I rely on my computer and the internet for so many things in our daily homeschool routine. From researching lessons, printing worksheets, and learning about a wide variety of topics; our computer is invaluable. Our homeschooling style is mainly unit study based. I really try to incorporate as many subjects as possible when we are learning about a broad topic. My Mac helps me find resources, information, music, and pictures on our study subject. Having a computer easily accessible also gives us the flexibility to learn about something on a whim when our interest is piqued.
For example, earlier this week while reviewing Sing-A-Lingo my kids and I found ourselves off on a Spanish language YouTube tangent. What first started out as watching a YouTube video on the Sing-A-Lingo website quickly morphed into an impromptu Spanish language lesson using music videos. My kids gain so much enjoyment end enrichment from watching educational YouTube videos. In total, I think we watched 10 or more short Spanish language singing videos during our spur-of-the-moment lesson. We sang, laughed, and learned all on a whim sitting in front of our Mac.
Lastly, having a computer in our homeschool adds another fun but educational resource in my bag of tricks when teaching my kids. Online educational games augment what my boys are learning with pencil and paper. The computer however, adds an element of excitement and fun to their learning. Whether it is a math multiplication math quiz, online educational game, or basic word processing, everything seems to be more enjoyable for my kids when it is done on the computer. Even my 3 year old is getting in on the educational value derived from the computer. She loves typic random letters in Word. I've have been able to turn this love of typing into a mini lesson to help her learn the alphabet. The possibilities for learning on the computer are endless.
Not homeschool related, but a bonus to having a Mac is the lack of viruses and corrupt files. About 5 years ago we switched to Mac from the ever popular PC. I was hesitant at first, but now I will never go back. The first Macs we bought 5 years ago are running strong and virus free, just like the first ay we took them out of the box. Not many PC users can say that about their computers.
You can read other great TOS Blog Cruise posts this week about using technology in your homeschool;