Blueglass Homeschool Magazine #homeschool

Sometimes we just need a little time for Mom, a little ‘mother culture’. For a mental retreat and some thought nourishment you might want to check out Blueglass Homeschool Magazine.

It’s described as “a fresh, new iPad magazine designed to inspire and encourage Christian homeschooling parents. As a gathering place for creative non-fiction writers, artists, poets, painters, illustrators, crafters and home-educators, Blueglass celebrates the art and craft of homeschooling and homemaking. Published quarterly, each issue is full of thoughtful essays and stories, beautiful art and photography, homemade recipes and projects, all thematically woven together by a growing community of contributors, including New York Times bestselling author, Ann Voskamp.”

The first issue, Linger, includes over 100 ad-free pages filled with uplifting ideas about how to linger in your moments. 

Check it out on the iTunes store. Also available on Android at Google Play and for Kindle Fire at Amazon.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/blueglass-homeschool-magazine/id839591067?mt=8

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Kids Need Us More Than Friends – Gordon Neufeld talk #homeschool

Let’s be honest – when I’m on the treadmill I need something to watch or read to completely distract me otherwise I’m will flit off and do something less useful.

I also figure that while I’m ‘captive’ I should probably grow my brain as well as my leg muscles. So I was quite happy when a fellow homeschooler recommended this live talk of Gordon Neufeld, a development psychologist, talk about why our children need us more than they need their friends (peers).

It’s worth the time investment to hear about how we can fortify our children’s resilience. Great stuff.

It’s on TVO Parent’s website but may be accessible from other websites.

Kids Need Us More Than Friends

How to keep files handy across all your gadgets #homeschool

There’s one question I’m often asked most often by fellow homeschool moms….how are you able to use your stuff on all your different gadgets?

First off, instead of saving all my documents, videos, etc to my hard drive, I save it to DropBox. DropBox is a great place on the web which you can access from all your devices, including your computer, your smartphone, and your tablet. You can choose to keep your files private or you can create shared folders so you can share docs and other things with whomever you want. You can sign-up for free and receive 2Gb of storage space. If you refer friends you’ll receive 250Mb more for each friend. I’ve also found my DropBox stored files to be super handy when I’m using a shared computer – I can access my files through a web browser.

For music if you have an Android smart phone I’d use MusicWithMe for storing and sharing my music.  With this app you can sync wirelessly with your iTunes account. You can create playlists and even share them with your friends. You can share your music on Facebook, Twitter or email. See and share music your friends or fellow homeschools like. This would be great for a curriculum that studies particular musical pieces – like AmblesideOnline.

For my bookmarks on my browser I use Google Bookmark on my Google Toolbar. Again I can access my bookmarks from a web browser anywhere, on any device. If you’re using Firefox you can install the Google Toolbar and have your bookmarks fully integrated. While I wish it was the same for Chrome, it is not integrated.

That’s just a couple ways to keep your important stuff handy and useable. Thankfully the more fun devices there are on the market, there will always be more ways to keep connected.

My dirty little secret… #homeschool #charlottemason

Okay, it’s out. I have a dirty little secret. I love technology AND I’m a Charlotte Mason homeschooler.

I know, I know. Some people may think that you can’t pitch your tent in both camps. How can you be a follower of an educational philosophy from the turn of the last century that embodies the essence of delicious living books while advocating the use of, dare I say it…screens…??!?!

Well, any modern day follower of Miss Mason knows that it’s the perfect philosophy for technophiles for a number of reasons. The most obvious being the proliferation of ebooks.

If there’s one thing that stands out amongst Charlotte Mason types, it’s our love of quality books. Good, well-written, ‘living’ books where the author embraces the passion of their chosen subject and passes it along to the reader. Thankfully, an extraordinary number of quality books are now available as ebooks for free or fairly inexpensively. Check out my previous post where I list reputable free ebook sites. You can’t beat the ability to store and read thousands of books on devices as small as an iPod Touch or a Kindle or an iPad and have them accessible when you need them instead of sitting, hidden behind another book, somewhere on a shelf.

Charlotte Mason also advocated short, focused lessons. And nothing draws a child’s attention like a ‘gadget’. Technology can help a distracted child focus those precious minutes on learning while still satisfying their curiosity. I’ve found that it takes twice as long to drill math facts by ‘hand’ (flashcards) than if I had my child drill with a website. And well-designed sites and apps also chart progress and other interesting stats. Check out Math-u-See’s drill page for distraction-free practice.

Foremost, Miss Mason’s philosophy encompasses education as being an ‘environment’, a ‘discipline’, a ‘life’. I think that by providing your children with an environment that incorporates technology instead of fearing it, the precedent is set for your child’s success in the future.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary app – with voice search #homeschool #edtech

Did you ever ask your Mom how to spell something and she said “look it up in the dictionary!”. If you were like me, I was always so frustrated – “how can I look it up when I DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPELL IT?!”

Well, this free app is a blessing for all of us, including the phonetically-challenged, with it’s speech search. Give it a try, it’s FREE!

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary HD

Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Category: Reference

Updated: May 24, 2011
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Free app for Common Core Standards guidelines #homeschool #edtech

Sometimes I get a little paranoid about where my kids are ‘at’ – tell me I’m not alone in that! Are they at grade level? Below? Above?

Here’s a handy little app that outlines the ‘Common Core Standards’ that a number of states have adopted.

So if you can’t sleep at night and you’re thinking the kids scissor-skills are not quite up to snuff, but you’re just not sure then you can have a quick look on your device and put your mind to rest.

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Common Core Standards

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Link to Learning – compilation of sites supporting Ontario’s curriculum objectives

Link to Learning – compilation of sites supporting Ontario’s curriculum objectives

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