Parenting the Heart of a Digital Native

Parenting the Heart of a Digital Native

We had a little “incident”. My daughter downloaded an app that I told her not to go. It was innocent, and she wasn’t harmed in any way. You know, the equivalent of sneaking a cookie when I had told her not to, but deceptive nonetheless. I’m extremely proud of my girl because she confessed (as if I wouldn’t of known anyway when I read the app download notification email from Amazon). I’m thankful that she responded to the conviction of her wrongdoing and was confident to come to me about it. This got me thinking about how I’m parenting my little techie’s heart.  You see, the foundational issue wasn’t the “the screen” or the Internet. The issue was her heart and character.  She was tempted, she was disobedient, and she was responsive to her conscience, much like I am at some point every day. I am a strong advocate of active, intentional and heart-level parenting. Mike & I chose to be “those parents” over 17 years ago. It’s been hard work and we’ve made many, many mistakes over the years. But the fruit of that work is worth it. My … [Read on, my friend]

Meet a Techie Homeschool Mom: Sarai

Meet a Techie Homeschool Mom: Sarai

Sarai has been homeschooling her family for the past year, after 5 years of supplementing her older kids’ public school education. Sarai describes her homeschool style as going with the F.L.O.W. (fun learning our way). She uses anything & everything to teach, following more of an unschooled approach.   What kind of devices do you use for techie homeschooling? Smartphones, laptops, and webcams What traditional homeschool supplies and tools have been replaced by techie homeschool tools in your home? I bought a lot of workbooks when we started, but he refused to learn because they were boring. So we do things like “sound out your favorite game website” if you want to play. What are your favorite techie homeschool tools and supplies? YouTube for sure. We use TedEd in a lot of lessons. Also sites like Education.com, Teach Your Monster to Read, PBS Kids, Discovery Kids, Field Trip Zoom, and Google’s Arts & Culture app What do you think are “must-have” supplies for techie homeschooling? How do you use them? Computer obviously. We love using our TV which is hooked up to a tower for learning (Field Trip Zoom, YouTube, library … [Read on, my friend]

Meet a Techie Homeschool Mom: Tatiana

Meet a Techie Homeschool Mom: Tatiana

Tatiana has been homeschooling four of her children  for four years. Her family has a interest-led, classical Charlotte Mason style of home education. How do you include technology in your home education? We school on the go quite a lot, and listen to audio books on the road. We use YouTube videos as an introduction for nearly every lesson. We’ve also learned to film, create and edit videos for YouTube. I created a YouTube video production course to help the girls start, manage and monetize their individual channels. All essays and research papers are written on Evernote and assignment files are shared on Google Drive. What kind of devices do you use for techie homeschooling? Mac desktop, MacBooks, iPads, iPhones and iPods (we like Apple apparently). We also take a wireless modem with us for an un-interrupted wifi connection. What traditional homeschool supplies and tools have been replaced by techie homeschool tools in your home? Printer…we own one but rarely use it since we go paperless whenever we can. What are your favorite techie homeschool tools and supplies? iPads. It was the first thing we purchased when we began homeschooling and the … [Read on, my friend]

Meet a Techie Homeschool Mom: Lauren

Meet a Techie Homeschool Mom: Lauren

Lauren has been homeschooling her 10-year-old for two years. Her family has a relaxed, eclectic style of home education. How do you include technology in your home education? I use technology as a resource and tool to make learning fun, efficient, meaningful, and to prepare my son for 21st century life-long learning. We use apps, digital books, audio, video, social media, on-line learning, gaming, websites, and more that are integrated into our content learning. What kind of devices do you use for techie homeschooling? Desktop computer, Android phone, iPhone, iPad, GoPro camera, Kindle, Amazon Echo Dot What traditional homeschool supplies and tools have been replaced by techie homeschool tools in your home? I haven’t totally replaced supplies and tools, but rather teach my son that he has options that he can use to make his learning more meaningful and efficient. We use digital and ebooks, but we also use and read hard copies and visit the library weekly. He uses Power Point and word processing (MS Word) to type much of his writing instead of paper and pencil. Although he knows how to research using books, he prefers to search on-line for both … [Read on, my friend]

5 Ideas for Techie Family Fun

5 Ideas for Techie Family Fun

We’re a TaeKwonDo family, and the saying at our dojahng is “The family that kicks together, sticks together.” I’m stealing that line and altering it to “The family that clicks together, sticks together”. (Really nowadays it should start “The family that swipes together…” but all I could come up with as a rhyme is “…gripes together” and that totally goes against the point I’m trying to make.) My friend, how often do you hear people complain that technology isolates people? Comments about how when someone is staring at a screen they’re not interacting with the people around them…they’re in their own little cyber-world? I’ll admit that there’s potential for isolation, but that’s not how it has to be. We can combat that problem by teaching our kids healthy tech habits.  As the first generation of digital moms, we need to figure out ways to guide our kids towards healthy habits and attitudes about electronics usage. And one way to do this is offering screen time that brings people together. 5 Activities for Techie Family Fun YouTube Karaoke – Check out The Karaoke Channel or Sing Sing Karaoke to find your favorite tunes. … [Read on, my friend]

Are You Homeschooling For The 21st Century?

Are You Homeschooling For The 21st Century?

It’s always nice to get a fresh perspective. In this post, Pat Fenner from PatAndCandy.com shares how her perspective about digital learning has shifted throughout her homeschooling experience.   Once upon a time there was a sweet homeschooling family with 2 young children. They had a tentative start to the journey, wondering how this new method of education would play out, and if indeed their children would manage in any way, shape or form to “make it”, let alone thrive! They spent a few of those early years traveling extensively – living among other cultures provided a whole ‘nother level of education, in addition to creating unique family memories and stories… Over the years, and back in the States, the form and format of their school morphed. Hands-on learning with KONOS and Unit Studies; Classical methodology; traditional curricula (kinda/sorta); history studies via living books and an emphasis on the arts… All these became relevant as the children’s learning styles and interests became apparent and grew. And gradually, almost imperceptibly, the family developed a lifestyle of learning. That vignette probably best describes my family’s early and first foray in homeschooling. Several years … [Read on, my friend]

25 Apps for a Techie Family Game Time

25 Apps for a Techie Family Game Time

  People complain that technology isolates people, but I disagree. Yes, there’s potential for isolation, but we can combat that by teaching our kids healthy tech habits.  As the first generation of digital moms, we need to figure out ways to guide our kids towards healthy habits and attitudes about electronics usage. And one way to do this is offering screen time that brings families together. My girls have a blast playing multi-player apps. I like them using apps instead of board games because the multi-player apps… take up less space are more portable don’t have crucial pieces to lose are less expensive than board games. My daughters have discovered a few game multi-player apps they like. And being the geek I am, I went on a quest to find more games that we could all play together.  Feel free to use my list to find games for your family’s techie game time. I can’t actually call the list “recommendations” since I haven’t tried them yet. Decide which ones you want to try by reading reviews or watching a gameplay YouTube. Get the whole family involved in the research, helping your kiddos discern what would … [Read on, my friend]

A Homeschool Mom’s “Must Have” Webtools for Teaching Writing

A Homeschool Mom’s “Must Have” Webtools for Teaching Writing

This week I read a post at My Learning Table with ‘7 Tips for Teaching Teen Writers’.  As a former English teacher and current facilitator for a homeschool teen literature group, Anne shared her discovery that ”many homeschool moms don’t even know where to begin teaching writing to their teens.” In her post, she identified two types of writers and ‘7 Tips for Teaching Teen Writers‘ through the writing process of Prewriting, drafting, editing, revising, proofreading and publishing. You may remember the good ol’ writing process from your days as a student.  However, you may not realize that the “how to” of each step of the writing process has changed with the development of technology. So, you, my homeschoolin’ momma friend, need to change the way to teach writing to your children. You see, you’re a digital immigrant and your children are digital natives. They’ve been born into this digital world and it’s all second-nature to them. They learn differently than past generations. [Related post: What Homeschoolers Don’t Know (& what they need) ] Your children need to use webtools for their home education. Using these 4 digital tools makes the … [Read on, my friend]

How to Choose a ‘Just Right’ Unit Study

How to Choose a ‘Just Right’ Unit Study

“Goldilocks and the 3 Bears” was my daughter’s go-to story when she was little. You know, the one she asked me to read over and over (and over and over and over) again. My little blondie even had a “Goldilocks and the 3 Bears” 3rd birthday party.  How cute is that?!?! I remember her cute little voice quoting Goldilocks …”Too soft. Too hard. Just right.” “Too hot, Too cold. Just right”…over and over (and over and over and over) again. Choosing a unit study can feel like a Goldilocks experience. “Too long. Too short. Too dry. Too fluffy. Too rigid. Too flexible. Too much planning. Too many supplies.” It’s hard to find the “Just right” unit study for your family. Unit Studies have always been a part of our home education. I had learned about and embraced the concept of “thematic units” and “integrated learning” when I was pursuing my Secondary Education degree. So, using unit studies to educate my own children made sense. [Related post: How We Homeschool – Our Daily Routine]   For over 12 years, our family has reaped the benefits of unit studies. Interest-led topics keep my … [Read on, my friend]

How I Answer When Asked “Why Do You Homeschool?”

How I Answer When Asked “Why Do You Homeschool?”

“Why do you homeschool?” That is a question homeschooling families can’t avoid. Early in our homeschool journey, I would flounder when asked and throw out a random answer.   “So that we can be the greatest influence in our kids’ lives.” “To strengthen our family” “Because I know my child best.” “So our kids can learn freely about God.” We had decided to homeschool even before our oldest daughter was born. We felt it was best for our family. I had taught school for a few years and knew that I didn’t want our children to attend school. There were lots of reasons in my heart for homeschooling, but I couldn’t verbalize them clearly when people asked.   I realized that I needed a concise answer when people asked, “Why do you homeschool?” I didn’t necessarily need it for the benefit of the person asking. I needed a firm answer to gain confidence about our decision to educate our children at home.  Mike & I needed to clearly define our purpose. I had read a book explaining how to write a mission statement for homeschooling. So, we committed to developing a … [Read on, my friend]