Using Tech to Enjoy Nature

Using Tech to Enjoy Nature

132: Using Tech to Enjoy Nature

This episode shares resources on using tech to enjoy nature. Technology doesn’t need to take us away from nature but can be used to enhance our enjoyment of nature.

Be sure to listen to these previous podcast episodes;

  • Geocaching is basically an outdoor treasure hunt for all ages
  • Google lens is a great way to identify things you encounter in nature

Apps mentioned in this episode

  • Alltrails
  • Smart Bird ID
  • Merlin Bird ID from Cornell
  • Audubon Bird Guide
  • Skymap
  • iNaturalist
  • iNaturalist Seek

Website mentioned in this episode

Project Noah gets everyone involved in identifying things they see in nature and you become a contributor to science!

Class that combines art and nature

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy offers a unique online Nature Journaling class for 7th – 12th graders.

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Using Tech to Enjoy Nature

Digital College Prep

Digital College Prep

131: Digital College Prep

These are the websites I mention in this episode on Digital College Prep. If your high schoolers participate in the High School Challenge offered annually in the summer by show sponsor FundaFunda Academy, they will participate in assignments using websites like these, as well as many more.

Every summer, show sponsor FundaFunda Academy runs a College Prep contest during June and July. Students use online resources and games to learn about college prep – and also earn points that can win them prizes. Learn about the High School Challenge here (it is for rising 9th -12th graders and only for homeschoolers)

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Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

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Digital College Prep

Exploring Media Bias

Exploring Media Bias

130: Exploring Media Bias

My guest is Randi Smith from Peanut Butter Fish Lessons, who talks to us about Exploring Media Bias.

The resources she mentions are:


You can find Randi at

Peanut Butter Fish Lessons
Instagram @peanutbutterfishlessons
Facebook @peanutbutterfishlessons

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy includes some lessons in media literacy in their online Computer Applications Class

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Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

Exploring Media Bias

Digital Resources for Learning Geography

Digital Resources for Geography Learning

129: Digital Resources for Learning Geography

These are the digital resources for learning geography mentioned in this episode:

1. World Atlas

2. Youtube and streaming services. Look for 360 degree videos and drone videos on Youtube.

2. Online Geography Games

3. Radio Garden – radio stations around the world

4. Google Maps / Earth / My Maps

5. Digital breakouts – Teachers Pay Teachers has many on sale and here can find free ones on all the states here

6. National Geographic

7. Virtual Tours – Google for ones where you can move vritually around an area or visit Heygo for a person-led tour

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy uses many of their resources in their high school World Geography class and their web-based unit studies that relate to Geography (Around North America in 30 Days, Around South America in 30 Days, Poland)

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Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

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Digital Resources for learning Geography

“Is this okay?” How to know if a game or app is safe for your child

How to Know if a Game or App is Safe for Your Child

128: “Is this okay?” How to know if a game or app is safe for your child with Lisa Honold


Guest Lisa Honald provides guidelines in this episode to help us decide if a game or app is safe for our child.

Lisa is a cyber safety educator and director of the Center for Online Safety. She teaches parents and school leaders how to keep kids safe online with simple and respectful strategies to help set healthy limits on screens and technology.

Lisa’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the 2019-2020 Washington State School Director’s Association conference, and dozens of podcasts, workshops, and presentations. Her popular online course, The Family Tech Reset course, teaches parents how to set healthy limits on technology while teaching kids how to develop their own internal compass.

Her process for parents is called the Five Steps to YES (or no) and you can download a free resource that takes you through these steps (see link in 3.a. below).

1. Start with your values

2. Do some research on your own. A useful website is Commonsense Media.

3. Ask your child to research it and prepare to “sell it”

4 Set up a time to talk about it and decide:

5 Trial basis yes – If trial basis yes, revisit the decision in a week

You can find Lisa at the Center for Online Safety and on Facebook.

A free copy of the Five Steps to YES handout can be accessed here.

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Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Aademy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

How to Know if a Game or App is Safe for your Child

Online Poetry Resources

Online Poetry Resources

127: Online Poetry Resources

This episode is about online poetry resources for poetry appreciation and to teach students how to write poetry. Here are the resources mentioned in this episode.

Online Resources for Poetry Appreciation

Resources on How to Write Poetry

  • Poetry4Kids contains lessons, a rhyming dictionary, a poetry terms glossary and much more. Show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy, uses some of these lessons in one module in in the middle school Writing Fun class when the students write humerous poetry.
  • Verse by Verse is a website that uses AI to help you write poems.

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Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

Online Poetry Resources

How to modify online curriculum for special needs students Part 2

How to Modify Online Curriculum for Special Needs Students Part 2

126: How to modify online curriculum for special needs students: Part 2

Guest Lindsay Leiviska explains how to modify online curriculum for special needs students. You can find Lindsay online at A Heart For All Students. Her podcast is also called “A Heart for All Students”.

Be sure to listen to part 1 first if you haven’t already. In that episode she discusses variables to consider when choosing online curriculum.

Tips for what you as a parent can do

  • Rather than leave kids to their own devices, use online curriculum as a teaching tool.
  • Sit with your student and watch videos together.
  • Pause videos at appropriate intervals in order to check for understanding.
  • Use one sheet of paper or small whiteboard for each problem, pause the video and work through each problem together.
  • Depending upon the learning and emotional needs of the child as well as the concepts at hand, I modify my level of involvement.
  • Always remove learning barriers
  • Scribe for your child (write math problems, have them spell orally, etc)
  • Support your child with verbal cues as she works through math problems,
  • Gradually have child tell me the steps involved and “tell me” what to do. This requires A LOT of effort as speaking orally requires greater processing and retention (teaching is highest form of learning)
  • Slowly hand over reigns step by step.
  • Depending upon needs, work through questions one by one together on one sheet of paper for each problem in large text.
  • When needed, support concepts with extra video-based tutorials (Removes mom’s need to choose the correct verbiage)
  • Always have hard copy texts and support tools (maps, reference charts, etc)
  • Resist the urge to stay on schedule
  • Don’t be afraid to pause and repeat lessons or concepts when needed.
  • Circle back to concepts as needed


Recommended Resources:

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Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Aademy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

How to Modify Online Curriculum for Special Needs Students Part 2

How to modify online curriculum for special needs students Part 1

How to modify online curriculum for special needs students

125: How to modify online curriculum for special needs students: Part 1

Guest Lindsay Leiviska explains how to modify online curriculum for special needs students. You can find Lindsay online at A Heart For All Students. Her podcast is also called “A Heart for All Students”.

Variables to Consider:

  • Time: Short lessons (less is more)
  • Ability to remove all timers
  • Ability to correct and modify “grades”
  • Printable hard copy of any texts
  • Print PDFs of any textbooks and other resources
  • Clear and to the point
  • Slower Rate of Speech
  • Language and auditory processing
  • Clutter-Free Design
  • Excellent for those who struggle with visual discrimination
  • Reduced visual input for the brain to tease and process through
  • Ability To Add Visuals/Imagery for any language-based concepts (ie vocabulary needs to be supported with visuals)
  • Use Quizlet for Spelling and vocabulary practice for all subjects (including history, science, math, etc)

  • Recommended Resources mentioned in this episode:

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    Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Aademy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    How to modify online curriculum for special needs students

    Teach your children about their digital footprints

    Teach Your Children About Their Digital Footprint

    124: Teach your children about their digital footprints

    It is important that you teach your children about their digital footprints from an early age.

    The resources I mention in this episode are:

    A lesson plan from code.org – especially the “Follow the Digital Trail” assignment which uses a story to teach the concept to younger students

    A resource from Google education that has short videos on the topic, with a spreadsheet assignment for middle and high school students.

    A TedX talk by Michelle Pledger that includes a Spoken Word poem on the topic that you can listen to with your teen and then discuss it

    The Wired story that explains the vulnerabilities in the Parler software

    The Kaplan Test Prep article about their poll of admissions officers re social media searches

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    Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies. The Computer Applications class covers Digital Footprints.

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    Teach Your Children About Their Digital Footprint

    Free online typing programs

    Free Online Typing Programs

    123: Free Online Typing Programs with Charlene Hess

    Guest Charlene Hess from Hess Un-Academy shares with us which free online typing programs worked for her children. Be sure to also listen to the other interview I did with Charlene some time ago when we talked about Learning History Through Video Games.

    In this episode, Charlene starts off by explaining why she believes kids need to learn to type.

    Then Charlene discusses the following free typing programs that she finds have been the most effective for her children.

    You can read Charlene’s blog post on the topic here.

    You can find Charlene online at

    Mewe Group Homeschool Dabblers
    Hess Un-Academy Facebook Page
    Facebook Group Homeschool Dabblers

    ————————————————————————————————–
    Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Aademy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    Free Online Typing Programs