Homeschooling is no walk in the park … especially when the storm clouds roll in and you can’t bring your classroom outdoors. But just because you’re inside doesn’t mean you can’t connect to the outside world. Technology makes it easy to access fun and educational activities from the comfort of your own home.
Here are few ideas to get you started:
Turn your television into your own private dance instructor
If your kids are looking for something fun that also incorporates fitness, look no further than your smart TV. Gone are the days when television meant nothing more than mindless cartoons. Most TVs nowadays come prepackaged with access to YouTube and other customizable channels and apps. You can use your television to help the kids master the dance floor and beat boredom all at once. JamTimeDanceTV offers free hip-hop dance lessons, but you can search for any style that sparks an interest. Dancing offers many benefits for children, including helping them with coordination and boosting self-esteem.
Unleash creativity with online drawing lessons using graphic tablets
Here’s one for the older kids: graphic tablet drawing. Drawing with a graphic tablet is a lot like drawing with a pencil and paper, but it’s considerably more expensive. However, considering that graphic artists are in high demand – video game designers earn an average of more than $70,000 a year, according to Recruiter.com – it’s an investment that may lead to a lucrative career for your visually-inclined teen. With Photoshop or other image-altering software and a tablet made specifically to mimic the pencil-to-paper experience, your teen can create digital masterpieces that can be easily edited, saved, and printed. There are plenty of online tutorials to help get them started.
Connect with a live vocal instructor or music teacher
The videophone first debuted in 1964, but the concept of face-to-face calling didn’t really take off until the internet boom. It wasn’t until the early to mid-2000s that webcam calling became a commonplace, if novel, reality. Today, Skype, FaceTime, and other online connectivity services mean you have access to a whole range of programs that would be out of reach just 20 years ago. Your computer or smart device coupled with high-speed internet service offers your children the opportunity to be taught by a live vocal instructor or music teacher. There is literally no limit to what you can learn, from the piano to more difficult-to-master instruments like the steel pan drums.
In addition to music, art, and dancing, your children can utilize technology to enhance every aspect of their education. Here are a few suggestions for kids of all ages:
- Make a stop-action film using a phone or tablet
- Create a mini documentary of a friend or family member
- Explore the world using augmented reality
- Enhance verbal skills with online language lessons
- Learn basic architecture by building a blanket or sofa fort (students will have even more fun finishing off the lesson with a game of Capture the Sofa Fort)
- Learn about different cultures through food and recipes
- Research emerging trends in the financial sector
- Map weather events
No matter your child’s interests, the internet makes it easy to fill the void of activity caused by being stuck indoors. And as technology becomes more and more affordable, the world – and all of the lessons it holds – become more accessible to kids of all ages. Don’t be afraid to let technology into your children’s lives; it’s the way of tomorrow, and giving them access will put them one step ahead.
Amanda Henderson is a mom to two wonderful, active boys and a preschool teacher. She enjoys writing in her free time, and recently decided to create Safechildren so that she would have a place to share her thoughts and favorite resources on parenting and child safety.