Category: How-to


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.

How to pick apps for your homeschool?

How to pick apps for Homeschooling.

There are thousands of apps for the iPad and iPhone. It is easy to get app crazy with all the free or cheap apps. How do you know what app to buy? How do you know if an app is worth the cost? How do you sort through all the thousands of apps to find good apps for homeschooling? Here is what I recommend for finding and choosing good homeschool education apps:

  1. Search the iTunes Education category. Remember that if you are searching on the iPad it does not sort based on popularity. The iPad defaults to listing the newest app first.
  2. Read reviews on iTunes and on other web-pages listed below. The iTunes store will have reviews listed by those who have purchased the app. These will be people who purchased the app without a promo code. Many web site reviewers are given free promo codes to review the app. This is OK but sometimes it it good to know that they did not purchase the App.
Here is a list of recommended app review sites with helpful information.
Before you buy an expensive app I would recommend you also:
  1. Try the free or light version of the app. Many apps have a free version that has limited features that you can try out before you buy. Search the Apple store using the word light with the app title.
  2. Wait for the app to go on sale. Apps frequently go on sale. Several websites list apps for sale. If there is an app you like but you are hesitant to buy because of the price you can try waiting for the app to go on sale. Many apps go on sale around Christmas or around the company’s anniversary.
  3. Buy a couple of .99 apps to get a feel for the value of apps and how much you are willing to spend on an App that may not live up to your expectations.
  4. Look at the number of stars. Each app in the iTunes store usually has a rating. Some apps may not have enough reviews to have a rating. This is OK if the app had a recent update but the older version of the app had good rating. Some websites will sort the app list by its star rating and then by category.
  5. App finding apps:There are also apps you can download that filter out apps. You can try the app Kinder Town to search for good kids apps.
For more helpful advice on picking apps go to moms with apps site and view the article here. I’d love to hear from you about how you find and select good apps for your homeschool. How do you find good apps for homeschooling?

How to use iOS as a dictionary

One of the nice features of iOS 5 is the define option. If you want to find out the meaning of a word just double touch the word. Press the arrow on the right and a define option is available. This feature seems to be available even without a network connection.

Help me clean my iPads memory!

 Help! I ran out of memory on my iPad!20111121-215923.jpg

Delete multiple pictures:
My 16Gb iPad is to full to add more content! After looking at my iPad closer, I discovered that one of my wonderful little angles used the camera to take the pictures shown above. They just so happened to be all the same! It was getting tiresome deleting one picture at a time. It seemed like there should be some way to delete multiple pictures at once on the iPad. Well there is a way to delete multiple pictures from the photo library. It’s not intuitive, but when you are viewing your photos, you can select multiple pictures. If you tap on the symbol in the upper right that looks like the symbol for export (highlighted in the picture below) you can select multiple photos.

You can then select a number of pictures and then delete as shown below.


Deleting documents in apps
I also found that I had multiple copies of PDF documents in different PDF reader apps. Some of the apps are easy to remove documents in iTunes but others require you to go into the app and delete the individual PDF documents.

iOS 5 options
One of the nice features of ios 5 is that you can view the memory of each app. You can find this in Settings-> usage. You can delete the apps that use up a lot of memory.


Now iCloud can be used to store up to 5GB of data free.  This is useful if you have WiFi available.  At the very least you can move some apps/documents to iCloud that you do not use very often.   I have not found this option to be useful at this point but if you have found it useful I would love to hear about it.

How to use Keynote on the iPad for flashcards


Keynote on the iPad

I was trying to help my son learn his multiplication facts and I was thinking about how I could make customized flashcards. I know there are a number of flashcard apps but I thought why not use the Keynote App already on my iPad. I took a few screen shots to show how I did it.

Setup the first slide

I started out using the dark slide template but it was too dark.  I then changed to the chalkboard template. Unfortunately the font didn’t look very good so I had to customize the font.  You can play around with some of the other built in templates and find one that works the best for your application.

Format the text

To change the appearance of the text, first select the text and then press the round i at the top of the screen.


The options box comes up and there are several different formats.  Unfortunately you must scroll to the bottom of the options box to to edit the font.

Once you select “text options” at the bottom of the format box, you can change the font.  I increased the size to 200 pt font which seemed to look the best.

I also had to change the font from the chalkboard writing to something normal.

Copy and pasting slides

Once you have the basic format then I recommend copying the slides and then editing the text for the other math facts. To copy the slide select the slide you want to copy on the left hand side.  When the slide is selected an option will come up to copy the slide or paste it.  Select copy and then paste below.  If you select a slide and select paste then the slide will be pasted in after the slide that is selected.

Once I had all the multiplication facts I needed I decided I would copy slides at random so they would not be in order.


Add animation

After I was finished I thought it might be nice to have the answer appear. To do this I inserted a text box with the answer. I then had to increase the font. To add an animation to the answer, you first select the text and then touch the diamond at the top. This allows you to choose different transitions. Select “Appear” or another transition and now the answer will appear when you swipe to the next slide.