Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Electronics Win

Electronics are supposed to be anathema in a classical education if you follow the strict guidelines set up by the "Well-Trained Mind" folks.

I've never been one to let others tell me exactly how to do things.

Math-U-See has been M1's math program from the start.  Last year we adopted La Clase Divertida as our Spanish curriculum.  Both of these are DVD-based.  I'm also not entirely sure how a child is supposed to learn to type without sitting in front of a screen.  But never mind... let's just accept that the modern family is typically pretty well immersed in electronic media, no matter what the form - television, movies, computer games, video games, handheld devices, etc.

We are no exception here.  And one of the things I'm pretty sure I couldn't live without these days is the iPad.  I'm obviously not saying you have to go out and buy one - they're pricey!  But since I do have one, I utilize it.

We have all the games by Dan Russell-Pinson (Presidents vs. Aliens, Stack the States, etc.), Brainpop, Khan Academy, SkySafari, etc.  And yes, those are fun and can be useful.  But lately I've been browsing through the Kindle and iBooks stores just to see what educational things they have, and I've been surprised by the amount of material out there.  I've checked these out before, and I'll be honest - I wasn't impressed.  But now... well, the number of apps and educational books for both kids and older students is growing by leaps and bounds.

CK-12 has listed their textbooks on both the iBooks store and the Kindle store.  The high school biology book even has a workbook and teacher's guide to accompany it.  I've purchased an atlas; this saves me both money and shelf space and is much easier for the kids to search than flipping through the index of a 'real' book. Today they used it to do a geography activity. Since both of them enjoy geography quite a bit, I think this book will see a lot of use in the future.

I'm going to keep hunting over the next few days to see what I can come up with. I'm excited about the possibility that next year our science curriculum won't be a pre-planned, purchased curriculum.  I just might make my own. 

And without the iPad and the numerous resources that it can provide, that wouldn't be possible.  This is definitely an electronics win!

1 comment:

Wendy L. Callahan said...

Every family has got to find their own balance.

For me, I like the majority of our learning to happen from bound books and hands-on interaction. We use some software-based curricula.

Many people are really embracing what tablets and the internet have to offer. It is not my preferred way of teaching - I like to reserve screens for treats - BUT there are many resources out there, and sometimes it is an approach that works better for a child.

Do what is best for your kids. That is what matters. :)