Great Uses For Technology In Your Homeschool

I have a friend, not much younger than I, who was homeschooled as a child. Back in those days (doesn’t it seem so long ago!), they didn’t have much support. They didn’t have hundreds of homeschool curriculum stores. And they didn’t have technology. It’s hard for me to believe it, and I can’t imagine what I would do without technology. From record keeping to lesson planning to educational resources, we use it every day.

Uses for technology in your homeschool

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For record keeping

 I use Google Docs for all of my planning and record keeping. I’ve not found any homeschool planner that I just love, so I’ve given up and make my own forms with Google Docs. Because they are on Google Docs, I can access them from any computer if something happens to my laptop and I have to use an alternative computer. You can get my free Digital Homeschool Planner for Google Drive here. And my ebook Creating Homeschool Lesson Plans That Work is a step-by-step guide to creating homeschool lesson plans using a Google Drive planner.

For finding information

I cannot imagine life without a search engine. If I need Olympics color sheets I google it. If I need a picture of a wolverine for an animal unit, I search for it. If I need a science experiment for our co-op, I google it. When I was teaching co-op the other day, we came across a question on the animal research sheet we were completing, and I didn’t know the answer. One of my kids said “Just google it!”. Kids know. We find all the answers online.

For YouTube science videos

I stumbled across this by chance. We use Apologia science. I try to have my kids do many of the experiments, but sometimes we don’t have the materials or the time to do the experiment. One day in desperation I turned on YouTube and searched for an experiment that would be the same. I found all kinds of science experiments. Some are specifically for Apologia, but others fit the description of the experiment we need. Now when we need an experiment that we can’t do, I search for it on YouTube.

For enhancements to our lessons

I’ve found so many great websites over the years that have all kinds of resources for different subject matter. When I need a lesson or something to go along with a lesson, I can pull up one of these for help. Here are a few of my favorites:
Classics for Kids- has all kinds of musical information divided into categories by period or by composer and has a weekly musical radio show with lessons about a style of music or a composer. there are also all kinds of resources for studying the orchestra.
Kahn Academy– has math help. There are many videos teaching many different math concepts. I do a search for the math concept my child is having trouble with and find instructional videos.
Homeschool Share– has lapbook and unit study resources for free. I go here when I want to do a literature study.
Discovery Education- This site is free for me under my homeschool legal group in South Carolina. Depending on your state, you may have to pay a yearly fee. There are videos, video clips, pictures, and sometimes printables for many, many topics. I like to use it to find science videos.
Schoolhouse Teachers– This site has literature units, classes in many subjects, spelling lists, copywork, and much more for all grades K-12. I’ve used it for so many things in our homeschool, and you really could use Schoolhouse Teachers to make up your entire curriculum.

For reading

So many great books can be accessed for free or cheap online. With the free Kindle app, you can read on any mobile device. And there are many online sites where you can read classic literature for free.

For online classes

Don’t want to teach a subject yourself or need help because you just don’t have time to teach everything to every child? There are so many awesome online classes available, and many of them are free or inexpensive to use.

I love technology. I know there are cautions when using it. And I know there is a danger in getting too reliant on it. But it’s very valuable in our homeschool, and I’m very thankful for it!

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