Technology is great. It can make our lives easier. Technology will magically teach your children right? Wrong!
When the iPad first came out I thought it would be the best thing for homeschooling. While the iPad is great for homeschooling it doesn’t magically reduce the work required for homeschooling. Sometimes it would be nice to sit my kids down with the iPad and learn all they need to know. It just doesn’t happen that way! Your kids actually need to interact with you the parent and teacher.
Oh yeah – the other reason you cant rely on technology – Technology can’t survive being thrown into an oven. Case in point my wife’s new iPhone pictured above. For some reason my two year old put the iPhone in the oven. Usually when he puts things in the oven, we find them before the oven gets turned on! For some reason, on this particular day, the iPhone got toasted by my two year old. Not only can technology go up in smoke it is also expensive to replace. So the moral of the story…don’t let your two year play with your iPhone! Don’t rely on technology to always be the best available tool. Sometimes the old fashion pencil and paper is all you really need.
What do you think? Has technology helped with your home school? Are your kids smarter?
Math is the subject parents love to teach right? Wrong! Even though I have a minor in math, I can still get frustrated trying to explain what seems like simple concepts to my children. The traditional math curriculum utilizes a number of worksheets to cover each new topic. At our house many times there is a search for the math book before we can even get started. We have tried several different math curriculum. The problem we encounter is the different learning styles of our different children.
My goal is not to have my child finish their X grade math book. My goal is for my child to master the math concepts. I know I never mastered some of the most basic math concepts so I vowed that my children would master math. Since we started homeschooling I have tried to chose curriculum with that goal in mind.
Most curriculum is still based on the grade levels with lots of workbook activities. With math, you usually need instructions at all levels. Sometimes while trying to teach my kids, I would show one of my kids a Khan video. My daughter was having problems recently so I decided to look at Khan academy once again. Below is an example of one of the Khan videos.
Multiplication 5: 2-digit times a 2-digit number: Multiplying a 2-digit number times a 2-digit number
I was surprised that Khan academy has been updated to taking tutoring to the next level and paves the way for eliminating math curriculum. Now at Khan academy you can track your childs progress along with watching all the tutorial videos. Students can also practice on the computer with thier progress being recorded. You can create a mentor account at khanacademy.org. You can then add each of your children under your account. To do this you just log into your account and then add /createchild to the end of the web address and then press enter
The only problem I had was that my passwords I chose were too weak and therefore not accepted. Finally I capitalized the first letter of my password and it was then accepted. Once you have added your children you can then watch their progress as their mentor.
Creating accounts for your children on Khan academy now allows you to track the progress of your children. There are some other advantages also to using Khan academy.
- I don’t get frustrated with explaining again and again.
- They can watch the videos as often as they like
- Self paced learning – learn for mastery.
- Record of individual progress.
To see more of Khan academy in action you can watch the Ted talk
about Khan Academy.
Last but not least there is also an iPad/iphone app for Khan academy.
So have I gotten rid of my math curriculum? Not yet but in the future hopefully I can track the progress of my children with Khan academy. Who know maybe one day I can just say we use Khan academy for our curriculum. What do you use for your math curriculum? Do you use a tablet in place of worksheets?