Using Technology in Your Homeschool6 min read
Fretting about choosing the right technology tools for your child’s homeschooling needs?
Worry not! No matter how you teach your kids, a little technology can work wonders for all things homeschooling. In a post-Covid world, there’s no reason to doubt that these resources help make educating your kids a little bit easier.
There are endless benefits to using the tools at our hand to add to your kid’s homeschooling journey and lesosn plans. We need to not look too far from our lives to confirm this. Technology is there everywhere: from the way we shop, the way we consume entertainment, and even in our homes and cars. Similarly, the latest developments can create a significant impact in the homeschooling community.
While there are concerns–safety and mindfulness issues to name a few–, the benefits far outweigh the cons. Read on to know why – and HOW – you can include technology in your kid’s homeschooling experience. The best part? You can keep it all within your homeschooling budget!
Immediate Benefits of Using Technology in Homeschooling
The two immediate benefits that you might encounter are improvement in math and typing skills. Computer programs and apps that gamify the learning process are a great way to help your kid learn..
Modern devices helps your kids develop these skills on their own (not to mention with more interest), saving you a lot of time and frustration.
We live in a technology driven world. Basic computer skills are a prerequisite in most jobs these days. The more advanced these skills, the better opportunities open up for your kid in the future.
For instance, coding has become a core part of many industries–not just the software world. Whether your kid chooses to work in healthcare or engineering or teaching, knowing coding gives a bona fide edge over their peers.
Besides, kids are super smart.
Don’t worry about being able to help them learn to maneuver the latest updates. Not only will things improve with time, your kids will also become more attuned to learning naturally as they use it.
6 Ways to Use Technology in Your Home School
We know that the latest apps and technologies aren’t created on an equal scale. Some can be harder to navigate than others.
With a positive approach to homeschooling, all you need to do is just introduce them to apps that are easy for them to understand and use. With time, you can introduce your kid to more complex apps that are useful in teaching skills like music and coding.
To start with, you can include fun, game-based apps that supplement your kid’s learning process. You can then progress to other apps depending on the homeschool curriculum you’ve chosen.
Unlike most predictions, the internet did not really kill our reading habits. In fact, studies have shown that the access to electronic devices have actually improved it. One study showed that over 52% of the children surveyed were more likely to read on screen than on paper.
The biggest advantage of this is that you can cut back on cluttered bookshelves. Another advantage is that most reading apps make it easy to collect your highlighted passages in one place for your later reference. This would be especially useful when completing homeschool reading assignments.
Tuning into podcasts
There is no doubt that podcasts have become one of the biggest ways we consume on the internet. Whether it is on self-care or true crime, podcasts are here to stay.
The good thing about podcasts is that they are more likely to get your kid to pay attention. Due to the large variety available online, you can get your kid to listen to one of your choosing without complex planning requirements.
These podcasts can also be a part of your homeschool curriculum. For instance, there are plenty of history and language lesson podcasts that can make learning fun for your kids. An added bonus is that it gives you more time for yourself.
Make your child work with Word!
Using Microsoft Word is one of the most important skills. It’s where your kid will be typing up their reports and papers. You can start by teaching basic MS Word functions like double-spacing a document, saving a document to a flash drive, or using the thesaurus.
Here are some other basic Word skills that you can teach them to begin with:
- Retrieving a document from the flash drive without any complex structuring
- Copy and then paste the text from one file to another
- How to use famous quotes around spoken words
- Starting a new line once you are done with the previous line of dialogue
Similarly, for more advanced kids, you can incorporate Microsoft Excel skills. Excel’s inbuilt commands and functions are a great way to teach basic and advanced mathematics.
Learning more about the Internet Safety
No article on kids’ use of the internet and electronic devices is complete without mentioning internet safety.
With all the advantages that technology provides for homeschooling, one thing that overrides everythings is internet safety.
First, you need to make sure that your kids are aware of basic safety rules, such as not sharing personal identifying information anywhere online. This includes their ID numbers, phone numbers, the street they live on, friends’ addresses,where their parents work and so on.
Precaution is one thing but the second step is just as important. Teach your kids what to do in the event a stranger contacts them. Make sure that they know they can come to you if they are ever unsure of any strange online activity.
Graphic design is the way to go
It is very important to teach your kids about some basic graphic design practice with the help of apps like Microsoft Paint to begin with. Use this program to create screensavers and avatars of their liking. Graphic design takes a lot of hands-on experience through trial and error to perfect. So make sure your kid understands that they need to be patient and work on their skills.
Kids at a more advanced level can even be taught to use Photoshop or other programs.
What to Remember
Using the latest technology for your homeschooling needs doesn’t have to be intimidating. Just remember that if you don’t like some aspect, you can always exclude it from your curriculum. .
It’s likely that even more advanced tools will crop up in the next decade, so remember to stay flexible when implementing this practice.
And remember, set a list of rules and limits for your kids so they use electronic devices mindfully and safely.