My Techie Mistake and Its Effect On My Daughter

My Techie Mistake and Its Effect On My Daughter

I feel like I’ve messed up a little bit with my youngest daughter. Born in 2008, she is the truest digital native in our family. She has never known life without Google, smartphones, and apps.  For the first few years of her life, I loved that I could hand her my phone or tablet to keep her occupied. I mean, how cool was it that she could pop bubble wrap right on the screen or complete a jigsaw puzzle with a few swipes? As a tech lover, I was in awe of all the new ways she could learn. In hindsight, I wish I had done things differently. And, I suspect that you can relate. As the first generation of parents raising digital natives, we’re still figuring this all out. [Related Post: A Mom’s Greatest Struggle in this Tech-Driven World] And, due to this experience, I’m not a huge fan of kids young kids using lots of it, especially for home education. Here’s why…exposing kids to lots of colorful, flashy and interactive apps when they’re young acclimates them to that sort of experience. My daughter considers lots of non-techie learning opportunities “boring” and … [Read on, my friend]

Meet a Techie Homeschool Mom: Amber

Meet a Techie Homeschool Mom: Amber

Amber has been homeschooling her 10 children for 13 years. Her family has a “Literature Based, Classical meets Eclectic” style of home education. What kind of devices do you use for techie homeschooling? Kano Computer Kit, Lego Mindstorm Robotics, Personal devices with Video, Blog, WattPad, Instagram, and NaNoWriMo. Computers for online classes, YouTube What traditional homeschool supplies and tools have been replaced by techie homeschool tools in your home? My daughter does a lot of her writing online with a group of friends in an Instagram group. WattPad has been a new platform this year as well for upper high school writing with community review and interaction. We use Kindles for reading World Magazine for current events and news in place of paper periodicals. What are your favorite techie homeschool tools and supplies? I still love my phone. Siri is my favorite spell checker and conversion calculator, with Safari a close second. We just jumped the car battery, yesterday after watching a YouTube video. When my son was not sure about putting gas in the tank for the first time the first thing he did was check out YouTube for a quick … [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]

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]

Homeschooling 2nd, 4th, 7th, 9th and 12th Grade

Homeschooling 2nd, 4th, 7th, 9th and 12th Grade

There’s value in learning what curriculum other families use for homeschooling. I learn about new products or get some confirmation about a resource I was considering. I can also discern what won’t work for the learning styles of my kids. And I can decide on the best resources to reach our goals for home learning. [Related Post: How I Answer When Asked “Why Do You Homeschool”] Even though we homeschool year-round, I usually evaluate our plan in August and rework our home learning routine. So, I thought I’d share our new home education plan with you in case you need some ideas for your family.   A few things to consider…. In the mornings, the girls (remember, I only have daughters) work on the courses that are specific to them….either by grade level or interest. In the afternoons, we do our “family learning”…those things that we all do at once. My 14-year-old is developing into a more independent learner, so I don’t expect her to participate in all our family learning time. As long as she’s productively pursuing her interests and talents, she’s on her own. My 17-year-old is enrolled … [Read on, my friend]

Why Your Kids Should Read eBooks

Why Your Kids Should Read eBooks

I have a confession. As techie as I am, I’m not fond of eBooks. Reading eBooks doesn’t seem natural to me. I’ve always loved books. The library is one of my favorite places in the world…all those choices of words and illustrations! And I’ve strived to pass that love of books onto my children with at-home shelves full of books and trips to the library. With the advent of eBooks, I’ve had to change my perception of “book”. I’ve considered what it is that I love about books.  Is it the rich language? The new worlds I enter? The characters I meet? The actual feel of holding a book? That smell of ink and paper? Or even the comfort of doing something I’ve done my whole life? And honestly, my answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE.   But my kids are developing a different definition of “book” as they read electronically. And guess what….that’s OK. I realize that they are still being exposed to the power of words, traveling to new places, and relating with interesting characters. My kids are developing reading comprehension, plus exposing themselves to writing styles to … [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]