Category: ebook

SchoolhouseTeachers online learning

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I am really excited about a new online learning resource called SchoolhouseTeachers. It is a website chalked full of resources for all your homeschooling needs. It is basically an online curriculum that you can access on your computer or tablet. The brains behind Schoolhouse Teachers website are the same that produce the Old Schoolhouse magazine.

With so much information online, sometimes I end up wasting time looking for school ideas or worksheets for school lessons. With SchoolHouseTeachers you do not have to waste your time looking for homeschooling resources.  SchoolHouseTeachers has resources for all school levels even high school.

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There are a number of resources you can print out like copy work from SchoolHouseTeachers online copybook library.  You can follow along with daily lesson plans or you can search for the subject you are teaching.  Daily lessons are organized for quick and easy access in the Dailies Archive.  There are numerous articles about art, homemaking and housekeeping, and nature.  There are also a number of ebooks.

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On the iPad

I tried out the SchoolHouseTeachers web site on the iPad and everything seems to work just like on the computer.  There are no interactive features for students but SchoolHouseTeachers is an excellent resource for Teachers and parents.

Membership

One of the best features though is the fact that you can get a free year long subscription to Schoolhouseteachers.com if you are a member of Homeschool Leagal Defense.  If you are a member of HSLDA then scoll to the bottom of the page and click on the PerX member discounts to learn how you can get year long access to SchoolHouseTeachers.com.

Free digital Old Schoolhouse magazine

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Did you know that the Old Schoolhouse Magazine is now digital and it is free?

Occasionally we have had subscriptions in the past to the Old Schoolhouse magazine. I am also signed up for the email newsletter but somehow I missed the transition to digital.

Since the magazine is no longer in print (except as a yearly volume) The Old Schoolhouse stared a special online education portal. It is called SchoolhouseTeachers. Not only is the Old schoolhouse digital magazine free but you can try out Schoolhouse Teachers for a year free if you are a homeschool legal defense member!

The digital version of the Old Schoolhouse magazine is like typical magazine. You can scroll through different volumes. It looks like the archives go back quite a ways but I quit looking at 2010 issues. Navigation in the magazine app is not the most fluid experience but it works OK. There is also a search function that could help find a specific topic.

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How to turn around your childs education

I just came across this video that made me think twice about why and how I homeschool.  It is similar to a lot of the talks Sir Ken Robinson has over at Ted talks.  This talk is called  “Stop Stealing Dreams” by Seth Godin.

Why do you Homeschool?  Chances are that you homeschool in part to give your children a good education.  But did you know:

“Large scale education was not developed to motivate kids or to create scholars.”

“If we give kids the foundation to dream, they will figure out the grammar and the history the minute it helps them to reach their goals and make a difference.”

You can download Seth’s book for free at this link.

What do you think?  I don’t totally agree with everything Seth says, but I think has does have some good points.  So for now I will keep using google but I will also keep making my kids learn spelling words.

Interactive iBooks update

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More books created with the iBook author tool are showing up all the time.  Unfortunately there is no easy way to tell if a book was made with iBooks Author. There is a category under the features page that allows you to see featured books “made with iBooks Author” but only a limited number of books show up. On the features page there is a small link in the middle of the page that says “Browse More Books Made with iBooks Author>”. If you click on that then you can see that there are many books made with iBooks author. It seems like there should be a better way to browse and filter by category for books created with the author tool. Maybe with the next update. 20120612-215436.jpg

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I just happened to come across the excellent free ebook called “The Interactive Space Book” shown below. Surprisingly the book is only 70MB compared with other interactive books with close to a 300MB file size. The book has interactive features including a rotating space shuttle. There are also several videos. I hope to see more of this type of books in the future for education.

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What iBook 2 means for homeschool curriculum

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iBook 2 is Apples latest contribution to the iPad and education. What does that mean for the homeschool community. One of the best things I see is that homeschool books can easily be ported to iBooks 2. {hint please homeschool publishers start making ibooks!}
Here are the highlights of iBooks 2
iBook 2

  • textbook for $14.99 or less
  • interactive Ebooks
  • Quizzes and review questions
  • automatic flash cards from highlights
  • 3D animations

iBooks Author app

  • Easy tool to create ebooks
  • It’s free
  • Publish right to the store
  • highlight text for glossary
  • HTML and Java script
  • import Keynote presentations

iTunes U

  • videos
  • assignments

One downside with iBook 2 is that the textbooks take a lot of memory – up to a couple of Gigs. Also it looks like the iBooks publisher app is only for Macs. Overall though there are tremendous possibilities for the homeschool.

Overall this update should provide an improvement in the use of the iPad for homeschooling. Maybe now I will not spend time looking for lost school books.

Homeschooling iPad apps Part one: PDF reader

To start looking for a good pdf reader for the iPad I just started searching for PDF apps.  You can narrow the search down to just iPad apps and you can sort by popularity or relevance.  I chose to look for the best ratings.  There were two that I found that both had high ratings.  So far here the best free iPad pdf readers:

pdf-notes

The free version.

PDFReaderLite

Update: iBooks

Originally I did not include iBooks because it is very slow on the iPhone 3GS.  I decided to open a pdf in iBook from the internet and it was surprisingly fast on the iPad 2.  This may be due to the faster processor but it works jut as well as the other pdf readers I have mentioned.  The one drawback to iBooks is the difficulty in transferring pdf’s from the computer to the iPad.  I think the other pdf apps are easier.

Homeschool Apps Part Two

How I am planning on using the iPad 2 for Homeschooling

Well I finally broke down and ordered an iPad 2 this morning.  I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer because right now it is scheduled to ship on April 1st.  In anticipation of the iPad for our homeschool I thought I would share some of the ways I am planning on using the iPad for homeschooling.

  • Art studies – My plan is to pull up famous pictures whith my kids and discuss them in typical Charlotte Mason fashion
  • Books – I am really looking forward to my children gathered arround so I can read to them.  I am also planning on exploring all the interactive children’s books. 
  • History studies
  • Maps – I am hoping the History Mapp app will load faster than it does currently on my iPhone.
  • Watch math videos with my daughter
  • Helping my daughter with her reading/phonics
  • Helping my five year old learn his letter sounds and practice tracing letters
  • YouTube videos on science and history
  • Preparing lesson plans in bed

 Hopefully the iPad will get here sooner and I can report back on my progress.

In my next post I will discuss how to prepare for using the iPad for homeschooling.

Why the iPad is Good for Homeschooling

     
    I remember one of the first computers I used at school was the Apple IIc. I think the school even purchased it using points from box tops.  While you probably can’t get an iPad with box tops,  Apples website does say that Homeschool teachers qualify for education pricing.  The discounts not much considering anybody can get a refurbished iPad for $429 right now.  To some the cost still seems high for a tool that currently can only be used to supplement your current curriculum.  Even though the price is high I believe there are still some pretty good reasons to get and iPad for homeschooling.  Here are some of the reasons I came up with. 

  •  There are a lot of educational apps – a are free or less than $5.00
  • Apple has a history of working with education
  • The iPad it the best tablet for the money (or until a good Android tablet comes out)
  • Homeschoolers are not tied to traditional classrooms.
  • The iPad is more suited for families than institutions.
  • You can control content with your own iTunes account
  • Homeschoolers customize school to each individual child’s learning style.
  • The iPad makes learning fun
  • You can do school on the sofa or outside.

Feel free to add any additional reasons in the comments below.