I’ve been participating in Blogging Through the Alphabet, hosted by Marcy @ Ben and Me. It has been great fun trying to think of something related to homeschooling (since this is a homeschooling blog, after all!) for each letter of the alphabet. I feel like this letter “I” is a bit of a lazy effort, since “iPad” is not a real word, and I’ve already written a lot about how we use our iPad.
But since it happens to be a Tuesday as I am writing this, I wondered if I could challenge myself to think of TEN ways we use the iPad for homeschool. (Then I can link up to Top Ten Tuesday!).
1. Let’s start with the obvious — educational apps/games. I think there’s probably got to be an app out there for pretty much any subject to teach or review. Apps for Homeschooling is a great resource to find educational apps.
2. Occupying the boys (ages 3 and 5) while I try and focus with Miss M (age almost 8/2nd grade). While I prefer the boys to play quietly, or work on their own while I do the subjects that require my one-on-one attention with Miss M (like those tough math lessons on 4 digit subtraction!), the reality is that some days they are running in circles past us while pretending to be “Angry Bird Clone Trooper Jedi With Really Loud Guns and Light Sabers!” On those days, sometimes it is “iPad to the rescue” to provide a few minutes of peace and quiet.
3. I love reading ebooks on my iPad, and I also use it occasionally to read aloud to the kids. With the wealth of free public domain ebooks, free and inexpensive kindle finds or an ebook checked out from the library, there are so many options available!
4. I came up with a new option for Mr. E, my budding reader, last week — an easy-to-read Kindle book on the iPad! I was recently tipped off to The Literate Child, a page you can “like” on Facebook to receive notifications of free children’s books for Nook and Kindle. Mr. E enjoyed the novelty of reading a book himself (with a bit of help from me) on the iPad. I’ve also let Miss M read a Kindle book on the iPad on occasion.
5. Dance party! While I have had great aspirations of setting up playlists to listen to particularly appropriate educational songs or Bible songs I would like the kids to learn, that has not actually happened. What has happened is we have put on an a Pandora station for a quick dance break, soothing background music, or even music by which to play some variant of “musical chairs.”
6. On our “Family Science Nights,” my husband often pulls out the iPad to show pictures or videos of something he would like to illustrate, especially for biology related topics. Wikipedia is a great source for all kinds of science-related pictures.
7. Would you believe we don’t seem to have a stand-alone calculator in our house? When Miss M’s math curriculum called for a calculator we first tried using my phone,which proved to be a bit small for her. The iPad, however, was a nice over-sized calculator once we had a calculator app installed!
8. We’ve had the iPad on hand to use in place of a paper atlas during history lessons. We only have a simple, free world map program currently. However, I have often wished we had a nice, historical atlas to refer to! Maybe that will be a future purchase. For now our free world map app is enough for me to remind Miss M of the location of Britain or Japan.
9. Of course, the iPad works just as well as a computer for doing research on various books, curricula or projects we might like to utilize in the future. I love how easy it is, though, to hand it to the kids to show them various ideas (for, say, art projects they might like to do).
10. Finally, I like having a quick way to document and share things we are doing during our school day. I try and take a lot of pictures on my camera, but it takes multiple steps to share those photos (take the card out, import into a folder on the hard drive, export to a smaller size, etc). Up until recently, my phone was too slow and clunky to do this easily. But, with the iPad handy, I can easily snap a quick picture to share with friends and family.
This list doesn’t even include ways I have thought of using the iPad but haven’t actually tried yet: for audio books, as an electronic replacement or supplement to a paper planner, or using an ebook version of a textbook!
Have you used an iPad in any other ways in your homeschool?
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