Resources for Computer Learning Month

September 27, 2018
Written by:
Tasha Swearingen

Undoubtedly, computer literacy has changed the way we learn things. They provide a portal into worlds we at one time only dreamed about. Today, we can think of a question and have an answer at our fingertips immediately- thanks to technology. But are you using computer skills to your advantage? Is there anything you’re missing?

Top Ways to Use Computers in Homeschooling

As homeschoolers, we aren’t bound to any specific set curriculum choices. As such, we have liberty to use both textbooks at any level as well as technology. What are some of the best ways to incorporate interactive learning into your homeschool?

  1. Direct instruction – Today’s students can learn just about anything online. In years past, students had to purchase textbooks or sit through an in-person lecture. Now, there’s information available for just about anything a student desires to learn!
    1. Using MOOC, students can learn about various topics from business management to law studies. They’re able to listen to lectures on such topics from top schools including Harvard, Yale, MIT, and UC Berkeley. While students don’t receive college credit for completing a “course” on MOOC, there is an option to take tests and receive a certificate of completion.
    2. Through Khan Academy, a free website full of information on various subjects, students can learn K-12 topics such as Arithmetic and Algebra, Biology, U.S. History, and even art history. In addition, Khan offers practice for several AP exams as well as standardized tests such as the SAT, LSAT, or NCLEX-RN. Students enroll in courses and watch video lectures and do practice lessons to ensure mastery.
    3. If you’d prefer something more organized, consider online homeschooling for math, language arts, science and social studies. Students in Pre-K to 12th can use an online homeschooling website for homeschooling or after-schooling.
  2. Drill and practice – If your students don’t necessarily need a full math program but could benefit from practice, try using the computer for drill exercises. You can either create and print out worksheets or encourage your student to play online games in math, English, history, science, and vocabulary at websites that offer free learning games for kids. Don’t forget to use websites that simplify spelling and vocabulary study for homeschoolers!
  3. Apps – Whether your student is using a very portable device such as a tablet or phone or does better at a stationary computer, apps are common to use for homeschooling. Apps don’t require an internet connection, so students on mobile devices and tablets can use them at home or on the go. Popular education apps include The Great Courses (history and literature lectures), Memrise (vocabulary and language) and Brainscape (digital flashcards on many topics).
  4. Tools – Computers have long since replaced paper versions of everything from paperbacks to magazines. However, you can also use online tools to organize and manage your life better. For instance, Google Classroom provides an online schoolroom in which you can communicate with your students, upload assignments, track work your students are doing, or have students submit work. For creating assignments, research papers, tracking data, or creating a presentation using Google Drive is a cost-effective way to familiarize your students with basic word and data processing tools.

    Trello is also another great way to keep track of online activities. The neat thing about it is that you can keep track with multiple people. So, if you’re in a position where multiple people play the role of “teacher” in your homeschool, Trello is a place where you can all touch base!

Computers have seemingly all but replaced human workers. Online or offline, they make your tasks more manageable and allow for an easy way to organize what you need to do. Whether you prefer apps or online websites, learning or teaching, computers provide an invaluable number of resources for homeschoolers.

Tasha Swearingen

Tasha is a homeschooling mom to 5 and has been homeschooling for 14 years. Currently, her children's ages span from toddler to young adult. Tasha has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University and is working on her MBA through SNHU/Berklee School of Music.