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Category Archives: Technology in Homeschooling

Technology in the Homeschool – Spelling Via Messenger?

My 11 year old is such a smart little guy, masha Allah, but not the studying/school type. So its hard to get him interested in studying.75px-Yahoo!_Messenger_logo

Lately though, he’s been doing better (better being relative here, lol) and though not perfect, he has been cooperating more. So I am  trying to be more accommodating.

Yesterday, I called him for spelling. To my surprise, he had a good attitude. He asked me could he type the words on the computer. My first instinct was to say no, get a pencil and paper, but since he was cooperating, I thought, why sour the punch?

But………………….. I was at my desk and he was way over on the other side of the room (ok, well it wasn’t that far) and I couldn’t see the words that he typed…….ok, he could have come closer but we had just fooled around earlier getting Yahoo Messenger on his computer so that popped into my head.

And boy what a winner that was!

So I IM’d him and called out the spelling word. He typed it in and sent it. Boy did he get a kick out of that (no writing!) and he said, you know, this can help my typing skills too!

If he misspelled a word, I typed it in correctly. I even had him type misspelled words several times in a row.

He didn’t want to stop when it was time to break for lunch!

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2009 in Technology in Homeschooling

 

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Technology in the Homeschool: Making interactive learning activities

I’m re-running this post again as there was a problem with its formatting in the original post…………

As you can probably tell, I am a computer addict and love to use it/technology in our homeschool whenever I can because I think it makes learning more interesting (though I still like to use old fashioned methods such as drill because I personally believe it really works).

I’ve come across a few neat resources that I wanted to share for making interactive learning activities.
1. How To Create Interactive Learning Centres

This is similar to my article at EHow, How to Set Up A Kids’ Virtual Practice Center, except that instead of a web page, this uses PowerPoint.  Never thought of that.  This link has a quick slide show to show you how to create learning centers in PowerPoint, by creating links, that your student can click on to go to activities  on the net. Again, you can also make the links take your student to things stored locally on your computer (games, lessons, worksheets, etc).

2. Classtool.net.

I just found this one today and it looks pretty neat.  It’s free and you can make 17 different kind of learning activities (including games, quizzes, timelines, cycles, etc) for any subject using premade templates, you just fill in your content. You can make simple HTML pages for the activity or post to a blog, etc.

3. Creating interactive learning activities online using forms.

This uses Front Page to make the forms, but can be used, I bet, in other web authoring software as well. You can make quizzes, give student a short reading passage and have them respond by typing in the answer…..and more……………….

4. Hot Potatoes.

An old favorite of mine, which is now freeware, so you can share it online freely (you previously had to register and could only use online if you worked for a public educational institution).

“The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is freeware, and you may use it for any purpose or project you like.”

This is a really simple and handy one!

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Do you have any great tools/ideas for using technology in the homeschool that you use or have heard of?  I’d love to hear them……………………………..

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2009 in Technology in Homeschooling

 

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No printer? Not necessarily a problem OR Homeschooling without a Printer

So you’ve come across some great homeschooling PDFs or made them yourself only to find that you’ve run out of ink, the printer is broken…or maybe you don’t even have a printer.

The kids can still do those worksheets insha Allah. Here’s a little trick that I use with Microsoft Paint when we are going through those unhappy printerless days. 

The idea is simple, copy and paste from your PDF into Microsoft Paint.

If you are  new to Adobe Reader or just haven’t played around with it, there is a little tool that looks like a camera. This is called the snapshot tool.  If you click on this and then click in your PDF, it will copy what you clicked on.  If you click anywhere on the PDF document, it will copy what is in the view that you see. But you can also click (don’t let off the mouse) and then drag to include the area that you want to highlight.  The area is automatically copied into your clipboard.   Then you mosey on over to Microsoft Paint and paste (through the menu or CRTL v).

And voile, insha Allah, a version of the worksheet that the kid can color, write on, draw on, etc. I don’t think this works for protected documents, but I’m not sure.

The kids like to play on the computer so this is usually fun for them.  They can color in letters or parts of pictures, they can use the text box and type in spelling words, or words to match a picture. They can use the oval/circle to circle words in a word search.

Happy Homeschooling!

 
 

“Short” Distance E Learning

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Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

"Short" Distance E Learning; or

 Finding your  homeschooling materials on the computer lickety split

while your children wait to avoid them slipping away while you look

I get a great deal of homeschooling materials from the internet.  Sometimes it is an absolute nightmare to keep track of all the downloaded/saved materials unless I take the time to file them in a logical  place as I download/save them.  Then, after the materials are saved, finding them again efficiently while the kids await during "class" can be another nightmare.  So, I have devised a system to help cut down on that "live" search time.

The Big Idea: Make a web page saved locally to my desktop with local links (on my computer) and save it to the desktop.

What to Do:

1. Open up word and design a blank weekly schedule (table or text). Save it as a template so it does not have to be remade each week. See sample below.

Subject

Saturday

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Math

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

Language

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

Quraan

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

Islamic Studies

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

History

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

Science

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

List assignment here

2.Fill in the squares with the description of the assignments (see above).

3. Using control + k,  add a link to each assignment, as necessary.  When you press control + k a dialog box pops up.  Find your file and press ok. Repeat for all assignments which have materials on your hard drive (html, doc, pdf, exe (programs (example: a quraan recitor), audios (lecture, learning audio), etc). You could also link to an online web page by typing in the URL in the dialog box.

4. Save as a web page to your desktop.

5. Voile.  Now when you or your children need to obtain documents, programs, etc. on the computer (or internet) for that week for school, they are just a click away.  This is a helpful time saver for me, as well as a helper to prevent kids fishing around on the computer looking for the files while you are nursing, cleaning, or teaching other kids and messing something up.

You might want to print out a copy of the schedule as well.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2007 in Technology in Homeschooling