Techie Visionary, Steve Jobs: A Mini-Unit Study

Techie Visionary, Steve Jobs: A Mini-Unit Study

  This mini-unit study is an excerpt from the …Famous Birthdays Online Unit Study…     Read or listen to Steve Jobs: Technology Innovator and Apple Genius on Epic!. To access the book, Login (or create a new account) at Epic! HERE. You can get a 30-day trial for free (but if you’re a techie homeschool family, you will probably fall in love with it and sign up for a monthly plan!) CLICK THIS LINK to read the book. (If you’re not directed right to the book, search by “Steve Jobs: Technology Innovator and Apple Genius” in Epic!) Steve Job’s vision has changed the world, but not just because of his technological innovations. He also left a legacy of wisdom about pursuing your passion and working hard. Listen to this speech he presented at the Stanford University’s graduation in 2005. Jobs shares three stories, each with a powerful message. After each story, stop the video and discuss the “take away” with your family. What is one nugget of wisdom Steve Jobs gained from the experience? How can you apply that to your life? If needed, refer to the speech transcript by … [Read on, my friend]

Techie Gift Ideas for Homeschoolers

Techie Gift Ideas for Homeschoolers

I’ll admit it. I’m a little sneaky when it comes to gift giving. If you’ve been hanging out with me for long, you know that I’m all about efficiency and function. And when I give a gift, I want it to be something that will be useful, especially for homeschooling.   So, to go along with my goal of inspiring you to add more technology to home education, I’ve got some techie gift ideas that can double as learning experiences for your family. Watch this series of “Techin’ Your Homeschool” replays on Periscope to get some fresh gift ideas. Just click each image below to see the videos.   CLICK HERE to learn more about VidAngel’s gift options. CLICK HERE to discover “100 Online Courses for Delight-Directed Homeschooling” CLICK HERE to shop for Chromebooks (our preferred techie homeschool device). CLICK HERE to get a Minecraft account. CLICK HERE to check out Skrafty, the homeschool server I mention in the scope. CLICK HERE to check out the Kinect on Amazon. CLICK HERE to learn more about Echo I’d love to hear your techie gift ideas. Leave me a comment and let me gifts … [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]

6 Reasons Homeschoolers Shouldn’t Buy Gifts

6 Reasons Homeschoolers Shouldn’t Buy Gifts

I’m a firm believer that real-life experiences are the best opportunities for learning. I believe that I need to grab hold of relevant and natural home education experiences for our children. I know that God has designed my kids to be curious and talented and capable of learning through just living life.  And that is part of the reason my children learn at home. [Related post: How I Answer When Asked “Why Do You Homeschool”] Some of the best learning experiences for my children have been when they create something.  And, in our home, Christmas time (or birthday time) ’tis the season for gift making. There’s nothing like a good homemade gift, right? You receive something unique, special and sentimental….often times useful and tailored to you. But have you considered all the “real-life education” that takes place when your homeschool goes all-DIY for gift giving? Why should we encourage our kids to buy gifts when they can learn so much from making gifts? When your children create gifts, they… Learn and/or expand their talents.  Sometimes it may be a new talent or a new twist on a talent they’ve already developed. Develop their problem-solving skills. Things … [Read on, my friend]

50 Online Courses for DIY Gifts

50 Online Courses for DIY Gifts

At holiday time, we encourage our children to make gifts for others. They learn a new skill and develop character traits such as problem-solving, perseverance, frugality and consideration of others. They’re DIY gift giving has even led to income-producing opportunities when others have seen their handcrafted products. As a techie homeschool mom, I direct my kids to the great wide web for DIY gift ideas. And Pinterest and YouTube can be a maker’s best friend….or biggest frustration. You can spend hours finding the perfect idea, only to find the instructions are unclear. Or you can spend hours NOT finding the perfect idea because you are so overwhelmed by all the possibilities. I’ve learned that having your homeschoolers take an online course to learn a craft is the way to go. Your kids are getting complete instruction by someone who knows what they are talking about (unlike the tween sitting in her bedroom on YouTube). And they are gaining experience with online courses, something they will most likely encounter in our techie future. [Related Post: Are You Homeschooling for the 21st Century?] Check out these 50 online courses for DIY gift … [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]

Techie Homeschool Photography Club

Techie Homeschool Photography Club

How often does this happen to you? You open up the photo gallery on your phone, only to discover a whole series of selfies taken by your child. Or maybe the images are petsies or toysies. Chances are that at some point in their life, your digital natives will take a picture and share it with the world. They see all those attractive images on social media or websites and want to duplicate the effect. On our vacation last week, my daughters spent lots of time trying to get cool shots of nature to share on Instagram and Facebook. I was thrilled that they were experimenting and got even more homeschool-momishly excited when they asked if they could learn more about photography. So, I did what I always do when my kids want to learn something new….I looked online for a course. I started with my usual first stop (Udemy) and <BOOM!> there it was – Photography 4 Kids. I read the reviews, checked out the course contents and watched the preview lessons. I knew my girls would love the weekly photo adventures, so I signed us up. Then I got … [Read on, my friend]

Sports, Spreadsheets and the Big Screen: Learning About Jesse Owens

Sports, Spreadsheets and the Big Screen: Learning About Jesse Owens

We’ve got Olympic fever at our house. After two weeks of watching the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, our whole family has been inspired by the dedication of the Olympians we’ve cheered on. And I wanted my children to know about one of America’s most well-known athletes, Jesse Owens. That’s why I chose to celebrate Owens as one of the September birthdays in the Famous Birthdays Online Unit Study. But, no celebration is fun if you do it alone, so I’m sharing the Jesse Owen’s lesson from the Famous Birthdays Online Unit Study with you… Learning About Jesse Owens “We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.” – Jesse Owens Jesse Owens made his dreams a reality and gave hope to many people. To learn about this great athlete, read Jesse Owens on Epic!. (You’ll need to register to access the ebook..and the thousand other ones…but you can get a free trial for 30 days) For a less in-depth study, CLICK HERE to read Owen’s biography and to discover his achievements at Ducksters.com. Which of Owens’ achievements do you think … [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]

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]