Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homeschool Meme

While some of you have been posting some deep and meaningful posts, here's a light, make that super light one from me:)

My dear bloggy friend Jo in Queensland tagged me, oh, let's see, more than a month ago with this meme! Sorry Jo, it's a bit late, better late than never though eh!

The idea of this meme is to answer the questions and then to tag some bloggers to pass it on, so they can do the same. However, some of my blog friends are not homeschoolers and so this wouldn't apply to them; the rest who are my homeschool bloggy friends have already had their turn most likely so I'll just fill in the details with my answers and leave it untagged at the end:)

Here goes:

1. One homeschooling book you have enjoyed:

'A Charlotte Mason Companion' by Karen Andreola.

2. One resource you wouldn’t be without:

The internet!

3. One resource you wish you had never bought:

hmmm, I'd have to say "Before Five in a row". I briefly tried this with Rebekah when she was 3 to 4 and she didn't like having the same book read every day! Sorry all you 'rowers' out there but this just wasn't going to work for us!

4. One resource you enjoyed last year:

Living Books curriculum teachers manual for year 1.

5. One resource you will be using next year

Our ipad, yay!

6. One resource you would like to buy:

I think I'm ok for now.

7. One resource you wish existed:

A time extender, need more hours in my day:)

8. One homeschool catalogue you enjoy reading

Don't read catalogues, does that make me a 'weird' weird homeschooler? (wink) :)

9. One homeschooling website you use regularly

Ambleside online

10. Tag other homeschoolers:

See my note at the top:)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Keeping up with the Jones' Technology

If you know us in real life, you'd know that we are not a keeping up with the Jones' type of family.
We are simple people, happy to live a simple and uncomplicated life. We put certain things in life ahead of keeping up with the latest gadgets, tv, phones etc.
We drove an old car until it died a couple of years ago and we were forced to replace it!
We live in a small villa and drive a smallish car.
Recently we had our small group (Bible study) from church over at our place and we had to watch a dvd as part of it. In typical Aussie humour, someone made a comment about our latest flat screen tv :) (NOT) :)
I hope that gives you some indication of the type of people we are.
We are also laggards apparently (a word I recently learned) over at this blog I've just started following: Fountainside. So, there you have it, we are a couple of laggards who live a simple life:)

We live in a city that is obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses!
We feel we swim against the flow with our lifestyle and hope others can be encouraged to live the same way. In fact, we live mostly on one (average) income in an expensive city where mostly everyone thinks it's impossible to do!
We make many sacrifices to live this way but that is another topic for another time.

So, in recent times, I got an android phone, not because I wanted to because I had no other choice. A couple of months ago my old phone started dying and when we started looking into a new phone for me, the only one I found comfortable to handle on the plan I wanted to get was an android phone. (I am not on a big mobile plan in fact it's the second cheapest) It has millions of apps I can download for free (so I am told) but I don't think I'd bother. I use my phone mainly to text and call and to take photos and videos. It even comes with some internet data which I was not interested in:) In fact I would go so far as to say this android phone is truly wasting all it's capabilities on me!

Fast forward a couple of weeks and guess what we get.....voila:

- an Ipad2! Yes indeed! Yes even our friends' jaws dropped when they found out:)

Now, even this was driven out of necessity. You see we have one desktop and often when Ron's at home at night I am working (on it ) and there have been times when Rebekah wants to watch something on iview (remember her allotted daily 60 minutes I blogged about here) is often when I need the computer! We really needed another pc. We ummed and ahhed for several months on whether to get a laptop (we've never owned a laptop ever, now even that is saying something) or to get an ipad.
Ron researched it a lot and we decided we'd get an ipad.

This has purely been out of necessity and after owning it for a month I can tell you it's been a huge blessing for us.

It has changed how we homeschool and how we do our family read alouds.
Ambleside Online is a free curriculum with most of the books available for free online, so guess what Rebekah and I do each morning for school - yes, we pull out the ipad to do most of our readings!
We've already downloaded quite a few ebooks.
We use it's notes function as a daily checklist that Rebekah can tick off as we do our school work. (Great for transitioning to more independent study as she gets older wink wink )

We use it for our family read alouds each Saturday night as we are currently reading Peter Pan which is available for free.
I'd read that it's just not the same as reading from a book but honestly once you get engrossed in the story you forget you're reading it from a screen.

We use it at our dining table book work area to listen to our composer on youtube, quickly look up something we need to find out about online, etc etc.

It even gets used in the kitchen to look up recipes to cook.

We're only scratching the surface as we've only had it for a month or so. But already it's been put to heavy use.
Yes there are some great games on it but not wanting Rebekah to become addicted she is allowed to use some of her daily allotment of one hour of screen time on the ipad if she so desires.
I'm told there are many educational applications, we're yet to look into that. We are laggards after all:)

I just love it because of it's slim design, weight and portability.
We are loving it so much so I just had to tell you of our latest addition:)
It has been a huge blessing for our homeschool and our family. We are finally having to keep up with technology! How about you, do you have an ipad, are you thinking of getting one, tempted to get one? If you do have one, I'd love to hear of some of your favourite educational or other apps.