Moving and Creating with Minecraft Earth

Minecraft Earth Review

Episode 101: Moving and Creating with Minecraft Earth

Minecraft Earth is an augmented reality app that could be described as a cross between Minecraft and Pokemon GO. It gets students moving because they have to move to collect resources and it gets them creating as they build their own worlds.

Students can not only build, but can also participate in Adventures and take on Challenges. As they progress through the game they accumulate points and level up. Leveling up as well as completing challenges earns rewards.

Students can take items they collect and can either use them as is or, turn them into something else by selecting the “make stuff” option and completing a recipe.

I have also just played alone, but there is also the option of playing with friends.

The app is free and available in the App Store and Google Play Store

You can find show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s online classes and web-based unit studies here.

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 know of other online stock market resources please share them with the other listeners there.

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.

Minecraft Earth Review

Online Election Resources For Students

Online election resources for students

99: Online Election Resources For Students

With the upcoming election, this seems to be a good time to talk about online election resources for students.

iCivics
Lots of teacher resources
Also games – Win the White House, Cast your Vote

Scholastic
Race to 270 – simulation that teaches about the electoral college
The Issues – choose reading levels for explanations on what different parties believe about different issues
Kid Reporters – articles about the election written by students
Quizzes

Redistricting Game
5 missions that teach what gerrymandering is

Balletopedia – who is running
List of all candidates by state running in 2020

Isidewith
Take a quiz on different issues to see which party and candidates your beliefs align best with

Fanschool
Listen to we did with the creator of this game, Eric Nelson
In October, a
game specific to the 2020 election will be added
Fanschool Politics allows students to draft “teams” of states or Congress representatatives and track how “well” they do. Visit the website to read all about it

Electing a President web-based unit study
This 4 module self-paced unit study from show sponsor, FundaFunda, uses many engaging resources to teach about US elections and the office of the president. Listen before the end of September 2020 to get a coupon for a 75% discount.

You can find show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s online classes and web-based unit studies here

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 know of other online stock market resources please share them with the other listeners there.

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 election resources for students

Digital Resources for Music Appreciation

Digital Resources for Music Appreciation

98: Digital Resources for Music Appreciation

Our guest in this episode is Gena Mayo who blogs about many topics (including homeschooling and fashion) at I Choose Joy specifically about music and homeschooling at Music in Our Homeschool.

Digital Resources for Music Appreciation For All Ages


Philharmonia.co.uk
This orchestra provides live (online through YouTube during the pandemic) concerts. Especially check out the Instrument Guides and the Family Concerts (also on their YouTube channel)

Naxos.com
Naxos Records is the world’s leading classical music label. Use this site to search by composers and hear their music right there.

Britannica.com
An online encyclopedia. Search composer’s name, style of music, etc.

Digital Resources for Music Appreciation For High School


MusicAcademyOnline.com
Find composer biographies, music and composers in the news and a lot of resource links. They have a weekly podcast where they meet with artists, composers, performers, and scholars who share their art and love for what they are doing.

MusicianGuide.com
This site provides biographies for musicians and groups such as bands. There are a lot of 20th and 21st Century options here if you’re studying more modern music history.

TheatreHistory.com
Learn about musical theater here. This page provides links to individual musicals to learn more about them.

Digital Resources for Music Appreciation For Elementary School


ClassicsforKids.com
One of my all-time favorite music sites for kids! Includes games, biographies, podcast episodes about composers, and specific pieces.

DSOkids.com
Their “Learn and Listen” videos are great for instruments, composers, and “building blocks of music.”

Chrome Music Lab
Online games and activities to explore sounds and music composition

SFKids
Great site, but requires Flash (won’t work after Dec. 2020). Learn about instruments, listen to music, etc.

Creating Music
Fun games, but requires Flash (won’t work after Dec. 2020)

Learn.MusicinOurHomeschool.com
Gena Mayo’s self-paced music appreciation classes for all ages (including ones for high school elective credit)

You can find show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s online classes and web-based unit studies here

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 know of other online stock market resources please share them with the other listeners there.

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.

Digital Resources for Music Appreciation

Online Forensic Science Resources

Online Forensic Science Resources

96: Online Forensic Science Resources

Our guest in this episode is Emily Boyle and she shares with us online forensic science resources. Emily coaches Crime Busters and Forensics for a homeschool Science Olympiad team and she teaches Forensic Science to high schoolers at FundaFunda Academy.

These are the resources Emily mentions:

Emily mentions that one can use TV crime series as a discussion point for Forensics Science, even though they are often not true-to-life. It gives students the opportunity to use critical thinking skills.

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 know of other online stock market resources please share them with the other listeners there.

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 Forensic Science Resources

Choosing Electives for Homeschool High School, Interview with Meryl van der Merve

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Choosing Electives for Homeschool High School, Interview with Meryl van der Merve.

Choosing Elective Credits for Homeschool High School

Choosing Electives for Homeschool High School, Interview with Meryl van der Merve

Today Vicki is joined by our fellow podcaster, Meryl from Homeschooling with Technology. We are going to talk about choosing competitions for electives in homeschooling high school. This is a rich way to develop a marvelous transcript, especially for college-bound teens (although competitions can develop the skills for any homeschool high schooler).

Meryl, as you probably know, is from South Africa. She has homeschooled her kids here in the States and is now running two competition teams for local homeschoolers  (Quiz Bowl and Science Olympiad) as well as running her popular online academy FundaFunda Academy.

Competitions can be a way to build elective credits that show a teen’s interest and skills. Choose competitions that:

  • Build a teen’s interest
  • Explores a brand-new area that a teen may find she likes
  • Develops a skill that will look good on the transcript

Once you and your teens choose a competition, keep a log sheet of hours they spend. If they are working on a competition that can turn into more than one elective, keep separate log sheets for each elective. Here’s a post with details on logging hours for credits.

Competitions aren’t just good for building powerful transcripts and they are not just for highly competitive teens. Whether a teen is naturally competitive or more laid back, competitions can build some necessary life skills, too. Meryl explains a couple of those skills:

The ability to win and lose

Life is about winning and losing. Job interviews, games, and lots of other things. Teens need to be able to handle the wins and the losses with grace. Parents can use the winning and losing with resilience, growth mentality, perseverance, grace and compassion. This requires guidance and conversations. (And good winning and losing on the parents’ part, too.)

Tell teens:

  • Keep trying, you will keep getting better
  • When you win, be gracious and remember how you felt when you lost.

You do not start out being skilled as skilled as you need to be, you learn skills as you do the competitions

This is a wonderful thing about competitions. When teens choose to engage in a competition, they spend time on it and learn, develop and hone skills.

One wonderful thing about many competitions is they provide materials for the teens that will help them increase their skills. For instance:

Cyber security competitions provide manuals on how to do the work of the competition. PICOCTF is one.

National History Day gives lots of information on how to do research.

Try competitions to build fun electives and a powerful transcript

Competitions give teens the time and experience to find and develop interests and abilities.

Meryl tells the story of her daughter competing in National History Day. Meryl encouraged her daughter to make her project a film presentation rather than the traditional project. Her daughter liked the ideas, so explored the how-to’s of film projects. She loved the process so much that she became a film major in college and will soon complete her PhD in Communications.

Another story Meryl shares is one of her students participating in Science Olympiad because her friends were doing it. She was not really that interested in competitions but she wanted to do something special with her friends. One of the competitions she participated in was about ecology. She became so excited about the things she learned preparing for the competition that she is now in college studying Environmental Science. She would not know she was interested in Environmental Science if she had not had her Science Olympiad experience.

Competitions can help with college scholarships

In a competitive college admissions situation, competitions on the transcripts can help give a homeschool high schooler an edge. (This is especially true with national type competitions.)

Competitions can help you write a strong college application essay

Whether your homeschool high schooler wins or loses a competition, there are learnings and personal growth that can be great essay topics. Narratives are good fodder for these important essays.

Competitions teach teamwork

This one of the powerful soft skills that can open doors for jobs. Anytime teens work together on a group competition, they are learning necessary teamwork skills.

How do you incorporate competitions into electives?

When your homeschool high schoolers are working on a competition, log those hours! Show these on the transcript as electives.

For example:

  • Science Olympiad teens can earn elective science credits in the different science areas of their competitions.
  • National History Day teens can earn elective social studies credits based on their project.
  • Poetry Out Loud can earn elective credits in poetry or public speaking.
  • Scholastic Art and Writing Awards can earn elective credits in writing and art.
  • If they are learning other skills, such as film making, they can earn elective credits in that.

Join Vicki and Meryl for competitive ideas!

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Choosing Electives for Homeschool High School

Online Tools to learn about the Stock Market

Online Stock Market Resources

95: Online Tools to learn about the Stock Market

In this episode, the following online stock market resources are mentioned:

1. TED ED talk How does the Stock Market work?

2. Stock Market rap song

3. Quizlet and Quizizz are good websites to use to teach students the basic terms in a fun way.

4. New Generation Personal Finance has videos, games and activities including the game Build Your Stax

5. How the Market Works simulation

6. The Stock Market Game contest which is a team event for 4th – 12th graders that includes an essay contest – Investwrite.

7. FundaFunda’s web-based Stock Market Unit Study for 4th – 8th graders.

8. FundaFunda’s Stock Market Contest.

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 know of other online stock market resources please share them with the other listeners there.

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 stock market resources

Online Classes and Costs

Online classes and costs

94: Online Classes and Costs

When you consider online classes and their costs, you need to remember that you usually get what you pay for.

Free online classes will expect parents to grade and may not be as in-depth as paid classes.

Low-cost online classes are usually self-paced with automatic grading (ie assignments are quizzes) or parent grading. These kinds of classes can afford big sales on their products as most of the work is done during course creation.

The more involvement by teachers the more classes are likely to cost. It takes hours to create a module – whether creating one’s one videos, prepping for live sessions, or gathering online resources. Then a teacher will spend more time if there is a live session involved, and even more time if there is grading to be done. In addition, some subjects (eg languages) will require a lot of teacher involvement. The higher grades are also going to cost more than younger grades.

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy keeps costs down by using teaching assistants to help with grading.

AP classes and specialized classes usually cost more as teachers need more knowledge for them. There are generally also fewer students in each class.

Listen to the episode as you will also get a breakdown of how much time a teacher is likely to spend on a class.

Episode 24- How to Select Online Classes for your Children is a related episode that can help you decide what type of onlince classes will work best for your children.

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 classes and costs #homeschoolonline #homeschooling

A year-round virtual curriculum fair

A year-round virtual curriculum fair for homeschoolers

93: A year-round virtual curriculum fair

Our guest in this episode is Heather Bowen from Mom for All Seasons and in this interview you can learn about the year-round virtual curriculum fair she has created.

This virtual curriculum fair allows you to find curricula based on age, subject, type of curriculum, and worldview. It is very easy to narrow down your search to find a number of options that fit the criteria you specify. Each week all the special offers from vendors are listed on the main page.

The website is Top Picks Homeschool Curriculum Fair and there is a companion Facebook group that hosts giveaways, Facebook parties, workshops etc. It is also a place you can ask questions and get answers from fellow homeschoolers and the vendors.

Both the website and the Facebook group are free for attendees.

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy is one of the over 100 vendors you will find at this virtual curriculum fair. Other vendors include Apologia, Sonlight, Grammar Galaxy, Media Angels, and Math Mammoth. So you will find many old favorites AND find many new exciting vendors.

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.

A free year-round virtual curriculum fair for homeschoolers

How your teens can build their own computer

How your teens can build their own computer

91: How your teens can build their own computer

August Smith, who is now studying to be a Mechanical Engineer is our guest and explains how your teens can build their own computer – because it is something he did as a high school student.

August has been a student at, and then a teaching assistant for show sponsor FundaFunda Academy. The classes he has assisted with are the Scratch and Python coding classes.

Resources August used

August explains why teens should build their own PC, the different parts they will need, how to select the right brand, model and size, how to put the parts together and how to decide on and install an operating system. Listen to the episode for all the info. He also talks about the cost.

And if you are listening to this episode before the end of July 2020, you will get a coupon for a BIG discount on August’s Stop Motion Animation class.

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 your teens can build their own computer

Online resources to make science engaging

Online Resources to Make Science Engaging

88: Online Resources to make Science Engaging

In this episode, show sponsor, FundaFunda‘s science teachers share some of their favorite online resources to make science more engaging.

Heather Fulghum (Ecology and Earth Science teacher) mentions these resources

Dr. Dana Underwood (Biology 1 and Biology 2 teacher) has these suggestions

  • allow kids a choice for projects (they’ve done scratch/python, stop-motion animation, and more traditional things like powerpoint)
  • use animations for complicated molecular things
  • use online articles for current topics or more in-depth things
  • find Scientific American type articles and videos from PBS, etc.

Dr. Kristin Moon (Chemistry teacher) mentions these resources

Until 30 June 2020, you can get $10 off any of FundaFunda Academy‘s science classes with the coupon mentioned during this episode.

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 Resources to Make Science Engaging