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 Computers for online classes, YouTube What traditional homeschool supplies and tools have been replaced by techie homeschool tools in your home?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]

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]

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]

Choosing the Best eBook Subscription for Your Family

Choosing the Best eBook Subscription for Your Family

One of the best ways to start techin’ your homeschool is to include eBooks. Now, I’m not particularly fond of reading eBooks myself. I’m a digital immigrant who tends to stick with what works. But, my kids (and yours) are digital natives. Technology is and always will be a big part of their lives. We need to guide our kids toward using tech in healthy and productive ways. and one way is getting comfortable with them reading eBooks instead of printed books. [CLICK HERE to read “Why Your Kids Should Read eBooks] And the advantages of eBooks are appealing to me as a homeschooling mom…. They take up less space They are usually less expensive than print books They can (usually) be accessed instantly We don’t need to leave the house to get them They don’t get lost There are two options for getting eBooks…you buy ’em or you borrow ’em. We prefer to borrow. With seven family members who like different genres and styles, it would get spendy to buy the eBooks everyone wants to read. But, which eBook subscription service is best for families (or your family in … [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]

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]

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]

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]

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]