Don’t be afraid to use technology in your homeschool! Instead, teach your kids they can use it responsibly to enhance their learning.
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Between phones, tablets, computers, and video game systems, it can be tough to help our kids find balance when it comes to tech time. That sometimes leads parents to forbid screen time altogether or to give up and allow too much technology in their days.
While it’s ultimately up to each family to determine the right approach to tech time for themselves, giving technology a place in your homeschool is a great place to start.
Encouraging Positive Technology Usage in Your Homeschool
Even a small amount of regular tech usage can help kids develop positive tech habits. It can also teach them how to use it as a tool rather than a toy.
Here’s how to make that happen.
1. Use It for Homeschool Planning.
Integrating technology into your homeschool planning can demonstrate positive tech usage and give your kids a chance to use it a limited capacity.
For example, we started using the free Trello app for homeschool planning last year. That allows my oldest kiddo to access his homeschool to-do list throughout the day and stay on track when I’m working with my daughter.
We’ve also done this in the past through Homeschool Planet’s Online Homeschool Planner and loved it. My oldest was much younger at the time, but was able to use it to check assignments and mark them completed.
See our review to learn more about Homeschool Planet and the ways it can help you keep track of your homeschool plans and records.
2. Jump In and Learn!
Adding some online learning to your homeschool lineup is an easy way to teach positive usage. That doesn’t mean you have to go online for all of your learning, but you can sprinkle it in for a subject or two each year. This gives your kids a chance to become comfortable with technology — you know, beyond YouTube — and use it productively, but not let it consume your days.
Need some suggestions for learning online? Here are some of our favorite online options:
- Music in Our Homeschool – From 15-Minute Music Lessons to A Year of Charlotte Mason Music Lessons (we love this one!), there are plenty of online music appreciation options here.
- Masterpiece Society art courses – These are all video based and are our go-to resources for homeschool art.
- Literary Adventures Clubhouse – This fun membership offers a selection of book clubs that combine online learning with off-screen hands-on ideas centered around classic books.
- Study.com – This all-in-one site is a fantastic way to tackle a couple areas or all of your homeschool to-do list through high quality online learning.
- No Sweat Nature Study – These classes are great for making nature study happen! The cool part is that you can even gift a membership to another homeschool family. 🙂
3. Model it.
Like all things in life, your actions will always speak more loudly than your words. If you don’t personally use technology responsibly, your kids will notice and likely follow your lead. Use that influence wisely.
There is a direct correlation between my own tech habits and my kids’ tech habits, but let me be up front and admit that I don’t always manage this well.
While technology is a big part of my work, that doesn’t mean I’m always working if my phone is in my hand. And even if I am working with it, I have to be sure I’m not making homeschool harder than it has to be by sneaking in a few minutes of work here and there when working with my kids.
Because of that, I take a look at the example I’m setting when I notice them gravitating toward their devices outside of their designated time. Here’s how I assess how I’m doing when it comes to modeling positive and responsible technology usage:
- Am I implementing personal screen time restrictions by choice? Are there some apps that cause me to be less present when I’m with my family? Consider deleting them and accessing them by desktop or laptop only.
- Can I abide by the technology restrictions we’ve set for our kids? For example, how would it affect my media consumption to “earn” an hour of screen time by completing something on my to-do list or taking a walk first?
- As an adult, do I honestly use phones or devices productively or do I primarily use them for entertainment or keeping up with social media?
These are all things that only you can answer, but they’ll help you determine how to set a better example for your children through your own usage.
In closing, remember that technology can be an incredible tool for learning. The key is to model positive technology usage personally and to integrate into your daily homeschool life through planning or online learning options.