Homeschooling and the Internet

Kinderbach Review
Tell someone you’re a homeschooler, and the typical picture in their head is the kids sitting around the kitchen table with books, pencils, and papers strewn everywhere. There is probably still some of that around (though not in this house), but more and more, the kids are sitting in front of computers or using tablets.

My kids love books. It’s not uncommon for us to walk out of the library with 40-50 books, at least half of which are non-fiction. We live five minutes from the library, so this isn’t a once a month trip we’re talking about. But they also love their computers. I can’t say much as I spend at least half my day on the computer. Even before Facebook came on the scene.

For 4 1/2 years, we used an online virtual school for homeschooling. There were actual books involved as well, but most lessons were on the computer. We would still be using that if I hadn’t had serious issues with the policies of the school. Now we use Google and various computer-based learning programs that we get to try through The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.

Currently, we’re still using IXL.com (math) and Reading Kingdom from last year’s reviews and Mango Languages, which I will feature in a review in a couple of weeks. We’re about to start Supercharged Science again, which we reviewed last year, and were fortunate enough to be chosen again for this year. As you can see, from just a few examples, pretty much any subject can be covered online.

Even if you don’t like formal curriculum or programs, the internet holds a wealth of information. Use wikipedia at your own risk, but sites like www.nationalgeographic.com and .gov and .edu sites are generally (relatively) reliable sources of information. Kahn Academy is a great free resource for learning math without a curriculum. If you have high school students (or even a bored adult sitting around…), Coursera will help you find free courses from universities around the country.

Books are fabulous, and we certainly haven’t abandoned them, but computers can give you instant feedback and interaction that you can’t get from books. If the internet disappeared tomorrow, we would definitely miss more than email.

See what other homeschoolers have to say about technology in their homeschool. (Live 2/26)

7 Things I Learned While Moving

I’m moving this weekend, for the second time in less than seven months. In fact, both my computers are packed up and I had to come to the library to write this post because it wouldn’t go away until I wrote it. (Why won’t a best-selling novel come live in my head and refuse to leave?) As a result of both moves, I’ve come to realize a few things. Continue reading

What I’ve Been Doing Lately

Ever feel like you’re busy all day, yet not getting anything done? Lately, I’ve been in “research mode” so I’ve been feeling that way. My kids haven’t starved and the house is still standing, so apparently, I’ve been doing *something*. LOL

I’m researching two different things. One is alternative cancer treatments, prevention and cures. The other is gluten-free cooking. Can I just say my kids LOVE raisin bread? Don’t tell them some kids snack on candy and chips. LOL Everytime I make a loaf of bread, I think, “When did I become this person?” Ten years ago, I never would have thought I would be making bread from scratch. (Right now I’m using a gluten-free mix, but I have made several loaves from scratch.) And cookies and brownies and cupcakes with homemade frosting. Yes, I was kidding earlier. My kids do get “junk” food, but it’s homemade junk food. (They really do go through a lot of raisin bread, though.)

As for the cancer information, I started a blog for that and a page on facebook. Actually, the blog is different kinds of health information. The blog and the facebook page.

But wait! There’s more! Several years ago, while training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day, I was looking for different places to walk. That’s a lot of training and walking in the same places gets old fast. Also, I was looking for places with longer paths and trails that I had here. I scoured the internet looking for recreation department websites that would tell me about their parks and walking paths. Most counties didn’t even have anything about their parks and even fewer said anything about trails or paths. So I started my own site. After 2 years, the financial and time committment became too much for me and the site had to go. Now I’ve started a new siteon wordpress.com and it’s free, so I don’t have to worry about that. I’ve also decided that it would be much easier and more interactive if visitors could share about their favorite parks and paths instead of me trying to make my way all over the metro Atlanta area to find parks. (Note: The site didn’t pick up any interest, so I removed it after a year or so to downsize my blog/internet time.)

So check out the new sites and share them with your friends. I don’t think I’ll be starting a gluten-free blog or site. LOL There are more than enough of those out there with much better information than I could ever post.