Thursday, February 9, 2017

5 Days of building your own curriculum: Computer Programs

Welcome to day 4 in our homeschool hopscotch blog hop!!! Today I wanted to share a post with you about computer programs that I chose to supplement our homeschool!! Enjoy!!
Follow the rest of my hopscotch Here!

Day One: Math
Day Two: Science
Day Three: History
Day Four: Computer Programs
Day Five: Reading

Hi there! I wanted to stop in today and write another home school review type post for my fellow home schoolers out there. Today, I want to talk about online school, and all of the things available for home schoolers on the www!
First, I have to mention that I really try hard to 'unplug' in a lot of areas of our life. We don't have live television via cable or satellite in our home, and we haven't in years other than the one year we spent at a house that had cable included in the rent, but even then we didn't utilize it very much. Once you get used to not having it, its really hard to live with! That's another blog post for another day. My kids have tablets, but their use is restricted to special treats and car trips. I don't keep but a few game apps on my phone, and my rule about phones and my older children is that it is not allowed in their bedroom at all. I realize that technology can have a BIG pull on everyone, and my deepest hope is that my children grow up knowing how to use it, but not depending on it and wasting a big part of their life staring at a screen in their hands. So honestly, we don't utilize as much computer work in home schooling as we have in the past. However, I do want them to know how to use a computer, and there are a LOT of great resources out there!
My general rule is that we have some computer time on *most* schooldays, and we don't use it over the weekend at all. For the younger children that is. My older girls are allowed on their tablets for some time after the younger ones go to bed, but I usually find them reading or playing barbies instead. That makes me feel accomplished in my endeavors! But, as I said, there are a lot of good computer programs out there that are great working with school, and I wanted to take some time today and share some of our favorites!!!

Starfall is free, and has a lot to offer! It has a great reading program, set up into different lessons based on the kids reading level. It's also repetitive, so they get used to the books and lessons. The kids love this site and have used it off and on for years as a supplement. They also offer more for a low price paid account, but we have never used it, so I'm unsure of the details, but I've always heard good things!

   You've probably heard of this one, it is highly advertised. I've used it on and off throughout the years. The kids really enjoy it! It isn't free, but it is only $7.99 a month. That is a reasonable price for what it offers. The kids enjoy setting up their classroom, and taking care of the animals. Unfortunately, my son gets caught up in this and doesn't do as many lessons as I would like, but it is a fun game to play around on. It also works great on the tablet as well.

StoryJumper is FREE! I love this website, as do my kids. They create their own story books with a variety of backgrounds and characters. It really extends their imaginations! You can also buy a book that the kids have created! I haven't purchased one yet so I'm not sure of the quality of the books, but hopefully I will soon. For now, its something fun and imaginative that they can play around on!

Again, this one is FREE! Free is always good, lol. I really like this fun little program! My kinder really enjoys it, and he learns a lot from it! You create your own monster and teach it to read, going through space adventures and such. It is very fun, very cute, and very educational!!!

But by far, my MOST favorite two computer programs are:
I can't say enough good things about reading eggs!!!!
My daughter used it a little bit when we had a free trial for a few months, but as I mentioned before, she's not much of a computer based learner. So we didn't use it for awhile, then when my Kinder started showing interest to read in prek, we started it again. We purchased it for a year and used it very frequently after we moved here. I can't tell you how much it improved his reading skills!!! He enjoyed it, it got to a point where he was a little bored with it, but he certainly is reading on a higher level than my other children were at his age!!! I have to credit it partially to this site as well, because rather than using a set reading curriculum, we learn through blend ladders, CVC words, site words and just reading, a LOT of reading.. so this has been our supplement and he's doing great! He reads road signs and closed captions on the television, lol. So I can't say enough good about this product! It isn't free, but you can get a free trial I believe if you've never signed up before. It is certainly worth what you pay for it though!
Next year we are starting All About Reading for him in 1st grade, and our year that we paid for us up, so since he is somewhat bored with it right now I am not going to purchase it again until we start again in September after break, but this will be one of the *HAVE TO* purchases for next year, it gives him computer time, improves his reading skills, and makes me happy that he's spending his computer time wisely! I can't recommend it enough!

Our other favorite:!!!

These are just a few of the many, many, many subjects offered from Schoolhouse Teachers!!!

I was introduced to schoolhouseteachers by another seminary Mom here on campus. She said that it was a lifesaver and made her homeschooling adventure while being a busy ministry Mom (she also works, has three boys and is a pastors wife! Love that busy lady!) So I thought I would give it a try! Oh my goodness, I'm so excited that I did! There is SO much information here! Bella is currently taking History (Civil War era) Geology, Art and Logic! Sister likes to learn new languages and go through the science book set (this is an incredible library that your SchoolHouseTeachers account gives you access too!) Brother is excited about trying out Violin lessons soon!!
Me and Stephen are particularly excited that you also have access to RightNow media with your subscription to schoolhouse teachers! This gives you access to a HUGE library of bible studies! It's incredible! All of this for the access fee of $14.95 for the Limited membership of $19.95 for the ultimate membership! You can also do a month trial for only $5.00, which is a great deal and a great way to see if you do like the course! There is no extra access fee for additional students, that's just one payment for your entire family, and accessing so much information! It is incredible!!

*Note, from now until Feb 28 you also can have a membership for only $10.95 per month! Fantastic deal!

Day 5: Reading

No comments:

Post a Comment