I have decided to join in on the TOS Homeschool Crew’s Blog Cruise. This is where we have a topic to write about, and then you can click on the Blog Cruise button and go see what everybody else wrote as well.
The topic this week is technology and how or if you use it in your homeschool. I would have to unequivocally say YES! I use technology in our schooling. Technology to me is using electronic devices, programs and applications for those devices.
The main technological gadget we use is the computer. Matthew and Sarah would rather type than handwrite answers for reading questions. Papers are written and edited on the computer. Sarah has been teaching herself Power Point. She was told to keep a journal for a unit study and she decided to do the “journal” in Power Point. A lot of research is done on the internet as well. Sarah will take pictures of birds or caterpillars and will look them up to see what kind they are. They also use the computer for certain classes, like Biology and Chemistry. As the CD-Rom versions of Apologia Science were cheaper than the textbook, they read the book and answer the questions on the computer.
With Ben and Rebekah, they use computers as well, just not in the same way as the older two. Both of them like to play games on the computer. Sometimes these are games on a disk and sometimes they are internet games. Ben’s favorite is Boy's Life, the Boy Scout website and Rebekah likes JCPlayzone a kid’s game site from Lutheran Hour Ministries. Rebekah loves to send e-cards to grandparents from JCPlayzone. We have also done unit studies together that are on computer.
For my part, I like the computer for school in many different ways. I make up schedules, chore charts, menus, grocery lists that I can print out and easily tweak and print out again as needed. I will pull up the Math U See's website to quickly make up worksheets for more practice. The science for Ben and Rebekah has a disk that I can print off worksheets and tests.
An accessory of the computer that I couldn’t live without is my printer. It is a printer, copier, fax machine. Well the fax part I could care less about, but the printer and copier is another story. We have had our printer break down and we are lost without it. Matthew and Sarah can’t print out their answers for me to check. I can’t do my menu or schedules or the million other things that I seem to need.
I don’t consider an i-Pod necessary school equipment, but it is nice to have. After reading the book Johnny Tremain out loud twice now, when it was time to read it to Ben and Rebekah, I bought it as an audiobook so we could listen to it together. This has freed up time to allow for other read-alouds without killing my voice.I have found that i-Tunes University has some neat things on it for Matthew, such as English classes.
The TV comes into play in school in various ways as well. Since we use Math U See as our main math curriculum, we watch the lessons on DVD. We also have NetFlix and are able to find documentaries that we can stream. We are able to stream these through our Wii.
Well, that is our technology in a nutshell. We use technology everyday,along with using real books and paper. I feel it is very important for my kids to know how to use and feel comfortable using various technologies. My husband and I use these technology on a daily basis and know that as my kids go out into the world they will have to know and not be scared of new innovations.