Only 67% of home schoolers are currently using new technologies and the cost of home-schooling can be a little much when you are jumping on every new piece of technology available. Budgeting for supplies, materials, and gadgets can be difficult, but if you have direct deposit it’s possible to have a percentage of your income automatically directed to a separate account. This could be your designated home-school fund.
So, now that you are creating a budget, what should you get?
Incorporate Your iPad or SMART Phone
Using iPads and SMART Phones can replace calculators and introduce endless Apps that can mimic or replace software. Children can even watch educational programs on a SMART Phone or iPad. These devices however should not be a replacement for having a computer.
Do You Have a Computer?
This may seem like a big fat “Duh”, but the reality is, not every home has a computer in it. If it is a matter of expense, you might need to get the best credit card you can find and just do it. Children need to learn how to use word processors and spreadsheets. If for some reason you decide not to home school at some point and enroll your child in regular school, your child will be very behind without having computer skills. In addition, finding a job later in life without basic computer skills will be a tremendous challenge.
Use the Internet
OK yes, the internet has been around for a while, but 20% of American households still have no connection! You can find learning games and science projects online. You can also find countless tutorials on YouTube and fun interactive Apps for just about anything including arts and crafts. Just be sure your child understands that not everything they find on the internet is real or true. A lesson in the importance of “sourcing” might be called for.
Discover & Learn Any Language
From websites like Digital Dialects to hardware like Rosetta Stone, language programs abound and should be a part of every home school curriculum. Teaching a child a second (or third) language is not only fun for both you and your child, it is a must in today’s multicultural environment.
What’s a SMART Board?
If you haven’t seen one yet, fair warning you and your kiddo are going to love them! SMART Boards are a cool mix of white board and touch screen computer. It operates as part of a system that includes the interactive whiteboard, a computer, a projector and whiteboarding software which you can find online or at your local technology store.
There are over 2 million children home schooled in the United States. Not every parent is going to be able to afford all of the technology available. There are a lot of payment options available; from lay-a-way plans to buying on credit; if you get a new card, be sure to get the best interest rate credit card you can find. Don’t forget, you still have to save for their college fund! a