The Many Ways Technology Is Helping Us Homeschool

When we made the decision to homeschool last April, I knew technology would be an important component.  I was thinking about Internet research and watching movies that related to the subjects we were studying.

I had no idea then just how essential technology would be to our homeschool.

For the Littles

Cuddle Bug is 3 and PB & J Girl is 5.   Their current homeschool program is Sonlight’s P4/5 program.  We also supplement heavily with library books thanks to our weekly trips to the library.  However, lately, we’ve begun also supplementing with several online programs:

ABCMouse

We began using ABCMouse.com last January, before we had decided definitely to homeschool.  The girls love this program.  PB & J Girl is in the kindergarten level (Level 5).  Cuddle Bug is in the preschool level (Level 2).  They use this program for about 15 minutes each every morning when my husband is cooking breakfast.

press-release-classroom

Kinderbach

We recently tried out Kinderbach, a preschool and elementary level online piano program and loved it.  (Look for my review coming tomorrow.)  The lessons are short, usually 2 to 6 minutes long, and they are full of many different activities to engage all types of learners.  My girls beg to do this program every day, and I happily oblige.

YouTube

Sonlight’s program has the girls learning one religious song a week.  I’m definitely not a singer, so we often turn to YouTube to find the song and watch the accompanying video.

For The Middle Elementary Years

Bookworm (9) is in 4th grade, and we do use the Internet (with supervision) for researching papers and historical facts.  However, he also supplements with technology his curriculum of Sonlight Core D for history and literature and Kolbe Academy for everything else.

Netflix

Especially for history, we’ve turned to Netflix to watch historical documentaries and movies related to the topics he’s studying.  For his Kolbe literature program, I often let him watch the movie adaptation of a story after he’s read the book.

XtraMath

We just started this program as a way to polish Bookworm’s math facts, something he struggles with a bit.

TimezAttack

This is yet another program we use to work on memorizing multiplication.  This site is like a video game and to move ahead, you must do multiplication.  Bookworm is not a gamer at all, so sometimes the video game aspect of it slows him down, but overall he likes the program.  He does this and XtraMath every day.

Mango Languages

Mango is an online language program.  (Look for a review coming on Friday.)  Mango has 60 languages available.  We’re using it for learning Japanese.  Every day for about 15 minutes, the kids and I gather around the computer and learn Japanese.  I love the built-in repetition in the program.  Best of all, all the kids enjoy the program, as do I.

Discover Education

While I don’t use this site daily, we do use it every week or two for all of my kids.  When Bookworm was learning about The Salem Witch Trials, we watched videos here.  When the girls and I read about a duckbilled platypus as part of Sonlight’s program, we visited this site to learn more about them.  I love that the search engine can sort by grade level, so I can always find something appropriate to my kids’ learning level.

For Mom

I, too, depend on technology besides the obvious ways that I use it with my kids.

Facebook

I have joined several Homeschooling Facebook groups and received so much support!  Most of the parents in these groups are friendly and happy to share their advice and opinions.  Whether I have questions about a problem my child is having learning something or about curriculum, there are always people ready to help.

Homeschooling Blogs

I enjoy reading homeschooling blogs and seeing what fun activities others are doing.   I get inspired and learn about new strategies and learning techniques by reading these blogs.

Pinterest

For this mama, who is not artistically inclined, Pinterest is a huge help.  I can find cute crafts that I can do with the girls as well as art projects for all three kids.  Of course, ours don’t often turn out the way the original blogger’s do, but still, we have fun being creative!

When I began homeschooling, I had no idea how important technology would become.  With so much available, it’s a wonderful time to be a homeschooler.

What’s your favorite use of technology when teaching your children?

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Comments

  1. Homeschooling is one of those things that always sounded cool to me but also always felt a little out of reach. I think it’s really impressive though that you’ve decided to dive in! Being objective, I think it’s more a fear of the unknown that holds me back more than anything.

    • The fear of the unknown was huge for me. I thought there was no way I could homeschool, yet this year, our first, has gone great. I’m glad we decided to take the leap!

  2. Oh my. I had so many ways that we use technology to post about! I don’t know what we would do without it. :-)

  3. These are great resources. I’d also add in TenMarks.com for math (it’s common core standards based) and Readtheory.org for reading comprehension. I use these two program with my middle school students. The only caveat with read theory is that if the student is being lazy, it will drop them down a reading level, so I have 6th graders reading at a level 1!

    • Thanks for the suggestions. We tried TenMarks before, but Bookworm was a little young for it. We should try it again!

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