Technology: Friend or Foe of the Homeschooler?
It goes without saying that we live in a “smart” age. However, I keep hearing that technology shortens our attention span, is bad for our health, and distracts us from the goings on of daily life. Digitalresponsibility.org is an informational site that lists the ways that we need to be mindful when using technology. But, before you take a hammer to your iPad, consider this.
There are many apps available that encourage healthy habits in kids- Nicholas’ Garden, Fooducate, MotionMaze, and Gro Garden to name a few. You could browse with your kids about where your food comes from, how different foods affect our body, which muscles are strengthened by different exercises, and more.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t up and go to Asia whenever I feel. However, multi-cultural exploration is mind-opening, eye-opening, and important in the development of compassion and understanding for people who do things differently. Technology opens up a child’s world and allows them to experience a little taste of different parts of the world.
They can to explore the vastly different landscape in other parts of the world, the centuries-old architecture, and the landmarks that bring history lessons to life. Our go-to is Google Earth, but check out DimDon World Map and Art Stories CITIES apps.
When I was younger, I spent countless hours filming and editing creative videos, and playing with recording software to write and record songs. It was super fun, but it was also very mentally stimulating and helped me cope with a lot of the stress that is typical to the life of growing minds.
Creative outlets for kids are supremely important because they’re always open ended and children can use the canvas in whatever way they choose. Fortunately, we have access to tons of free resources that are great tools for this.
Some apps to check out: Telestory, Star Walk Kids, Curious Words, Elmer’s Photo Patchwork.
Books and Documentaries
Nowadays, most books are recorded as audiobooks for your listening pleasure. This means you can make that drive while listening to the adventures of Huck Finn or Bilbo Baggins. Although I personally love the feeling of holding a physical book, you can’t beat the selection at your fingertips of digital books, whether audio or e-books. This is a great benefit for people (like me) who have nowhere near enough shelf space.
Closing word: Moderation
My personal opinion is that you just can’t beat the real world when it comes to growing kids, but with the world at our fingertips, it’s hard not to tap into the access that we have. With this power comes great responsibility, because it can be abused. Young minds must be guarded and disciplined. Screen addiction is real, and without moderating the consumption of technology, it could do much more harm than good.
I’d highly encourage tech-empowered parents to check out MobSafety Ranger Browser, Qustudio, Video Monster, or apps similar to them that protect little minds from technology abuse and the dark parts of the internet.
That being said, if you choose to bring tech into your home, I encourage you to seek out the most edifying parts of technology. It’s a window to the world, after all.