Why You Shouldn’t Print Digital Homeschool Curriculum

I’m on a mission…a mission to inspire homeschoolers to add more digital learning to their education. We homeschoolin’ mommas don’t have the advantage of a tech director like many schools have.  So, here we are, digital immigrants, trying to meeting the learning needs of our digital natives. [Related Post: What Homeschoolers Don't Know (& what they need)]

One simple way for adding more tech to your homeschool is to start using curriculum in digital format (aka ebooks).  I know…you love the look,  feel and smell of “real” books, and you couldn’t imagine replacing your books with eBooks. And I’m not saying that you need to do that. What I’m suggesting is taking this baby step to be deliberately digital with your home learning.

One simple way for Techin’ Your Homeschool is to start using curriculum in digital format. But, when you print out that curriculum, you're pretty much eliminating all the advantage of digital downloads. Read to find out why you shouldn't print homeschool curriculum.


Preview 5 homeschool lessons from Online Unit Studies

Now, I’ve noticed that some homeschoolers download curriculum and print it  out.  But that pretty much cancels out all these advantages of digital resources.

  • Digital materials take up less space and don’t contribute to your home’s clutter
  • They are usually less expensive
  • They are more portable
  • You can download immediately after rental or purchase, so you’re saving time
  • Using digital resources and ebooks helps your kids view computers as a useful tool

When you print the curriculum, you end up with a binder or folder taking up space and contributing to clutter. You would spend lots of money for ink and paper. You’d need to take the time to print out the content, and your kids wouldn’t be grasping the concept that computers are a tool, not a toy. [Related Post: 5 Benefits of a Paperless Homeschool]

What you need to do instead, my friend, is hand your laptop or tablet over to your kids and let them read the ebooks from the screen. Yes, that means that your kids would be glued to an electronic device, but they would be learning. They would be using electronics in a productive way. Don’t you want them to grow up knowing how to use technology to make their lives easier? Don’t you want them to be comfortable and experienced with the technology they will use in their future professions? Don’t you want them to grow up with healthy tech habits? [Related Post: Are Your Kids Wasting Time on Electronics? 3 Questions to Ask]

I want my children to read.  I want them to study things and discover more about the things that excite them. I want them to experience the wonders of great literature. I want them to know how to read a how-to manual and understand the directions. And whether my child wants to read that book in physical form or electronic is arbitrary.  I’m just thrilled that they are reading and developing skills that will stick with them for life.

Remember, as you start Techin’ Your Homeschool, you are integrating technology into your everyday lives. You need to throw away that mentality of “Now it’s computer time.” Technology needs to meld in with what you already do. Then your kids will view technology as a commonplace thing and not be as intrigued and drawn to it.

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How about you? How do you feel about handing your kids an electronic device instead of a physical book to read?

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  • One crucial skill for digital natives is keyboarding. Techie homeschoolers need to know who to type efficiently, not only to create words but also to navigate around their documents and online. That's where all those extra keys on a keyboard come in. F-keys, Tab, CTRL, ALT. Have you or your kids ever wondered what all those extra keys are for they are all for? Read to learn some common CTRL key shortcuts.
  • How would your kids like to create a virtual art gallery? They can use this webtool to share their own artwork or to demonstrate what they have learned about famous artists and artwork. This is a 'must do' project for any homeschool art curriculum. Get your free template today.
  • Visual design projects are a great way for homeschoolers to share what they learn. Do you need to add more projects into your homeschool lesson plans? Be inspired with these 15 awesome projects homschoolers can create with Canva.
  • Can you confidently direct your kiddos about the legal use of digital media in their learning projects so that they are not stealing someone else's property? Are you teaching them how to be an upstanding digital citizen? Read this guide to help your homeschoolers understand the rules about using online images in student projects.


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