Homeschooling with Google Sheets

Homeschooling with google sheets


Episode 3: Homeschooling with Google Sheets

Google Sheets is one of the Google Drive apps and if you aren’t familiar with all the benefits of those apps, listen to my previous episode. In this episode, you will learn some of the applications for Google sheets in your homeschool.

Google Sheets is more limited than many spreadsheet programs – which is actually a good thing if you or your children are just starting to use them. Google Sheets is nice and easy to learn to use.

Learning to use Google Sheets

This podcast is sponsored by FundaFunda Academy and they have a web-based unit study on all the Google drive apps which includes a module on Google Sheets. It is aimed at 6th – 12th grade, but parents can learn alongside their children!

You can also use the “Help” in Google Sheets or find videos on Youtube to show you what to do.

So, I will leave you to learn the basics on your own, and in this episode, I am just going to give you ideas on how you can use Google Sheets in your homeschool.

A fun way to start out: Battleships

To start with, you can practice using Google sheets by playing a game of Battleships against your child (or get 2 of your children to play against each other). Each will need a computer. You can follow the instructions here:

Spreadsheets are essentially rows and columns and are really great to use for

  1. Lists: spelling lists, sign up sheets etc
  2. Tables: create weekly schedules with daily activities / chores
  3. Calculating totals: as you add / change value, totals are magically adjusted. Use it for
    • Tracking community service hours for your children
    • Budgeting for you and your children
    • Trip planning
    • Homeschool curriculum purchasing planning / Christmas shopping planning
    • Rewards system/payment for chores etc

Other things to know about Google Sheets

 

  • In Google sheets, one can use formulas and functions. This can be helpful for students to be familiar with before they learn to program
  • Click on Explore at the bottom right corner of a page in Google Sheets, highlight some cells containing data, and you will be provided with statistics and also graphs!
  • All the information collected from Google Forms is stored in Google Sheets making it easy to manipulate

If you found this useful, please subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts.

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Change is in the Air Movie

This story embraces the imperfections that make us human, offers a way to set ourselves free and asks us all to take a good, long look at the wild birds in the sky.

Watch the trailer here!


Homeschooling with Google Sheets

Homeschooling with Google Drive

Homeschooling with google drive


Episode 2: Homeschooling with Google Drive

In this episode, you will learn what Google Drive is, why you should be using it and how to use it in your homeschool.

What is Google Drive?

 
Google Drive is essentially an online filing system. In addition, it is integrated with a number of apps which makes it even more powerful. You do need a Google account to use it. You can find it at drive.google.com

Why use Google Drive?

  1. You get 15GB free storage to use across Google Drive, Photos and Gmail
  2. You can sync it to your other devices
  3. It provides an way to transfer large files between people. When my online students create videos that are too big to submit in the Learning Management System we use, I tell them to upload to Google Drive and then share the link
  4. It is easy to share files. Just click on the share button and either use enter an email to share with a specific person or provide them with the link. The latter method is useful if you want to share something with a large number of people
  5. Storing files on Google Drive frees up space on your hard drive
  6. All the Google Drive apps include an autosave feature which means you can’t lose you work if you forget to save
  7. The Google Drive apps make collaboration between people easy. It is very easy to work together on a document. My high school children and I would share documents we kept updated with their activities and achievements so either of us could update it.
  8. The Google Drive apps allow you to recover earlier versions of your documents. Just to the right of “help” at the top of the screen, you will see “All changes stored in drive” or “last edit made on …”. Just click on that and in the righthand side of your screen you will see all your versions and you can choose the one you want to revert to.
  9. Changing the content of a shared document or file means that everyone with access to the file automatically has the latest version
  10. It is in the cloud so you can access it anywhere you have internet. You don’t need your own device. You can log in on anyone’s computer to access your files.

What are the Google Drive Apps?

How to organize your files in Google Drive

 
Just as with a physical filing system, you can create folders. And then you can create folders within folders. You could have one folder for “School”. Under that folder, you could have a folder for each child. And in each child’s folder, you could have folders for each subject.

Once you have high schoolers you can add a college folder which has more sub-folders for information about colleges, one for scholarships, one for the documents needed to submit to the applications. You just need to find a solution that works for you.

You can have top-level folders for all the major areas in your life you will use this for. For instance, I have one for my online classes, one for vacations and one for Science Olympiad (which I coach).

How to save your files in Google Drive

 
Once you have your folders created, you can either use the integrated Google Apps to create documents in the folders, or you can upload files from your hard drive.

Of course, if you realize you want to move a document to a different folder, it is very easy to do that!

If you use Gmail, you can save attachments directly from your email. At the end of the email, look for the Google drive icon. Click on that icon instead of downloading the file to your hard drive.

There is a Chrome extension called Save to Google Drive that makes it really easy to save files while browsing the web. You may want to download a document from a website you visit or a class you or your children are taking.

Open the file in your browser. Then click on the Chrome extension and the file will be automatically downloaded into the folder you designate. You designate this folder when you set up the extension and then everything will go to the same folder. (Call it ‘Downloads’ for instance). You just need to remember to go to that folder and move the document to the correct destination.

If you have never used Chrome extensions before, here is a video to explain what they are and how to add them to Chrome.

Online tutorials on Google Drive

If you would like your children to learn to use Google Drive, take a look at FundaFunda Academy’s web-based unit study which also covers how to use Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides and Google Forms. In fact, you can learn along with your children!

If you found this useful, please subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts.

Homeschooling with Google Drive

Introducing the Homeschooling with Technology Podcast

Welcome to the Homeschooling with Technology Podcast

Welcome to episode 1 of the Homeschooling with Technology podcast.

My name is Meryl van der Merwe and I am a South African. My father bought us a personal computer when I was a teen and I both gamed on it and learned to program. I went to college to get a B.A.  but during the vacations, I earned money running programming camps for children.

After graduation, I got a job with Shell SA programming in their payroll department. I got married and around the time our first child was born, we started our own computer company and created a Fixed Asset Register software package which I programmed.

Our family kept growing and my children and I would game together. We would play Kings Quest, Carmen Sandiego, Oregon Trail. You can still find some of these old games here:

My children started helping me in the children’s clothing factory outlet I was running at this time by creating flyers and advertisements for the business and helping operate the computer in the store.

Then we moved to America and I started homeschooling. Obviously, I began homeschooling with technology!

I taught our children to program when they were in elementary school and some of their assignments were done online. But they didn’t just use technology to do their schoolwork, they also made money with tech. One started creating websites as a business when he was 10 years old. One did all the layout and typed up recipes for someone who was publishing a recipe book and one did computer repairs.

And of course, they gamed. In fact, I often assigned them games like Civilization for “homework”.

Now that my children have left home I still use technology for homeschooling other peoples’ children – both in my co-op classes and in my online classes. At co-op we play games like Kahoot and I use QR codes and anything else that will engage the students in their learning.

If you are worried that technology is beyond you, don’t be. Vicki Davis, an educator and podcaster says: “Innovate like a turtle”. What she is saying is, just do a little bit of something that is new at a time. Just take one idea from each show and try to implement it.

Alice Keeler, another educator has this great quote: “The only difference between “I’m techie” and “I’m not techie” is the willingness to click on stuff and see what happens.” So go ahead, click around on websites and new software. You aren’t likely to break anything (just stay away from spammy looking links!)

What can you expect to learn about in this podcast?

    • Tools to help you organize your life in general and especially your homeschool. Many of these are tools you can also teach your children to use
    • Sites that will enhance your lessons – games, interactive websites, simulations etc. In fact, here is one you might want to try. I mentioned earlier we loved planning The Oregon Trail together. Well, you can play that original version online now at archive.org
    • Techie skills your children need before they leave for college, and how to easily incorporate them into your homeschool

If you find any great techie resources you think I may not know about, please share them in the comments. And if there are any topics you would like me to cover, let me know that too!

Be sure to subscribe to the Homeschooling with Technology show wherever you listen to your podcasts!


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

 

KiwiCo has monthly subscriptions of hands-on projects that make learning fun! Their core offering is projects that make learning about STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — accessible and are designed to spark creativity, tinkering, and learning. Some recent favorite crates are the Slime Lab, Physics Carnival, and Paper Circuits.

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network is excited to be able to offer you the chance to try them for FREE. To learn more about their projects for kids ages 2 to 16 AND to redeem this exclusive offer, click here to get your first month free today (just pay $4.95 for shipping)


Welcome to the Homeschooling with Technology Podcast