Homeschooling and Electronics
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I have to admit that we are a very electronic driven family. We own lots of different types of electronics from video game systems to mp3 players to PC’s to the Roku 2
. We use most of them for homeschooling and I wanted to share how we use each item.
IPOD and Emerson MP3:
I bought the Ipod Nano for myself YEARS ago when it was relatively new and we thought 2g and 4g were a big deal. No, it is not the touch or video version, but still works wonderfully. We use it for Kids Corner Bible stories, audiobooks, and anything else free homeschool mom encouragement related I can get my hands on.
We get FREE audiobooks from a few different sources. Our favorites websites are:
We have the entire Beatrix Potter Collection that we are listening too at lunchtime. We also have listened to The Chronicles of Narnia (itunes) and have classics dowloaded ready to listen to like Black Beauty, Burgess Book of Animals for Children, Uncle Wiggly, and Anne of Green Gables. Audiobooks are a really great way to get classic Literature into your school day without the drudgery of sitting still and reading. They also save this poor mom’s voice. I shared an entire post of all the free Classic Literature resources you can find.
The Emerson MP3 player is a touch screen with video that we bought at Big Lots during Black Friday deals in 2011. It is nice since it can play audio without headphones although sometimes the volume cannot be heard over our family noise. We just keep an eye out for deals on earbuds (we prefer skullcandy) or headphones which usually end up in Christmas stockings each year.
ROKU Streaming Box and PS3:
We use Netflix a lot for entertainment but also homeschool. Shows sometimes come and go on Netflix but we seem to be able to find something of educational interest. Right now we are very happy that Magic School Bus Series, School House Rocks and documentaries about Flight are available. Other favorites have been How’s it Made, Dirty Jobs, Survivor Man, Man vs. Wild, and Liberty Kids (back when it was still on Netflix.)
NEXTBOOK 7 Tablets:
Last fall (2012), we found Nextbook 2 e-reader internet ready tablets at Big Lots for $80. We thought these were a super great deal. So I sent hubby to buy one since he had been wanting an e-reader for awhile and Kindles/Nooks were so pricey. Well, that sneaky guy called up his mom and they decided to buy one for me for my birthday. Super exciting and an awesome surprise. Now this tablet was great for checking emails, some apps, and of course all the pdf and epub books I could care to download BUT not Kindle. These tablets were great until I did a Factory Reset and all my apps got wiped. Since technology changes so quickly the educational apps had been discontinued and replaced with adult smut:( Not a happy momma. I was used to Lil’ Red being able to play some games to learn about animals, colors, and numbers and this feature was no longer available.
Low and behold our dear local Big Lots showed in the ad a few weeks before Easter the beautiful Nextbook 7which was Kindle Compatible! These babies were the just $10 more than the ones we bought in the Fall! ( Yes, it was crazy but hubby had just worked 2 1/2 weeks on a special assignment and we were getting money back for taxes.)
We bought not one, not two, but THREE new
Nextbook Premium 7 Tablets with Google Play that have Android 4.0 and will run KINDLE-SQUEAL!! You do not know how exciting it is to actually be able to read/use all the books I have been collecting on Kindle (all 1,516 of them,lol). We decided that is was worth paying for 3 individual tablets less than what we would pay for one laptop. I am hoping this will help with our homeschool, homesteading, and emergency preparedness efforts even more!
These tablets did not come with protective cases or covers which was the only downside. We’ve kept our eye out and found Targus Kindle Fire covers fit perfectly! We found them, once again, at Big Lots during Friends & Family days so that was exciting to buy the last 3 the store had:)
I know some families are VERY hesitant to buy internet ready tablets or devices, BUT you can set-up parental controls and passwords. Just remember when you buy a new electronic device to take time as the parent to be familiar with it. You can disconnect the 1-click Amazon purchasing which won’t allow your child to buy things on whim or accident. You can choose what apps are loaded and undated. So if you are looking at a way to borrow books electronically from the library or read some free Kindle books a tablet is a great way to go.