when they were young. As a former English teacher, I was comfortable discussing the attributes of a good read. I exposed them to rich literature and guided them toward good book choices. I wanted them to use their reading time wisely so they would grow in knowledge and their understanding of the world through the books. So, with all my experience guiding my children toward healthy eating and reading habits, why has it been such a struggle to guide my kids towards healthy media habits? You can read the extended answer to this question in A … [Read on, my friend]

A Mom’s Greatest Struggle in This Tech-Driven World

A Mom’s Greatest Struggle in This Tech-Driven World

“They’re always sitting in front of a screen. That’s all they want to do. I’m tired of nagging them to get off. Things are so different than when I was a kid. I wish they would just play or read a book or do something unplugged.” Sound familiar? Those are the words in my head. And the conversation I have had with many of my friends. And the complaint I read about online. It’s a big issue for us moms, trying to figure out how to guide our kiddos’ media consumption and electronics usage. And to balance the good of technology with the bad. Living in a tech-driven world is not all evil, so why do we struggle so much with our kids being “plugged in all the time”?   Well, I have a theory. It’s not anything backed by scientific research or piles of data. It’s just a little thought from my brain…and my heart. My momma friend, I have concluded that the source of our frustration with our kids’ tech usage is, simply, our ignorance. I’m not saying we are “ignorant” in a negative and derogatory way. It’s just … [Read on, my friend]

5 Ways to Create a Timeline Online

5 Ways to Create a Timeline Online

Timelines….a common discussion topic in the homeschool community. So many popular homeschool methods and curriculums encourage timeline creation, so most likely it is part of your home learning. I was going to let you know all the wonderful things about using timelines, but realized some other bloggers have said it better than I can. Check out Why You Should Make Time for Timelines @ The Unlikely Homeschool or Why Timelines Matter When Teaching History @ Our Journey Westward. I am a history lover, organization freak and visual learner, so I pretty much geek out over timelines. To add history to our unit studies, our family has used multiple methods over the years to create timelines. We’ve done the a drown-yourself-in-paper timeline notebook, the large hide-it-under-the-bed posterboard and the take-over-a-wall-in-your-home timeline methods. Now that I’m embracing the whole digital learning thing, I’ve recognized that I need some online timeline creation tools to offer my girls. As 21st century learners, they need to apply what they learn. They need to create something to process the information they learn, putting the knowledge into action. [Read more about the needs of digital learners] I found these 5 timeline creation … [Read on, my friend]

15 Projects Homeschoolers Can Create With Canva

15 Projects Homeschoolers Can Create With Canva

I don’t think anyone can argue that we live in a visual world.  90% of the information sent to our brains is visual, and we retain 80% of what we see as compared to 20% of what we just read or 10% of what we hear. [Check out this infographic] And this doesn’t just apply to adults, my homeschoolin’ momma friend. Your kiddos respond to visual information the same way, if not more. Now combine this with the fact that 21st century learners need to apply what they learn. They want to do something with the information they take in, putting the knowledge into action. [Related post: What Homeschoolers Don’t Know & What They Need] So, why not add more visual design projects into your homeschool lesson plans? Do you think it is too hard to teach your kids how to create visual design projects? Well, you don’t need to teach them how. As 21st century learners, your kids are (most likely) more digitally literate than you are. You just need to point them towards the tools and instruction to learn on their own. Canva is the graphic design webtool homeschoolers often use for … [Read on, my friend]

8 Homeschool Webtools for an Aspiring Designer

8 Homeschool Webtools for an Aspiring Designer

Do you have an aspiring designer at home? A child who… Is always itching to make stuff Likes things “just so” Gets  excited about art or building supplies Carries around a notebook just in case they see anything they need to draw Sees shapes in everything Uses color names like “coral” and “salmon” instead of “orange” Likes to take things apart to figure out how they work Explains things in pictures     Whether it be graphic design or industrial design….fashion design or interior design….it is up to you, my homeschoolin’ momma friend, to nurture their interest. You don’t need to be a design expert to guide your child.  In fact, it’s OK if you don’t have the slightest clue. You just need to direct your kiddo towards information that will introduce them to design concepts. Your budding designer needs to “play” with the digital tools that real designers use.  Don’t feel like you need to teach your child to be a designer. As a digital learner, your child thrives on challenging opportunities to take responsibility for his/her education. Point them towards tutorials and let them figure it out. [Click for related post … [Read on, my friend]

What Homeschoolers Don’t Know (& what they need)

What Homeschoolers Don’t Know (& what they need)

Have you ever seen the “Kids React to Technology” Youtube video series? A narrator gives kids a rotary phone or a walkman or an old computer, and the kids need to figure out what it is and how to use it. I relate to these videos so much more than my girls do.They just sit there wondering “what’s so funny?”…since they don’t know what the items are either. (I’ll show you an episode at the end of this post. But promise you won’t watch  until after you read this, or else you will get sucked into YouTube land and I’ll never see you again. I know you too well, my homeschooling mama friend.) But, even without watching the Youtube, I’m sure you’ll agree that technology has come a long way in our lifetime. And it changes fast…too fast for us adults to keep up with sometimes.  But, guess what? Our kids are more immune to the technology changes because they don’t know any different.   What homeschoolers nowadays don’t know is life without the Internet. They don’t know rotary phones. They don’t know cassette tapes. They don’t know 20-volume encyclopedias.They … [Read on, my friend]

How We Homeschool: Our Daily Routine

How We Homeschool: Our Daily Routine

Do you ever look at other homeschool families and wonder “How do they do it”? What does the day-to-day learning routine look like in their home? Does their routine really work for them, or are they still trying to find their groove just like me? I’ve wondered these things sometimes, not to compare, but to get ideas. I am always looking for ways to serve my girls better and to find the homeschooling schedule that works best with their personalities and learning style.  You see, I struggle with being consistent. I need to find a rhythm that works really well for the current season of our life. And adjust that routine when needed. And give myself the freedom to call a “productive playday” when we get a kink in our routine. But, I have found a routine that has been working well for us for a while now. So, my  friend, this is what our daily homeschooling routine looks like now…for this season of our life. I try to follow this routine four days a week, year round (giving us flexibility to take a break when “life happens”). We work off a … [Read on, my friend]