How much screentime for your children?

How Much Screen Time for Your Children

Episode 55: How much screentime for your children?

My previous episode on Homeschooling Digital Natives gives context to this episode so if you haven’t listened to it yet, you might it helpful as you consider the question, “How much screentime for your children?”

I suggest you look for balance and to help you, here are some things I think you should consider:

1. Too much time on computer screens isn’t good for any of us. This is particularly true at night as it affects sleep. See this article by Beth Napoli aka Techie Homeschool Mom.

2. Too much time spent sitting and doing things online means children aren’t spending that time being active.

3. Tech addiction is a real problem for some children

4. The current generation is the most anxious generation that we know about. This is not only due to tech use, but social media, in particular, can have negative effects on mental health.

5. On the flip side, online gaming can be social time if friends and family are playing together.

6. Children need to learn tech skills to operate in the world.

7. Technology is how your teens will connect with their peers and make plans to do things offline. It is always a way to connect with family members who don’t live in the same area.

8. Technology opens up a huge world for your children. It helps them understand others better as they can learn about people all over the world. They can also find resources to teach them anything they want to learn.

What are your options on how to limit screen time?

Here are some ideas:

  • Put limits on devices
  • Have specific times children can be online, or times they must be offline.
  • Allow them online only after they have finished schoolwork and chores
  • Allow unlimited computer time but only if they are being productive online. This is an idea I read about from Beth Napoli. Read her whole blog post and see what you think.

Whatever you decide to do, talk to your kids about it and explain your reasoning.

I would also suggest you make sure your children are involved in enough activities like 4-H, scouts, sports and community service that they don’t have too much time to be in front of a screen.

Listen to the whole episode as I further develop the ideas I mention above.

Subscribe to the podcast as we will be covering more topics like this in the near future. And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

Visit our sponsor FundaFunda Academy and take a look at their web-based unit studies.

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

How Much Screen Time for Your Children #homeschoolpodcast #screentime #homeschooltechnology

HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe

This week on HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe.

HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe. Practical skills every teen needs for success in daily life, college prep and life after graduation. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #TechSkillsForTeens #HomeschoolAndTechnology #DigitalSkillsForTeens

HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe

Vicki is so excited to have our fellow podcaster, Meryl van der Merwe of the Homeschooling with Technology podcast, join us today to talk about technology and teens and homeschooling high school. Meryl is also the owner of a fun online academy where students use technology in multiple ways in each course: FundaFundaAcademy.com.

Meryl and her husband moved from South Africa to the United States (Tennessee) in 2003 for a better American life. When their four kids started school here, they found that American schools were far behind what her kids had learned. She did not want to waste their time or bore them by having them repeat things they had already learned, so she and her husband decided to start homeschooling. She calls herself an *unsuspecting homeschooler*.

Meryl’s kids have all graduated now. Four of the five graduated from homeschooling high school. The youngest decided to go to public school for high school and did well there. Meryl’s family again proves that there’s not ONE right way to educate our kids…even if that means some teens switch to traditional schooling.

Meryl is a programmer by profession (she worked for Shell South Africa). Her father was an engineer so there was always *techy stuff* around the house when she was growing up. She always enjoyed technology, so even though she majored in English and German in college, she naturally gravitated to technology as a career. When she started homeschooling her kids and then teaching in homeschool co-ops, she found her tech skills to be in high demand!

Meryl’s tech experience is why we asked her to join us on for this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast. We homeschool moms are often digital immigrants (we were not born into the world of digital technology- as opposed to our kids who are digital natives). We often need some guidance on technology. With Meryl’s help, we can make sure to help our teens have good tech skills so they are prepared for life. In this HSHSP episode, Vicki and Meryl discuss important basic technology skills that you or your teens may not be thinking about yet.

Here are basic tech skills for teens:

  • Email (they need email for college, work and organizational communication)
  • File storage (how to create and store files, then find them!)
  • Screen shots (how to create, store and share screen shots)
  • Google drive for virtual collaboration. Most college courses these days require group project work using Google drive. This is a good project for homeschool co-op projects.
  • Basic trouble shooting (starting with the classic reboot)
  • Google search or YouTube search for solutions and information
  • Word processing (if they cannot QUERTY, they will not be ready to quickly word process for college-level work)
    • Without QUERTY, they end up using the *Columbus system* (find a key and land on it)  for keyboarding, that makes typing SLOW!
  • Create a slide show: It is a good idea to learn as many of these as possible. This is because things change all the time. Knowing a multitude of things helps homeschool high schoolers and graduates to be nimble in their adjustment to changes. Some examples are: Powerpoint, Prezi, Google Slides, Keynote.
  • Spreadsheets: Organize ALL kinds of information: money, math, tasks. Some examples are: Google Spreadsheets, Excel.
  • Creating graphics. Teens will end up using graphics for many projects in college and life.  Some examples are: Picmonkey, Canva, Adobe Spark, Google Drawings.
  • Create flyers and promotional materials. Using the graphics they have created or other photos.
  • Create videos. Loom is an example of software.
  • Create videos with voiceover. Some examples are: Windows Moviemaker, iMovie.
  • Create cartoons.
  • Use Tech tools for organization: Schedulers, Google Calendar
  • Take some online courses, many colleges use at lease some digital (Learning Management System/ LMS) courses. Know how to download and upload assignments, use discussion boards.

Meryl’s Funda Funda Academy has lots of online courses that use lots of kinds of technology in each lesson. The name Funda means *study* in Zulu, repeated words mean *really*, so her courses are really about fun learning and study.

  • Programming
  • Computer Application
  • How to do Online Research
  • Tech Addiction
  • Also basic courses like
  • Health
  • Economics

Trying out all these builds confidence and preparation for life and/or college. Including technology as a high school credit also satisfies requirements for graduation for some states. Check out this post on the credits needed for graduation.

Meryl also has Facebook groups:

Check Meryl’s episode on Google Drive and this one on free video tools.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

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HSHSP Ep 182: Tech Skills for Teens, Interview with Meryl van der Merwe

Homeschooling Digital Natives

Homeschooling Digital Natives

Episode 54: Homeschooling Digital Natives

Most of you are digital immigrants homeschooling digital natives.

In 2001 Mark Prensky coined the terms “digital natives” and “digital immigrants”. ‘Digital Native’ is used to describe someone born in the digital era. ‘Digital Immigrant’ is used to describe someone born before the digital era.

This comic created by Adam Ellis shows how digital immigrants can have a skewed view of digital natives.

As digital immigrants, we tend to divide our activities between “online” and “offline” whereas for digital natives the online world is just part of their reality – not something separate.

How does this affect you as a homeschool parent?

1. Literacy must now include Digital Literacy

You need to cover topics like fake news, digital communication skills, digital footprints, online research, copyright, and plagiarism with your children.

2. Tools you teach your children to operate must include digital tools

It’s not enough that your children know how to use a knife, a pair of scissors, the vacuum cleaner, and the microwave. Now they need to know how to create digital graphics, share a document with others, produce videos and make websites.

Listening to this podcast (check out past episodes too) will help you learn how to teach your children many of these skills. In addition, take a look at our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy‘s Computer Applications class which teaches 7th – 12th graders both digital literacy and how to use many digital tools.

3. Teaching Reading, Writing and Math, is not enough

You need to add coding as a basic literacy skill as it will be necessary to understand it, if not use it, in most jobs in the future. Some of our previous episodes cover this topic:

4. Safety must now include online safety

We all know we need to teach our children how to be safe as they move about our physical neighborhoods. But we must also make sure to address online “stranger danger”, how to create strong passwords, and how to identify phishing scams.

5. Mental and Emotional Health as relates to online interactions must be addressed

This means teaching your children not to be a cyberbully and how to deal with cyberbullies. It also means teaching our children not just about alcohol and drug addiction but also about tech addiction. And it means you and your spouse need to think through how much screentime your children should be allowed.

Subscribe to the podcast as we will be covering most of these topics in future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

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

Homeschooling Digital Natives $homeschoolpodcast #homeschooling #homeschooltech

Why Homeschool Moms Need to be Tech-Savvy

Why Homeschool Moms Need to be Tech-Savvy

Episode 53: Why homeschool moms need to be tech-savvy with Felice Gerwitz

It’s our one year birthday!! Before we talk about “Why Homeschool Moms Need to be Tech-Savvy” let’s talk about birthday gifts!

If you find this podcast useful, the best gift you can give us is a rating and review on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. OR you can share about the podcast on your Facebook page, a Facebook group you are in or an online forum.

If you do any of these things, email me a screenshot of the review (meryl@mediaangels.com) and tell me which of FundaFunda Academy‘s web-based unit studies you would like free! Our gift to you!

Felice Gerwitz and her husband Jeff have raised and homeschooled five kids. She is a self-taught techie.
Starting a publishing company in 1994 with no knowledge but an arsenal of word documents and
publishing tools on her computer seven of her books have been noted in Cathy Duffy’s 100 and 101 Top
Homeschool Picks. She started the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network in 2013 and the Ultimate
Christian Podcast Network in 2017. Her podcast is Vintage Homeschool Moms.

How has the internet changed homeschooling over the years?

1. Homeschool journey began in 1986 and ended in 2018 and as you can imagine technology has
changed incredibly in this time!
2. The biggest difference has been in the Internet and cell phone use! We used books not online
resources until the end of my homeschool journey. People were afraid to buy things online
because they didn’t trust that their information was safe. Can you imagine that today? Social
media was just beginning – just to give you a perspective, I began homeschooling in 1986 –and
FB began in 2004!! And – I didn’t even join right away because I am a private person and wasn’t
sure I wanted my “life” out there.

Techie advice for parents in a technological world

1. Stay one step ahead of your kids – there are many tutorials on YouTube – there is no reason
you can’t learn
2. Set up a password on your kids’ phones when they are younger to limit internet searches.
3. Set up an iTunes account for your family so you can see all apps and purchases

How to keep from getting overwhelmed

1. Do it in the minutes you have now – don’t put things off.
2. Set up deadlines – or goals, daily – weekly, that helps.

My favorite techie tools

1. LastPass.com – we keep all of our online passwords protected.
2. Google Suite – all online tools, I used Google Docs when homeschooling so that my kids could
submit papers – I could edit them, and they could see my edits or comments.
3. Use Google Calendar – have the app on your phone as well as your laptop. Then print a hard copy of “A month at a glance”. You can even set up different calendars for specific things, like meetings/ events

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we carry on the discussion about Homeschooling with Technology.

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

Why Homeschool Moms Need to be Tech-Savvy #homeschoolpodcast #homeschoolingwithtechnology #wiredhomeschooling

HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman

This week on HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman.

HSHSP Ep 178: What's Good and Bad about Tech for Teens. Interview with Leah Nieman. Tools for parents for keeping teens safe and providing teens with great educational resources. #HomeschoolHighSchool #HomeschoolAndTechnology #SafeDigialWorld #GreatEducationalTools #LeahNieman

 

HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman

Many of us homeschool moms are *digital immigrants*, we were around in the days before the internet and always feel like we are a step behind our kids in the things going on in the digital world. Our kids, on the other hand, are *digital natives* and tend to be very comfortable there. We moms worry about the safety of our children and teens when they are online.

That’s why I asked our friend and fellow homeschool mom, Leah Nieman (our favorite technology expert) to join us for a realistic discussion about the world of technology for those of us homeschool moms who are not experts ourselves. She shares with us what’s good and bad about tech for teens.

Leah Nieman

Leah Nieman. Photo used with permission.

The key issues that parents need to know about the online world include:

  • Privacy
  • Education of parents
    • Leah reminds us that where the parents are the teens don’t want to go. When parents are on Facebook, kids go to Instagram, then Snapchat, etc. So we need to stay up to date on information and maintain open communication with our homeschool high schoolers (and youngers).
  • Education of teens
    • Appropriate behavior in online classrooms,
    • Appropriate behavior and company outside the classroom
  • Safety on social platforms

What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens: Social Apps

It’s easy to read bad reports on the internet about social apps that only cover bad news. However, we don’t have to go to extremes and keep our homeschoolers off all social media. Rather, we need to be discerning and wise. When our young people come to us and want to download a new app, do some research and discuss what you find with them.

Parents should research:

  • What are the privacy settings. Can I limit who sees my child’s information?
  • Can I block and eliminate this app if it proves to be a poor choice?
  • Is my child’s location private?
  • Is the app targeted to kids but has *content buckets* (content buckets are sections of the app for different ages, children in one bucket, adults in another bucket). Can adults jump out of their content bucket into your kid’s bucket?
    • An example: Some apps have 2 content buckets. It’s easy for adults to get out of their bucket into the younger people’s bucket. This raises safety concerns because a young person may take at face value that a person is who they say they are. Vicki, in her job as mental health counselor has worked with young teens who thought they were talking with a peer on a social app but found out the hard way they were dealing with a predator.

Parents should keep conversations going:

When we parents are uneducated or overwhelmed we often want to stop the conversation about technology. However, we need to watch out when conversation stops! Kids get their information from peers if it doesn’t come from parents. Although we are uncomfortable we need to lean into uncomfortable topics by:

  • Being curious, ask questions
    • What do you like about it?
    • What is the draw for you?
  • Listening and allowing your kids to educate you. (Also, do your own research at LeahNieman.com)
    • Understand first, then ask questions.
  • Being open about your feelings, listen and be educated
  • Any topic we avoid is an open entry for danger

Some social apps that middle school and high schoolers use (don’t forget, mom, stay in the conversation with your homeschoolers about social apps:

  • Snapchat
  • Yubo (known as tender for teens). Here’s Leah’s informative post on Yubo.
  • Live.ly Live.me
    • These are for live streaming and live broadcasting
      • Live streaming: Like Facebook Lives, a person presents a topic. It is not spontaneous.
      • Live broadcasting is about connecting with peers, it is done in a stream of consciousness fashion, the intent is to connect, to create a social event. This can be a concern: who are your teens connecting with? Teens issue challenges like: Hey, do a dance, sing a song… and that is broadcast to the community. This can put a teen in a vulnerable position because of their lack of experience, discernment and natural impulsivity. Live broadcasting is popular with teens because they are targeted to teens, appeal to teens by connecting them. )
  • Tiktok is a top-ten download in Apple store. It was formerly called Music.ly.
    • Tiktok hass big draw for young kids (guidelines are supposed to be age 13 but many younger kids are on the app).
    • Young people create little videos and skits to music that is provided daily in a challenge. Kids like it because it has interactive community.
    • The concern for parents is the privacy. Adults  (strangers) are present on Tiktok. They can direct message your kids and share out onto other platforms.
    • Kids can create own accounts without parents knowing. They usually don’t know how to set privacy settings.
    • Leah talks about about setting up test account and is immediately asked for follows by young children who are yielding to pressure to grow their audience.

How do you keep kids safe:

The digital world is not all terrifying. There are great apps that are great tools for education. LeahNieman.com provides lots or information on great tools for homeschool families.

The digital world is not all terrifying. There are great apps that are great tools for education. We call it *gamified learning*. Check out Leah’s blog series with LOTS of great educational apps.

Some apps are good for tacking educational progress:

It’s a low pressure way to build skills, remediate and track progress. For example:

  • Spelling apps
  • Coding apps

Some apps are productivity apps.

  • As families with high schoolers, we can benefit with having a coordinated calendar app.
  • Project apps. Break down projects and progress through them.
    • When homeschool high schoolers learn productivity with an app, they can take that skill to college.
    • Leah loves using these apps herself. Google One-note to import her research and break down tasks. Then she puts the tasks on Google Task. She has a whole list of cool organization apps for teens.
    • Companies use Trello and Asana. Teens can benefit from learning how to use these as a resume builder. Team building experience and communication skills building. Digital soft skill building.
    • When information and tasks are gamified or made visually available, they progress better.

Check out this series on real-life, practical apps for homeschool families.

Leah also discussed the popularity of online games for teens. Leah likes online gaming. Here are her guidelines:

  • Know who they are playing with (just like you would never just drop teens off to an activity without knowing anything about it or who they will be with)
  • Make sure the gaming environment is safe.
  • Supervision and guidance is important. In other words, don’t avoid the conversations. Be curious, listen, the guide for safety. Kids like to talk about their online friendships, if we keep the communication doors open. We parents need to be interested and approachable so they feel free to talk.
  • Keep the balanced lifestyle. They need sunshine and exercises as much as they need their games. They need to do their lessons and do their activities of daily living (eating, chores, self-care). This is the modern version of teens only wanting to watch television all day long back in the 1970s.
  • Gaming is a good way to connect with their friends, they are genuinely interacting and helping each other. Digital soft skills development as individuals and teamwork.

Join Vicki and Leah for this enlightening discussion of what’s good and bad about tech for teens.

Visit Leah at:

LeahNieman.com (Sign up for Leah’s newsletter there and get a free set of conversation-starter questions.)

Facebook (lots of up to date information, current issues)

Youtube (SOOO much good information!)

You’ll also love our friend, Meryl’s podcast right here on Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network: Homeschooling with Technology!

HSHSP Ep 178: What’s Good and Bad about Tech for Teens, Interview with Leah Nieman

Techie Advice For High Schoolers

Techie Advice| Are you interested in techie advice that is most important to learn, especially for kids before they leave home? What should your high schooler know before they graduate? Today we discuss Techie advice with our resident expert, Meryl van der Merwe. | #podcast #techieadvice #homeschoolpodcastTechie Advice For High Schoolers ~ Episode 372

Are you interested in techie advice that is most important to learn, especially for kids before they leave home? What should your high schooler know before they graduate? Today we discuss Techie advice with our resident expert, Meryl van der Merwe the podcaster at HomeschoolingwithTechnology.com

Thanks to our sponsor – Reading Eggs – you can find out more information about their award-winning reading program here!

Here is Meryl van der Merwe’s website is Funda Funda Academy here.

It is never to early to begin! But, if you have an upcoming highschooler or soon to be graduate they should know the following techie advice. In fact, it is never too old to learn. (Yes, parents I’m talking to you!)

Techie Advice For Students

Computer basics: 
  1. This includes installing software, knowing how to organize files and folders, how to take a screenshot
  2. How to troubleshoot problems on your computer or electronic devices.
How to navigate online classes
  1. Should know how to submit assignments online
  2. Contact teachers
  3. Find assignment deadlines
Be familiar with Google Drive apps
  1. They should be able to use Google Docs, Sheets, Forms and Slide
  2. How to use and understand how to work with others online
Know how to find credible sources
  1. Should know about Google Scholar
  2. How to find sources they can use for research papers, know how to spot fake news
Know how to spot phishing attempts
  1. They should know what to look for in phishing emails and phone calls
  2. Be vigilant, if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.
Should know basic video and digital graphic creation
  1. They should be able to make screencast videos
  2. Do basic video editing
  3. Create graphics using tools like Canva
They should know basic coding
  1. They do not need to be proficient coders, but as coding will be part of most jobs of the future, a basic understanding is necessary
  2. Look at some of the following: FundaFunda Academy offers a Computer Applications class  – https://www.fundafundaacademy.com/product/computer-fundamentals/ which includes digital literacy and covers points 1 – 7. They also offer programming classes, including a free 4 module Intro to Game Programming Class. https://www.fundafundaacademy.com/product/introduction-to-game-programming-lite/
 The best ways to prepare as a highschool homeschooler for jobs in the tech field?   
  1. Make sure they are very familiar with computer technology
  2. Include basic coding in what they learn. FundaFunda Academy offers online classes in Scratch https://www.fundafundaacademy.com/product/scratch-programming/ (an easy drag and drop language) and Python (which is used by many businesses). https://www.fundafundaacademy.com/product/python-programming/
  3. Participating in First Lego League will also teach programming skills.
  4. There are many free websites to learn as well.
  5. Coding is becoming as important a skill as reading, writing, and math.
 
What are some jobs that don’t have enough qualified people?  
 
  1. Engineering jobs are expected to increase by 140 000 between 2016 and 2026 in the USA.
  2. And software engineering jobs will increase more than 24%. You can find more info in these articles.
  3. As we live in a world where so much is driven by technology, there is an increasing need for people to write the software for the devices we are using.
 Recommended articles:

 

 

Free Website Creation Tools

Free Website Creation Tools

Episode 51: Free Website Creation Tools

Why is it a good idea to teach students to create websites?

  1. Useful skill
  2. Can be used for community service- 4-H group, Lego League Team, homeschool support group
  3. If they start a business they will need one
  4. Digital portfolios
  5. As a way to share what they are learning instead of producing a written report

Here are 5 free website creation tools I have used:

1. Weebly

Weebly has unlimited bandwidth even on the free plan, you can add a PayPal button and it is easy to use. The free version does, however, only allow a limited number of pages, and as with most of these free tools, has ads on the page.

2. Strikingly

I love Strikingly because it is really fast to create a website using it and the websites are very modern looking.

3. Google sites

Google sites is completely free and has no ads. It has very limited style options and you can’t sell anything on your website. It does integrate completely with all Google drive apps.

4.Wix

Wix has the most limited bandwidth of the free sites. Personally, I don’t like using it, but many do so I wanted to include it here.

5.WordPress.com

WordPress.com is easy to use but ads will show in random places. You also can’t have any affiliate links on it. It is nice to use for a blog.

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy teaches website creation using some of these tools in their Computer Applications class but using the help on each website or looking for Youtube tutorials is another way to get started.

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we carry on the discussion about Homeschooling with Technology.

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 Website Creation Tools

How to Create Online Choose Your Own Adventure Games

How to Create Online Choose Your Own Adventure Games

Episode 50: How to Create Online Choose Your Own Adventure Games

Here are 3 different resources students can use to create online choose-your-own-adventure games.

1. Text Adventures

Text Adventures actually has 3 different options to create choose-your-own-adventure games. There is the option to download software, but I have always used the online version.

Initially, you are asked to select between Quest and Squiffy. Select Quest (Squiffy is a little more complicated and only text).

Then you can start creating a Quest game. Now select ‘Gamebook’ in the drop-down option rather than text adventure. The latter allows you to create rooms with objects that can be manipulated. If your children enjoy the easier option, they could progress to this one. And this video explains how to get started.

But I suggest they start with a Gamebook type. In this version, they create choices for whoever is playing and the player simply clicks on their choice to continue down a specific path. This version allows them to add in graphics, audio, and video.

In my online US History class students research a Native American tribe pre-1492 and then turn their research into a game which the other students can play. Here are some you and your children and try.

Cherokee Tribe Game
Igloos and Ice-Fishing
A Day with the Seneca Indians
Shoshone Adventure

2. Google Slides

Hyperlink Google Slides to other Google Slides to create a choose-your-own-adventure. See the show notes for the episode I did on Google slides for a video explaining how to do it.

3. Twine

For a real challenge, students can use Twine which allows them to create more complex text adventures and even incorporate some coding if they choose to.

Visit show sponsor FundaFunda Academy for teaching resources you can use in your home or in co-op classes.

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we carry on the discussion about Homeschooling with Technology.

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 Create Online Choose Your Own Adventure Games #wiredhomeschool #homeschoolpodcast #homeschooltech

Web-based Unit Studies

Web-based unit studies

Episode 48: Web-based Unit Studies

Web-based unit studies are NOT simply pdfs instead of physical books, but rather interactive and accessed through an online classroom.

What are web-based unit studies?

  • mini online self-paced classes
  • make use of online resources eg videos, interactive websites, online games, audio, infographics
  • have online projects where the students use digital tools to show what they have learned

Why include web-based unit studies in your homeschool?

  • unique nature of the resources which can bring subjects alive
  • engaging
  • kids learn techie skills
  • prepares students for online classes at high school and college<

How can you make your own web-based unit studies?

1. You can set everything up on Trello or Google Docs and get your kids to check off assignments as they complete them.

2. Pick a topic (eg.baseball) and search for resources using phrases like “baseball for kids”, “online baseball game”, “baseball infographic”, “baseball interactive”.

3. Search on Youtube and Vimeo for videos. Also, look at Edpuzzle as they have videos with embedded quizzes.

4. Search for “digital breakout baseball”. Learn more about digital breakouts on this episode.

5. Create online games using something like Classtools.

Visit this blog post to see a short video of the “inside” of a web-based unit study.

Use coupon code HWT50 – for 50% off any one full-priced web-based unit study from FundaFunda Academy.

And look at the online unit studies offered by Beth Napoli at Techie Homeschool Mom.

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we carry on the discussion about Homeschooling with Technology.

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

Web-based Unit Studies #unitstudy #onlinehomeschool #podcast


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!


Using technology to improve writing

Using technology to Improve Writing

Episode 46: Using technology to improve writing

Here are the tools mentioned in the episode that can be used by your children to improve writing skills.

1. Grammarly

2. Hemingway app

3. The Most Dangerous Writing Prompt Generator

4. Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University

5. My Access

6. Online Writing Club from True North Homeschool Academy.

7. FundaFunda Academy has 2 writing classes that use technology to help students improve and have fun doing it. We have Writing Fun class for middle school which is perfect for students who hate writing. And a Writing Mechanics class for grades 7 – 10. This class is to help those who need to master the basics of good grammar in their writing, as well as learn how to write a standard 5 paragraph essay.

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we carry on the discussion about Homeschooling with Technology.

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

Using technology to Improve Writing


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Click here to learn more!