This year we are embarking on an experiment. I bought the three older kids Generation 2 iPod Touches for less than $85 each. After futzing with the settings, restrictions, iTunes, loading up the digital medial library and loading apps, I have the 9th, 8th and 4th graders ready to do much of their school on a mobile device. That means we can all be more portable. That makes the kids happy. I will have to "let go" a little, but we will be doing lots and lots of discussions around how it is working . We started with a few things this summer to see how the kids take to it (duh, they love it) and how I feel about them holding a device in front of their face more than I'm accustomed.
Here's a partial list of what they are doing on the iPod Touch:
- McGuffey Reader (4th Grader)
- McGuffey Speller (for supplements)
- Reading the Little House Books on iBooks (4th Grader)
- Listening to book club books on the Audible account or reading them on the Kindle Reader or iBooks
- Great Books Triple Play - Reading on the Kindle App, Google Play Books or iBooks, listening to the corresponding audio lecture from the Great Course "Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition" (which I picked up for less than $40 at a used book sale), AND watching the Great Course "Life Lessons from the Great Books" (Older kids)
- Science via Khan Academy - Biology topics as we cover them from the CK-12 Biology Book (Older kids)
- Botany - via various Apps like Botany Encyclopedia (4th Grader)
- Religion - older kids reading YOUCAT ebook, daily readings and Saint-of-the-day via a nice Catholic App we found for free, and watching video catechism series
- History - We're still working that out...we have several actual supplemental things to do, but this is Dad's subject. However, we might just have the younger ones listen to Story of the World Audio CD's read by Jim Weiss on their iPods.
- Math support (not full subject) - Khan Academy, and many other Math apps... UPDATE: I had Dragonbox here originally. I contacted the app writer because it was not working on the iPod Gen 2, but that is because it needs ios 5.x to run. We've moved it to the iPads instead. If you want your kids to love Algebra, consider looking at Dragonbox!
My older kids are doing Calligraphy this year along with Art History. Yes, there is an app for both. My 4th Grader will be watching the Leonard Bernstein "Young People's Concerts" with others and discussing them via Skype. Her art will be working with different media (chalk, pastels, colored pencils, charcoal, and paint.)
Just an aside: When I configured the iPods, I enable a screen lock to protect the iPods from the 5 and under crowd :-), enable Restrictions. I turn off Safari, YouTube, Ping and Deleting Apps. I also set the age restrictions for Apps, Video and TV. I disable wireless as a battery saving technique.
I'd love to hear of apps you LOVE as well as techie things you are doing in your homeschool this year.