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View Full Version : How much does media play a part in your actual homeschooling?



Topsy
06-30-2010, 10:35 AM
Media (including television/internet/videogames/etc) has cropped up a lot in forum conversations lately. Many parents are concerned with how much time their kids are spending on various forms of media, and rightly so. But we also live in a time when it is difficult to divorce the impact of media from any part of our lives...including our homeschooling.

What about you? How much do you incorporate the varied forms of media into your day-to-day homeschooling?

StartingOver
06-30-2010, 11:04 AM
Technically you didn't have my answer up there. I voted that media plays no part, but in reality it does play a very small part. My son will play on starfall for about 30 minutes a week. We also use some Audio books and CD's, such as the Story of the World audio books ( after we read the chapter ), OPGTR Audio Companion ( occasionally ), First Language Lessons CD ( occassionally), Song School Latin ( Latin often has audio or dvd included, but doesn't take much time throughout. ) And of course for all of our music, some art, etc. We will occasionally use DVD's or tv for history, science, & etc.

Over all, even with my older children all through their education, I would consider our Media usage to be about 5% at the extreme max. I just prefer to unplug and learn in a more classical way.

SherryZoned
06-30-2010, 11:06 AM
We completely embrace media so I would go for 50-75 percent depending on the child.

MamaB2C
06-30-2010, 11:25 AM
Probably this will change as DS gets older and more independent (he's only 4 and just learning to read) but for now media is a huge part of his learning. We watch Discover and Science and History Channel shows a lot, use videos and games to supplement his reading and math, and use the Internet heavily.

SunshineKris
06-30-2010, 01:15 PM
I have no plan on media being a big part of our homeschool. That said, our curriculum has the spelling on CD-Rom (it's an interactive program that adjusts to the child, or so they told me) and I have ordered some DVDs from History Channel. DH is a serious TV watcher so when he gets back I am sure he will embrace the History Channel videos and watch with the kids when he can. I am sure he'll use them to teach more in-depth (he's the History buff and will be great supplementing the curriculum). I prefer my kids learn in a more classic bookish way. They are so connected during down time (I am trying to cut them back some) that I'd like them to learn how to use a real dictionary in a book! Maybe I'm just old-fashioned. I like my entertainment in book form. :)

paganmomblog
06-30-2010, 01:43 PM
I chose 50%. I hope to keep it at that level so that they get a good balanced and healthy habit with using media and going the classical way. As it is now some days are more heavily media then other mostly because some days they are more interested in reading from a book then playing an educational game or watching a documentary.

Jenny in Atl
06-30-2010, 03:27 PM
At least 50%... We love movies, audio bks, web sites, tv documentaries, etc.

schwartzkari
06-30-2010, 03:39 PM
I chose 50%. We use the internet daily, my daughter plays several software games and also uses a couple educational websites on her own. Then of course we have our Wii. We formed our own band and according to our fake manager we are almost famous. ;)

hockeymom
06-30-2010, 04:02 PM
While we don't use media officially for any of our homeschooling (oops--other than for typing, and the occasional educational computer game!), DS does like to watch Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and the occasional Animal Planet show. He learns so much from these shows, plus the educational DVDs that we get from the library, but he uses them as "downtime". He doesn't watch any other TV other than sports (hockey, World Cup, Tour de France). He also asks about a million and a half questions a day, virtually none of which I can answer, so we use google constantly to find out the answers. He is extremely detail oriented and his questions are quite technical, so sorting through books would be a useless endeavor to find the answers he needs (even though I would prefer it). I don't know what we would do without wiki!

We don't have a DS or any of the other video games, except for a wii. It rarely gets used, and then only for sports.

amphibology29
06-30-2010, 04:05 PM
Media plays some part in our homechooling, but it's not 25%. There are lots of educational media resources that my son plays or watches but they're more for his entertainment time, with covert or not so covert learning occurring. I don't really count them as part of our homeschooling, since I don't use them in place of other educational tools or study. The majority of media that I use in conjunction with schooling is in the form of educational youtube videos and foreign language programs.

Jilly
06-30-2010, 04:41 PM
It's funny because we are a very media oriented family, so I was thinking that media was a huge part of our educational day. But as I sit and think about it, I would say that most of our media is for entertainment, and in homeschooling, media plays a smaller part.

Busygoddess
06-30-2010, 06:17 PM
I chose 25%, though I'd say it's between 25-50%. I feel it's important to incorporate technology in our schooling, but keep a balance between technology/media and book learning. Technology is not going away any time soon, so I want my kids to understand it & know how to use it. They learn to use an actual dictionary well before they are allowed to use an online one, just like they have to prove mastery of a Math concept before they can use a calculator. We really enjoy documentaries and educational shows. I include them, whenever I can, in our studies. We discuss them during & afterwards. The kids learn to take notes from them. We watch movies made from literature they've read, so they can compare & contrast. Fun online reading games helped Jay learn to read, but they were supplements to the other things we used. Dea uses the internet for research, but she also uses books. Each week, I check the library for software related to what the kids are studying; we use them as fun supplements. Dea is doing some virtual labs this year for Biology, but the real-life, hands-on labs are the main ones. She's also watching some college Biology lectures, but again they're just a supplement. For their Spelling/Vocab, they use SpellingCity.com to practice the lists, but first have to write the definition, word origin, part of speech, and sentences for each word. There is not one subject that they are doing entirely (or even mainly) on the computer. That will change, of course. Dea wants to learn about computers, so that will obviously require more computer work. I will likely have each of the kids do one or two online courses before they graduate. My main reasoning for this is so that they have some experience with online courses, in case they choose to do some of their college online.
I want them to learn to use technology to it's full advantage. I also want them to know how to learn from various sources. So, we incorporate technology & media into our schooling. However, I strive to keep a balance between that & the more traditional book learning, with some real-life experience thrown in for good measure.

mommykicksbutt
06-30-2010, 06:18 PM
We watch zero TV but we love movies. Sonny has an x-box but is limited to 2 hours a day. We have a family movie night whether at home or in the theater. We do use a few historical movies in the course of history or literature. His science curriculum is web based. And all essays and book reports are typed on the computer. Also, the kiddo will be doing computer programing starting in the fall. So, I voted 50% even though for "school" it would be between 30-40%

paganmomblog
06-30-2010, 06:19 PM
I chose 50%. We use the internet daily, my daughter plays several software games and also uses a couple educational websites on her own. Then of course we have our Wii. We formed our own band and according to our fake manager we are almost famous. ;)

I love it! Almost makes me want to run out and buy one. I have been on the fence about Wii for quite some time.

warramra
06-30-2010, 06:36 PM
I'll be one of the odd ones. Media plays a huge role in our homeschool, at least with the older two. I didn't start out that way and we have a huge library of books and activity kits that we also use. But, after trial and error regarding my children's learning styles I found that the most cost effective, best programs for us was computer-based. We use Time4Learning, BrainPop, You Tube, Netflix (w/instant viewing via the Wii), Starfall and other various links we might find for different unit studies. Dd10 also uses Teaching Textbooks for math and The Learnables French I (which is partially online). In addition to computer and tv useage, we also have found mp3 players to be very helpful. We now have three mp3 players and use them to download audiobooks (free from Librivox, checked out from our library, or purchased online), listen to memorization pieces, or as digital recorders for the girls to dictate into. With four computers, we use technology throughout our day.

I use the computer almost exclusively for homeschool planning and record-keeping. I order pdf downloads where I can of materials because then I can easily reuse materials for all my children, and I can go through and only print off what we need to use at any time.

The thing is that as much as we use media for schooling it is used very little otherwise in our home. My kids love their 'school' online, but play very little on the computer. They get bored watching tv, especially since we don't have cable. We have two DS' and two GameBoy Advances that spend more time sitting in the basket on the computer desk than being used. Instead, my children like to build with legos and wooden blocks, read, play outside or put on skits. Each child has their own "projects" they work on; dd10 does crafts (jewelry making, dream catchers, pottery, etc.), dd7 plays with her animal figurines and writes stories, dd5 draws and paints and ds3 builds towns with blocks and train tracks.

I don't have any concerns about whether we use too much technology in our home because I see it being used responsibly.

Amy

Sarbare0704
06-30-2010, 07:02 PM
I chose 50%. We use the internet daily, my daughter plays several software games and also uses a couple educational websites on her own. Then of course we have our Wii. We formed our own band and according to our fake manager we are almost famous. ;)

Awesome! Does this mean I can finally justify buying the Beatles Rock Band and tell my husband its for school!?

schwartzkari
06-30-2010, 11:51 PM
I love it! Almost makes me want to run out and buy one. I have been on the fence about Wii for quite some time.

We have some really great family time with the Wii. :)

schwartzkari
06-30-2010, 11:55 PM
Awesome! Does this mean I can finally justify buying the Beatles Rock Band and tell my husband its for school!?

YES! When we are playing RockBand or Guitar Hero, my daughter has to read the scores we get on the songs and the beating on the drums teaches rhythm! We also bought "Just Dance" and you actually work up a sweat trying to follow the choreography, so I think that counts as P.E. ;)

The Beatles are an important part of musical history...see, I could come up with a ton of justifying reasons to buy the Wii and games. LOL!

Melyssa
07-01-2010, 12:40 AM
We're a very geeky techy oriented family anyway (husband is in I.T. and I have a computer background as well) and pretty much embrace all forms of media. Over time I have noticed that my daughter really responds best to visual learning anyway and retains tons of information that way so we started using time4learning as our core well over a year ago and also utilize other educational sites such as brainpop.com and others as well as computer games. She's an avid reader and reads every single day without any prompting from me, and has a pretty balanced time with non-media activities so it's fine for us. BTW, I voted 75% for educational.

Sarbare0704
07-01-2010, 09:20 AM
YES! When we are playing RockBand or Guitar Hero, my daughter has to read the scores we get on the songs and the beating on the drums teaches rhythm! We also bought "Just Dance" and you actually work up a sweat trying to follow the choreography, so I think that counts as P.E. ;)

The Beatles are an important part of musical history...see, I could come up with a ton of justifying reasons to buy the Wii and games. LOL!

I have been thinking about that just dance game too good thinking! As long as I can justify it with school and he believes me I can get away with most things LOL! Lucy already knows quite a bit about the Beatles she loves to point out a song of theirs whenever she hears one! But they sing "her song" LOL and her brothers middle name is Jude(hehe see a trend?) only because the husband fought so hard to not have it be his first name! I still regret not just naming him Jude!

inmom
07-01-2010, 10:36 AM
Currently, we are at about 25%, but I see that increasing as the kids get older and start taking some high school course online.

reversemigration
07-01-2010, 08:05 PM
Currently, we're looking at the lower end of the media scale, as we're planning on using a lot of TWTM elements in the coming year. However, I've no objection for using the net or DVDs to supplement what we're doing. While I have a sort of instinctual aversion to using too much tech, there's so much useful stuff out there, and I have to remind myself that at the core my philosophy needs to be, "Whatever works," rather than sole-mindedly focused towards a utopian vision.

paganmomblog
07-01-2010, 10:00 PM
I have to remind myself that at the core my philosophy needs to be, "Whatever works," rather than sole-mindedly focused towards a utopian vision.

Well said!

InstinctiveMom
07-02-2010, 04:28 PM
I chose 50% as well - though over the summer it seems we've been out more and so have had less opportunity for media to impact or contribute to learning.
When we're mostly at home though, the kids use computer games (esp. for math), documentaries (science and history), and sometimes movies (which can offer a wide array of educational discussion opportunities). We also use YouTube a lot for various things - foreign language, storytime (if I'm busy), to compliment a lesson - the possibilities are vast and we take full advantage :)

jab300
07-05-2010, 10:25 AM
We used to have no media at all in our schooling. My 3rd son didn't do as well as my older two with textbooks/worksheets so we used Time4Learning (now using Mathletics) and it really helped him. I also occasionally let them watch a video from Netflix if it fits in with our studies...we saw a good one about the Nile and then one about Antarctica. My older boys complain of course that they had no such fun lol.

KrysWalker
07-06-2010, 10:17 PM
Since my daughter is a "preschooler" (what do you call that when you are homeschooling?!?!?!) we use a lot of music for our learning - some of it we do together and some with cd's. We don't currently watch any shows for learning things yet, but we do include her when we adults watch educational shows on animal planet, history international, ect.

sis92y
10-14-2010, 07:17 AM
Some say that the amount of TV my girls have watched in the past 2 years is too much. But if you look at how much they have learned by watching the educational programs I tune them into, then I'd have to say they have a good foundation for the basic knowledge needed to preform preschool curriculum. I think allowing my girls to watch the programs on Noggin and public TV has enhanced their learning abilities and has given them a leg up. Both have grasped basic concepts a lot easier than I expected. Is that due to the TV watching? I don't know, but it hasn't hindered them yet so I'm going to keep going with what seems to be working for them.

That said, as my 4yr DD has gotten older she has started watching less TV than she did when she was 2. Not by my forcing her, but by her own choice. She would rather spend her time learning how to tell time and doing worksheets or workbooks. I absolutely adore it when she comes to me and says "Mommy I don't want to watch TV. I want to do school work". Makes her proud mama want to shed a tear.

dbmamaz
10-14-2010, 04:56 PM
I put 50%, but that might be high, i'm not sure. 14 ds uses books for math (singapore) and LA (MCT), has french software we keep not getting to, we've been watching a LOT of documentaries about the universe as part of science, and probably will watch historical fictiony movies for history, plus some of the history curriculum i plan to use is on line. Youngest uses T4L for his primary stuff - and i must say, his video games are his main source of learning to read, he spends more time there and is more motivated than when i make him read.

Teri
10-14-2010, 05:30 PM
We are big into media here. Anything to reinforce what we are learning.
This includes:
-Teaching Textbooks for math
-Brainpop
-Powerpoint (my son LOVES making powerpoints and has since Kindergarten)
-Discovery and History Channel shows (and NOVA. My 8 year old LOVES Nova)
-Ipod Touch apps (everything from a synonym dictionary and a dictionary of Greek Gods to tv shows and a geography app)
-Audible books (for my daughter with dyslexia)
-ActivityTV.com


I am sure I am missing a ton. I don't turn away ANYTHING that can work. ;)

Kylie
10-15-2010, 04:51 AM
I would say we are between 25 and 50%. We love documentaries and I am sure as the kids get older we will use it more and more. We don' t have cable but will probably consider it in a few years.

outskirtsofbs
10-15-2010, 09:45 PM
I put 25% but it might be a little higher. My DD loves computer games so I have started buying her educational ones. She is the type that if she has total fun learning it, she NEVER forgets it. I bought her Smart Steps 3rd grade and she learned about alliteration in the L. Arts/Poetry section. She's in 2nd grade and has a few things to brush up on, but I thought she needed a challenge. She gets bored very easy. I'm trying to decide about Time4Learning. I just read about Mathletics(?) and I will be checking that out. I get alot of good information from you guys. Olive

sallymae
10-17-2010, 11:20 PM
We do video text math on Dvd, virtual labs on cd, german on cd, biology pod casts on line, and look up all kinds of stuff on line. So I guess we use it alot. But we still visit the library a couple time s and week and read lots and lots of books.

Wild~Iris
10-19-2010, 08:28 PM
Like some of the other posters we use DVDs for Algebra, Audio for Latin, History Channel DVDs, YouTube for science, and yes, the kids do have video games. I'm not sure we could ever go completely over to online school because our internet service is too rural and would not be able to handle constant streaming of information. Our internet goes out in the rain or when too many in our small community stream NetFlix.