Monday, February 24, 2014

Plugged In - Using Technology In Your Homeschool!

Homeschool Technology

Plugged In - Using Technology In Your Homeschool!

In our home we really like to keep our big kids unplugged.   While that is our philosophy it isn't very practical in this day and age.  So we have slowly allowed some screen time in.  The kids use Teaching Textbooks for Math ( a computer based Math program)  on a computer in their bedroom.  We don't allow that particular computer to be hooked to the internet so it is just for school work.

They also do quizlet and Mango homeschool online.  My oldest received a Windows Tablet for Christmas so he does that work on his tablet.  This frees up the other two computers (mine for blogging and the laptop for his 11 year old brother to do quizzlet.)  While I'm not a fan overall I see how this really has helped us to accomplish more this year because my oldest can go in his room and complete his tasks easily and quietly.  This is very important when you have a three year old brother playing loudly!

So how do we keep the balance?

1.  Math is done in the bedroom alone (they share so only one kid is in there while they do their work.)
2.  My 13 yr hands his tablet back to us when schoolwork is done.
3.  11 year old does his computer work at the table with us.

This has worked well for us this year.  Now we also have a variety of gaming systems which my kids enjoy very much.  (this includes tablets.)  They are not allowed to play any of them from Monday- Wednesday.  On Thursday-Sunday they are only allowed free time if they have completed schoolwork and have a clean room. 

I also use technology to teach.  During  history I often have my iphone next to me or even one of my tablets.  This allows me to look up Bible verses or go to a website recommended in our history.  We don't have to take the time to load up the computer or move our stuff to where it is located.  I can just pass the device to the kids to see.

Additional tips:

  • My Bible app on my iphone is the quickest way to look up verses.

  • I don't like my Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet at all.  It is not user friendly and hard to look things up on it.

  • The kindle Fire has been a big help with reading books - and it is easy to use.  It doesn't have java so you can't do everything the windows tablet can. 

  • The Windows Tablet my 13 year old has is basically the best of both worlds: tablet/laptop.  This is perhaps the favorite technology we have.

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