Here we are on Day 3 of 5 Days of Home School Essentials. In my home having multiple computers, all with internet access, is a necessity. This wasn’t true when I started home schooling. A computer was a wonderful tool and greatly enhanced my ability to educate my young children at home but only one was needed (for me) and we only had dial up. It was not essential to our daily school work.
As time passed we found more and more use for the computer and we invested in a laptop for mom. We then had the desktop that the 4 students could take turns with and a laptop for mom. Internet was upgraded to DSL. Home schooling using the computer was heading into the essential territory and no longer just a great luxury tool.
We started with things like typing instruction and then moved to having the girls use Microsoft Word to type of up papers and reports. We also started using the internet more to do research. I used it for things like the library. I could use the online library catalog to put books on hold and then pick them up at the library or bookmobile. I would also use the internet for email for home schooling email groups and home schooling forums like Sonlight. I even started using the internet for hunting down and purchasing curriculum. I have lots of e-books, print outs, notebooking pages and lap books that I have collected over the years.
When we decided to use Switched-on-Schoolhouse for several subjects we decided it was time to invest in another laptop. That brought our total to two laptops and a desk top. The new lap top was really for Honeybear but the girls needed it for school. We had to have a schedule so that each girl could do their computer based subjects.
We’ve since stopped using SOS but our dependence on the computer has grown. Especially since I joined the review crew in June of 2010. A computer with internet is vital to my participation in the Schoolhouse Review Crew and as I share tomorrow the Schoolhouse Review Crew is essential to my home school.
BooBear purchased her own computer because her university requires all students to have a computer. During her senior year of high school we were miserable. We were down to one laptop and one desktop. My laptop hard drive had failed. It was difficult to try to schedule everyone’s time on the computer.
Today, thanks to the generosity of friends and saving up money for a new hard drive, we have a lap top for each member of the family! We were just using the first lap top and the desk top for school letting the high schoolers use their computers for writing their NaNoWriMo novels and English papers. They were free to use the computers for playing games and watching DVDs in the evening. With the recent loss of the desk top, however, I think the girls will start to use their laptops for more school.
All three of my home school students rely on internet based programs for at least one class each day. Tailorbear and Turtlegirl both use Videotext Algebra for math. Both of them are also using the computer for science (Supercharged Science). Both are taking computer programing courses and both continue to write papers and essays for English and History. Nearly every subject they are assigned has some aspect that requires a computer! Even Supergirl requires a computer with internet: Her Song School Spanish, Math and Language Arts supplement (IXL.com), and Time4Learning which only has a few weeks left.
I use my computer daily as the home educator. I continue to use it for school record keeping, searching for resources and for support by visiting forums, and home schooling groups on the internet. Once upon a time I think we could have survived without a computer or perhaps without internet but now? Now having more multiple computers with internet access is essential for our home school.
Come read what other Schoolhouse Crew Team Members think are essential in their homeschools. Here are a few to get you started. Click on the image below to read even more!
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads