Technology in Our Homeschool

Long ago, when mammoths roamed the earth and we started this homeschool journey, I was adamantly against all forms of technology, possibly even including the telephone (you know the one tethered to the wall). I wanted our children, quite possibly all children (funny how passionate you are about something when you are younger!), to learn how to interact with living breathing people and actually turn the pages of a real book. I'll go as far as to say, I embraced dog earing of pages as it stood as proof of a book being used.

As the years have gone by, I have aged (late thirties now - so old!) and changed my opinion (not always permitted in society at large, but I'm proceeding to do so anyway). Gradually, I have come to embrace some technologies in our homeschool. I can honestly say technology is neither good nor bad, it is the usage of technology which is either good or bad.

That being said, let me share with you our current educational usage of technology.

How we use technology in our homeschool:
  • CD player - used for various accompanying CD's, including but not limited to poetry, music, and history. An estimate for frequency would be about once a week per course.
  • Television and DVD player - used for DVD lectures for my oldest son (ninth grade) for his literary analysis class. The lectures last approximately 45 minutes each and are viewed once a week for the first five weeks of the class. The rest of the class time is spent in individual instruction with the teacher (me!). The rest of his work is completely individually throughout the remainder of the week. In this time, he interacts with actual pieces of literature.
  • Cell phone apps - used for identifying some star constellations at night when observing the sky with my husband. (my cell phone is archaic, on the verge of the texting age) 
  • Computer {tethered to the wall with no internet connection} - used for DVD lectures for Latin (our daughters) and a course in French (our oldest son). As I cannot speak Latin or French, these classes are really essential for us.
  • Laptop Computer {portable with internet connection} - used by our oldest son for limited research topics. Incidentally, he also uses it for his fantasy football league participation, but that's not really school related. I also cart a laptop to co-op class for slide show presentations to accompany some lectures. The room we meet in has a flat screen TV, which I am able to project the images from my computer onto it.
  • Email - is the primary source of communication for our co-op classes. Teachers regularly email students and parents additional information.
  • Social media - used specifically by me to record our homeschool experiences and share information, for connecting with other homeschoolers, and for finding fabulous ideas and lesson plans.
  • Digital Cameras - used by all the older children for taking photos of items like rocks, minerals, birds, etc. for identification purposes or projects. These are also used for a visual remembrance of events, proof of attendance/field trip, and editing photograph practice.
  • MP3 Players/iPods - used by all the older children for memory work. For those who ask, I will read/record the memory piece onto their device. Then, they can 'study' it by listening to it again and again.
For some of you technological savvy individuals, our humble listing may seem like a throw back to the ice age, but for someone who started this journey swearing off all forms of technology, (ahem, me)...this listing is quite daunting.

We are looking forward to the possibility of incorporating e-readers for the children (though we will still be using real, tree originating books when possible) and some type of iPad or Tablet (a girl can dream!) for lessons.

We are currently studying ancient history, particularly the flood and resulting ice age. Please bear with my tongue in cheek humorous tone. Of course, this leads to fair warning: we are about to study the Tower of Babel...who knows what tone of voice or odd humor that will prompt!

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