How to select online classes for your children

How to select online classes

Episode 24: How to select online classes for your children

1. Cost

  • you get what you pay for (live classes, graded classes will cost more)
  • refund policies?

2. Synchronous / Asynchronous

Synchronous classes are usually live and students watch a live stream. Good for students who like structure. Example: True North Homeschool Academy.

Asynchronous classes allow students to select the time they come to class and are recorded videos and other assignments. Good for students with unpredictable schedules. Example: show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy.

3. Graded / not graded

For younger students grading is not important, but high school students need a grade. Is the class grade? If not is there an answer key/rubrics for the parent to use?

4. Self-paced vs deadlines

Pros of self-paced classes: take as long as you want, often can re-use for multiple kids, example: – FundaFunda Academy web-based unit studies
Cons – take as long as you want so no pressure to finish, usually not graded

Classes with deadlines ensure students finish their work on time and prepares them for college (and life!). Examples: FundaFunda Academy’sand True North Homeschool Academy‘s full semester classes.

Be sure to check out the new podcast from Lisa Nehring of True North Homeschool Academy – Soft Skills 101

5. Class interaction

Some classes have forums/discussion rooms
Some classes have ways students can view each other’s work and give peer reviews and ratings.
Group work is also a possibility in online classes

6. Learning style

Do your children learn better with live interaction, with textbooks, with interactive websites and games? Do you want classes that have tests or ones that assess mastery in a different way?

7. Rigour

Classes can be “light” or rigorous. Some are Honors level or AP prep.

In conclusion, it can very helpful if you can view a demo of classes you are considering before you buy.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

How to select online classes

5 Ways Homeschool Parents Can Use Trello

5 Ways Homeschool Parents Can Use Trello

Episode 23: 5 Ways homeschool parents can use Trello with Brittany Joiner

Our guest in today’s show is Brittany Joiner. She is a self-confessed Trello enthusiast who in her spare time organizes local Trello events and blogs for Trello.

Link on Trello’s blog to Brittany and her articles

Find local meetups of Trello enthusiasts near you here.

Brittany’s Project 1440 Blog where the majority of posts are about Trello.

Brittany’s Trello Video Series (costs $39)

Brittany describes Trello as a “Digital whiteboard with sticky notes”.

    Here are 5 ways homeschool parents can use Trello

    Be sure to click through the “example” boards to see what Brittany describes in this episode. You can copy her boards and use them as a basis to create your own.

  1. A To Do list for students – Example board
  2. A To Do list for parents – Example board
  3. To organize course content (eg build a syllabus, including links to projects and games and documents, add checklists and due dates) – Example board
  4. A Way for students to organize research – Example board
  5. A family board (use it to plan meals, vacations etc) – Example board

Show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy, teaches students to use Trello in their online Computer Applications class.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Techie Alternatives to Written Reports

Techie Alternatives to Written Reports

Episode 22: Techie Alternatives to Written Reports

Benefits to using techie alternatives to written reports

Although students definitely need to know how to do a written book report or research paper, there are other ways to see what your child has learned. And there are benefits to mixing it up. 3 major benefits:

  • techie assignments are fun
  • they are easy to share with family/friends
  • students learn tech skills in the process

9 Techie Alternatives to Written Reports

  1. Slideshows – Google slides / Prezi
  2. Videos – talk to the screen, screencast, illustrated with photos/clips, animated (See Free Video Creation Tools episode for free tools)
  3. Comic strip – Google slides / Google drawings or Makebeliefcomix.com
  4. Social media profiles / posts: Classtools has nice templates
  5. Posters / Book covers (See Free Graphic Creation Tools episode for free tools)
  6. Choose your own adventure – use Google slides or Text Adventures (select ‘Gamebooks’) or Twine for a more complex option
  7. Create a quiz / game – use Classtools, Sporcle, Quizlet or Google forms. Students could also code a game using Scratch or create a Digital Breakout
  8. Websites / Blogs – Strikingly, Wix, Weebly, WordPress
  9. E-book – Storyjumper

Show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy often uses ideas like these in their online classes and web-based unit studies. Check them out!

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Bright Ideas Press

Homeschool moms are busy! Bright Ideas Press gets that. And that’s why, for over 25 years, we have promised to publish Christian-oriented homeschool curriculum that will fit your family—curriculum that is both affordable and easy-to-use with children of different ages and learning styles at the same time. Curriculum that busy Moms love!

Offering history, science, geography, and humanities curriculum and over 100 options of online classes and clubs for homeschool families, the team at Bright Ideas Press creates products and resources that will not only help simplify your life, but also inspire, encourage, and equip you to educate your children.

Find out more here!



Techie Alternatives to Written Reports


Free Graphic Creation Tools

Free Graphic Creation Tools

Episode 21: Free Graphic Creation Tools

The free tools mentioned in this episode are:

Find free icons to use in your graphics projects at The Noun Project.

Show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy, teaches students to use many of these tools in their online Computer Applications class.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook


Free Graphic Creation Tools


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Bright Ideas Press

Homeschool moms are busy! Bright Ideas Press gets that. And that’s why, for over 25 years, we have promised to publish Christian-oriented homeschool curriculum that will fit your family—curriculum that is both affordable and easy-to-use with children of different ages and learning styles at the same time. Curriculum that busy Moms love!

Offering history, science, geography, and humanities curriculum and over 100 options of online classes and clubs for homeschool families, the team at Bright Ideas Press creates products and resources that will not only help simplify your life, but also inspire, encourage, and equip you to educate your children.

Find out more here!


Free Video Creation Tools

Free Video Creation Tools

Episode 20: Free Video Creation Tools

The free tools mentioned in this episode are:

  • Windows Moviemaker / iMovie, if they are already installed on a computer
  • Keynote and Powerpoint, if they are already installed on a computer, can be exported as a movie file
  • Adobe Spark Video
    Example from a FundaFunda Academy US History class assignment
  • Powtoon
    Example from a FundaFunda Academy Earth Science class assignment
  • Zimmer Twins – this is good for younger students
  • My Simple Show
    Example from a FundaFunda Academy US History class assignment
  • Screencast-o-matic
    Example from a FundaFunda Academy US History class assignment (presentation was created on Prezi and then the screen was recorded)
  • Screencastify
  • Loom

Show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy, teaches students to use many of these tools in their online Computer Applications class. Some of the teachers also use video creation in their assignments (as you can see from the examples above).

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Free Video Creation Tools


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Christian Standard Bible

The Christian Standard Bible captures the Bible’s original meaning without compromising clarity. An optimal blend of accuracy and readability, this translation helps readers make a deeper connection with God’s Word and inspires lifelong discipleship. The CSB is for everyone—for readers young and old, new and seasoned. It’s a Bible pastors can preach from and a Bible you can share with your neighbor hearing God’s Word for the very first time.

Find out more here!


How tech can help you homeschool when you travel

How technology can help you homeschool when you travel

Episode 19: How tech can help you homeschool when you travel

Modern technology makes it far easier to homeschooling when you travel than it was for me when we traveled around the world about 11 years ago with our 4 children.

What devices are good for traveling and homeschooling?

Chromebooks – take a flash drive for storing documents.
E-readers

Relaxed homeschooling on the road

If you have younger students, you can take a break from your regular curriculum. Travel is a fantastic education – but you can use devices to learn about the places you are visiting.

You can also use devices for learning while you are on flights, in the airport etc.

Educational apps – vocabulary.com, is great to build vocabulary for all ages. Also look for other word games.
Podcasts
E-books – for younger students look into Epic. A low monthly fee gets you books, audiobooks, videos and quizzes.
And the library offers free e-book loans usually through Overdrive, and free videos through Kanopy.

Online classes / web-based unit studies

For teens, online classes can provide an easy way to homeschool anywhere. However, if you choose live online classes, make sure it will work to miss the live sessions. Some classes do offer video recordings students can watch if they miss class.

Self-paced, or online classes that don’t have a live component – like our sponsor FundaFunda Academy’s are a better option as they offer more flexible pacing while you are traveling.

Web-based unit studies are great to use with upper elementary and middle schoolers as everything is self-contained online.

And no need to worry about not having a printer for worksheets – just complete them online. Many newer computers already offer the ability to complete pdfs online, but if yours doesn’t then use Type on Pdf which if a free online option.

Where to find free wifi

Most airports have free wifi now
Coffee shops and many restaurants are good places to find free wifi

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

How technology can help you homeschool when you travel

Tech skills teens need before they graduate

Tech Skills Teens Need

Episode 18: Tech skills teens need before they graduate

1. Computer basics

  • Saving / Copying / Uploading files
  • How to take a screenshot
  • Typing skills
  • Troubleshooting

2. Familiarity with different types of software

3. Online etiquette

  • Emails
  • Social media

4. Online research skills

  • Identifying credible sources
  • How to use Google Scholar
  • How to create bibliographies

5. Basic coding

  • STEM fields will require it
  • Many others will use it for manipulating data etc.

How do you do this?

  • Start young and incorporate tech into your daily homeschool life
  • Keep listening to this podcast and play earlier episodes that help you do this
  • If your kids are already in high school and have some catching up to do, our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy has some classes to help you. Take a look at Computer Applications which covers everything mentioned above except programming (their 5-week or full semester Python class will cover that)

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Tech Skills Teens Need Before they Graduate

Classtools – Online Educational Fun

Classtools online educational fun

Episode 17: Classtools – Online Educational Fun

In today’s episode we will explore some of the fun resources on the website Classtools.

Our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy enjoys using the free Classtools resources in many of their online classes and web-based unit studies.

Resources for creative assignments

Fakebook – create a “fake” book page complete with cover image, profile pic and posts for a literary or historical character.

SMS generator – imagine a text conversation between 2 literary or historical characters.

Badgemaker – design a badge to celebrate a historical character.

Breaking News and Headline Generator – supply headlines and descriptions for news events in the past.

Turbo Timeline – produce a timeline that you can drive through.

Online Educational Games

Play your Dates Right – put historical events into chronological order.

Dustbin – create up to 4 categories with items that must be dragged to the correct one.

Arcade Games – There are 70 ready-made games and you can add your own. Use the questions in one of 5 games: PacMan, Manic Miner Asteroids, Pong or Wordshoot.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Classtools Online Educational Fun

Free Online Geography Games

Free Online Geography Games

Episode 16: Free Online Geography Games

Our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy offers online high school world geography classes as well as web-based unit studies for 4th – 8th grade on North America, South America, and Poland. In addition, they sell inexpensive Geography printable games.

Here are the 6 free online geography games mentioned in this episode:

1. Seterra

2. Lizardpoint

3. Sporcle

4. Smartypins

5. GeoGuessr

6. Fanschool

These games are good for upper elementary through high school – and for adults too!

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Free Online Geography Games

Finding, tracking and winning scholarships

Finding, Tracking and Winning Scholarships

Episode 15: Finding, tracking and winning scholarships

1. Finding Scholarships

* Use Scholarship Search Engines
My favorite scholarship search engines:

Other scholarship search engines: Peterson’s, Fastweb, Cappex, Collegeboard, Scholarships.com

* Scholly App

* Local school websites

* Google search – “scholarship” + major / hobby / achievement etc

* Facebook – follow people like Monica Matthews

2. Tracking Scholarships

* put all scholarships and requirements and deadlines on Google sheets and share with your child
* child updates when it is submitted
* create a dedicated email for scholarships

3. Winning Scholarships

* Use Google sheets to track volunteer hours, workshops attended etc so you have all the info at hand
* Parent should research see what the chance is of their child winning anything – look for previous winners, read winning essays, watch winning videos
* Keeping it all organized on Google sheets means you shouldn’t miss deadlines, leave anything out.
* Use spell checkers / Grammarly (also human eyes!)

—> Check out our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy‘s summer challenge for high schoolers. Part of the challenge helps students figure out what they need to do to win scholarships, and where to find them. And students can win money in the challenge to put towards their college tuition!

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Finding, Tracking and Winning Scholarships