Apps & Online Learning
August 7, 2019
In This Issue:
Mercy Every Minute  
Still Deciding on Courses for Next Year?
 
Is there a subject you just haven’t decided on yet for the upcoming school year? I am in the same boat. There are so many really good resources out there to look at, but which one is best for my students and our schedule? I know God will confirm to me what is best as I seek Him first, as He will for you! 

Often when I am at a loss of what to do, I look online. It might be a class that I am not confident teaching and need an expert’s help. We have tried online science classes, writing, foreign language, and electives. 

(Definitely check out SchoolhouseTeachers.com for the price of one elective , you get a whole year for the whole family for all 400 courses!)

What about a learning gap where your child needs additional help before the school year starts? There might be an app for that! During this summer, I had my youngest practice his multiplication tables on free apps. Online learning and apps can be very helpful in this technological homeschool age.

The Bible app at www.youversion.com is a favorite. This app reads the Bible aloud to my struggling readers as they follow along in their Bibles. I can also listen to the Scriptures as I clean the kitchen, cook, or organize my school stuff. Awesome and free.

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine www.tosapps.com is free! It is wonderful to have it at my fingertips when I am not at my computer! The magazine often highlights educational apps that are pretty amazing. (By the way, get your PRINT subscription now every quarter!)

Our Great God and Father walks with us, and in His presence is fullness of joy. Don’t give in to fear. Christ is very close to us. Anxiety will flee as we find our peace in Him. You can do this. God gifted you with these children, and He will equip you. The liar will tell you that you are a failure. You are not a failure—that would mean it was all about you. But, you have a Faithful God writing your story. He will complete the work He begins. 

“My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my life . . .” Psalm 73:26.


~Deborah
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The Techno-beast Battle

Let me say first that you shouldn't be thinking about homeschooling right now. You should be enjoying summer, cleaning out the garage with your kids, or sitting by the edge of a body of water.

And most of all, get off your phone. The thing about smartphones is that they siphon off the best of family, relationships, and homeschooling if we let them. Smartphones are easy . . . and family is not. We have to make a point to choose family every time because it's so much easier to be sucked into our smartphones.

That said, apps and online learning are great tools if they're controlled and contained to the learning part. Rather, what often happens instead is that we (and our kids) start off doing something important and beneficial . . . and then slip into wasting time looking at Instagram posts, Facebook, playing games, and watching YouTube videos.

It's a constant battle but one worth fighting. So take advantage of the online apps and learning tools, but don't let your kids go off on their own to do them, and keep track of how long they're on.

Take a break from entertainment technology for the rest of the summer. No video games, YouTube videos, or any technology-time wasters.

Need a shot in the arm to battle the techno-beast? Check out my easy to read book Taming the Techno-Beast.

 Be real,
Todd
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Making Online Learning Work for Your Family

We can't bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich. Screen viewing is on the rise, and it impedes your child's growth and development if not carefully regulated. 

Stats and facts should make us gasp! It seems with each passing year, the amount of screen time doubles in all age groups. Presently, kids and teens, age eight to eighteen spend an average of more than seven hours a day looking at screens. Research like this warrants a discussion and a personal evaluation of my family's viewing habits. We can't brush this info aside. We must consider how to use this technology so that it produces good fruit in our lives, as well as our children's lives. 

I love online learning. I marvel with glee at all the benefits that the internet can provide. I gladly threw out my carefully curated files upon files of pictures and posters that I used in the past to teach, in exchange for the bazillion videos and images that I can now find on the internet and through online educational learning. So how does the new iPhone-era family incorporate this kind of resource into their educational plan? How do you make online learning work for your family? Let’s look at five ideas that will help you produce good technology fruit. 

1. Don't give up your “teacher” status. Think of every online learning experience as an “online guest” in YOUR home. Emphasis on “ YOUR .” We choose who we will invite into our home and who we will avoid. You may have a guest over one time, but that does not mean you need to invite them back. Be discerning and choose wisely. 

2. Be present with your student and your “online guest.” There's no way I'm going to invite a guest into my home and then leave my student alone with them while I attend to something else. I teach with my laptop nearby and invite “guests” to be present in my lessons. Not the other way around. In this way, I can continue to dialogue with my student about the information he just received. 

3. Teach your student how to evaluate your “online guests.” Have a conversation about the sources of the information or class. What worldview does the “online guest” have? Where are the “online guests” getting their sources? Carefully choose the best of the best to interact with your student. 

4. Limit your “online guests.” Obtaining information through a screen is easy and requires little effort from the student. Balance screen education with acquiring new skills, writing about what he has learned, researching a related topic, or engaging in a hands-on learning experience. The world is not a flat screen. It’s a 3D world!

5. Monitor your screen time. This could be a year-long project involving a family graph where real data is collected, charted, and evaluated. 

Don't let a screen be your child's first line of reality. It is our job to equip our children to live in a 3D world. Your mentorship matters to your child as you help them navigate and evaluate the “online guests” in your home. Successful homeschooling is always relationship-based learning. 

You can find Beth Mora jogging while  singing off-key  near her home in Washington. She is the creator and teacher-on-camera for  Here to Help Learning’s Homeschool Writing Program  for grades 1-6. She is a welcomed speaker at  homeschool conferences and women’s events . She loves blogging at  Home to Home , and  Peak Performance , HTHL’s blogs for moms and homeschool businesses. Every week, she serves up  HTHL's Writing Tip of the Week  for those who are serious about teaching their kiddos how to write. Everything she does, whether laughable or heart gripping, is done to honor One, without apology. God’s grace is the salve that has healed her own life, and God’s grace is what she offers liberally to others.
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Making the Most of the Techno-age

I don’t think anyone would argue with the idea that the prevalence of technology offers advanced opportunities in education—so is the case with online learning. It’s very comprehensive, and you tend to walk away with more than expected. This is just the reality of the digital age.

Additionally, there is so much help and knowledge at your fingertips if you have the self-guided child. If taught by a teacher in real time, the student has access to the teacher and can have their questions and other concerns answered. There are just so many benefits.

However, the downside (for me) is the classes that offer chatrooms. I appreciate the idea behind chatrooms but it can also become highly distractive and oftentimes left unattended. Otherwise, I lean toward online learning as an important advantage to the homeschool world as long as it's guided properly.

I am going to give a shameless little plug here about SchoolhouseTeachers.com which offers a wide variety of classes from preschool to high school and insane amounts of extras like schedule builders, videos, libraries, report card generator, etc. You just need to go see it!

Another tech advantage is using apps. Apps are just an interactive bonus that can help the child be stimulated to learn. This can help their productivity and help them learn skills subtley while at the same time being fun. As always, “There’s an app for that.” Even in the homeschool circle, you can track your child’s progress or chores, find unlimited subjects, and best of all, they are usually affordable if not free.

I guess in a nutshell, nothing really takes the place of curling up on the couch with your child with an old fashioned book, but also don’t dismiss what the technological world has to offer. Just keep your child safe!

Kerry Tittle is a mother of nine children and a 20-year homeschool veteran. She was the owner of ReformationKidz with her husband Rob until a tornado destroyed their home and business in 2014, taking the lives of Rob and two of their daughters, Tori and Rebekah. Kerry is the founder of  Refined Family , which is created to encourage others to find hope in the gospel in the midst of trials.
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Maine

Look What's Happening!

Homeschoolers of Maine is hosting a Barnes & Noble Bookfair (In Store and Online) and Homeschool Mini Conference on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at Barnes & Noble in Augusta, Maine. (Shop online to support HOME through August 19.) For more information and a conference schedule, please visit their website: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/events/barnes-noble-bookfair/
Are you trying to figure out how to assign separate classes to each of your students within  SchoolhouseTeachers.com ? Watch this  tutorial  to learn how to use the great Bookmark feature to organize course assignments!
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Online learning has opened a world of possibilities for students and parents alike. Today, students around the world can learn French from a teacher in Quebec, art from a teacher in South Africa, math from teachers in Australia and Wales, and British Literature from a teacher in France—and that’s all with just one membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com . As a member, you have access to material presented by more than 200 lesson designers from 8 countries and 5 continents. And you can take all the courses without purchasing textbooks. 

If you haven’t joined SchoolhouseTeachers.com , come give us a try! If you or someone you know would be interested in teaching or writing for us, let us know. You can email me at bhudson@TheOldSchoolhouse.com . Discover the wealth of materials available right at your fingertips at SchoolhouseTeachers.com. 


Bonnie Rose Hudson
Director of SchoolhouseTeachers.com
A division of The Old Schoolhouse ® Magazine

in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Matthew Mouse , Rachel Rabbit , and Emma Elephant are in a three-book series that shows the timeless wisdom from the Book of Proverbs in a way that children can relate to. Author and illustrator Zoe Carter lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her website, Zoe Craft Book , is a resource of crafts and instructional aids for teaching the Bible to young children. 

I read all three of these books aloud with my three younger children who are ages 3, 7, and 9. These are best-suited for children from 3 to 6, although my older ones did enjoy the simple stories and the big, fun illustrations on each page. 

We first read Emma Elephant , a story about the value of telling the truth. This story shows how important it is to tell the truth and how easy it is for lies to grow out of control.

In Matthew Mouse , we learn the value of carefully choosing our friends. When Matthew Mouse makes a new friend, Cat Burglar, our children see how the friends we spend time with change us. We can always be kind, but we must be wise in whom we choose as our friend.

Rachel Rabbit was a favorite of ours, especially for my daughter Rachel. This book was a great reminder that sometimes it is better to not get everything we want all the time. The book teaches contentment and gratitude. 

While we used these as read-alouds, they were also enjoyable books for my beginning and struggling readers with simple, easy-to-read words and print. The illustrations really bring the stories to life! A wonderful way to introduce the Bible and valuable character traits, these books are a reminder too that God loves us and desires good things for us.


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