Welcome to the #TechieHomeschool IRL blog series. In this post, my guest Maritza, a working homeschool mom, shares how technology helps her manage homeschooling and work.
Maritza encourages other busy working homeschooling moms at her blog Homeschool Epiphany, She shares resources ranging from self-improvement, work ethics, home education time management to actual practical and simple educational resources.
As a mother and main educator of her children, she recognizes her enormous responsibility and duty to God, to do her best to raise well-rounded Christian children, who will love God and get Him known. You can hang out with Maritza in her Facebook community of Busy Working, Homeschooling Moms for networking and daily time management tips and discussions.
Top Techie Tips from a
Busy Working Homeschool Mom
As a working homeschooling mom with a night shift schedule, I needed some assistance to hold my kids accountable for their education while I slept. Children beginning at about seven years of age are ready to have independent work, hence, it is important that they learn responsibility and to be on top of their own learning.
Working the night shift, I find it imperative that my children work on independent assignments while I sleep. Then, and once I wake up, I can work as a group and individually on the things that need my direct teaching.
Using Alarms to Keep the Learning Going
The mornings after I work, I leave my kids, ages 9, 7, and 5, assignments on the iPad. The iPad stays plugged in on our “command” center, and have alarms set up to notify them of their duties. They get an alarm in the morning for breakfast and for getting ready. About forty minutes later, they get a 10-minute warning before they have to begin their assignments, and following it, an alarm notifying that it is time to work on them.
These are the alarms programmed in it:
- Wake up
- Breakfast and chores
- 10 Minute Assignments Warning
- Piano practice
- Guitar practice
- Lessons with Mami (in the afternoon when I’m awake)
- Lessons with Papi (after my time with them)
When the assignments’ alarm goes off, they check the calendar on the iPad (usually my oldest does this, but my 7-year-old likes to confirm his own), and as they click on the date, they check under the notes section for their assignments. What I consider very techie about this, is that if I’m at work, and I forget to add one, I can easily do so via my iPhone which is synced to the iPad. The assignment will then show up on the iPad as well. This saves time when I get home in the morning and my focus is on getting to bed. I just have to make sure the assignments are indeed showing.
Helpful Apps and Online Resources
We belong to a Classical Conversations community and follow their curriculum. For memory work, I like to log in to CC Connected (paid subscription) on the laptop and plan the memory work for each subject. For on the go, I also have the current cycle's app on my iPhone, which makes it practical for on-the-road review, or simply for when I don’t feel like taking the guide out. This also helps us get review work done individually. All three kids are memorizing the same content, so they can group together and review at the same time. Time saver right there!
My favorite apps for on-the-go learning:
Teach Your Monster to Read: Phonics-based game that increases by level of reading. This goes along with my Kindergartener’s reading program “Usborne’s Very First Reading”.
Epic: A library of e-Books, many are interactive and come with reading comprehension quizzes. This is a paid subscription.
All About Learning’s Letter Sounds A to Z and Phonogram Sounds: These go along with our All About Spelling program and the Letter Tiles App which is the digital version for tablets of the magnetic letter tiles.
CC Tutorials: Classical Conversations’ for our current Foundations cycle.
IEW Writing Tools: For the writing portion of CC Essentials Tier we use the Institute for Excellence in Writing's IEW Writing Tools.
As much as I like and prefer traditional books in our schooling, I’m also open to the combination of physical and digital resources. Having these tools to help me have a flexible learning structure at home has indeed increased productivity and saved time and energy for this homeschooling working mom.
If you own many digital homeschool resources, you are a busy working mom, and you are at a loss in how to organize it all, try the course Techie Homeschool Mom's Guide to Digital Homeschool Organization.
Must-Have Tech for Homeschooling
Tell me – Are you a busy working homeschool mom? How do you hold your children accountable for their own learning? Does technology help you achieve that? Try the above tips, and let me know how it goes!