App Review – Kids Quotas – The Wired Homeschool

Time is precious in a homeschooling house.  Computer time is like pixie dust that can be sprinkled upon your children and they’ll magically do their chores and school work.  However, if your kids don’t know how much of that pixie dust to expect then they start arguing.

With Kids’ Quotas from Active Mind Apps you can monitor your kids’ activity time.  Originally intended to monitor iThingy (iPod, iPhone, iPad) usage, Kids’ Quotas can be used to track all kinds of things like TV time, reading time, play time and quiet time (especially important for Mommy).

Once you’ve established times for a particular activity it is very simple to setup that quota.  After the quota is established just tap it and a countdown begins after a confirmation dialog.  Multiple quotas can run simultaneously and you can drill down through the usage time and have a detailed look at quotas used.  If you forget to stop one of the timers you can edit the amount of time used.

Kids’ Quotas allows you to:

  • Track one or more children
  • Quickly setup as many different quotas per child as you’d like
  • Configure each quota to track time by day, week, or month
  • See clear visual indicators of the running status of each quota
  • View detailed histories with average and total usage summaries
  • Just touch and go to track time and end the arguments

A couple of things I’d like to see added to the app are an audible or visual notification when a quota has expired (I let one run for over 9 hours) and a password or PIN required to edit the time used. I find this app very useful and I think we’ll be using it in the future to track our kids’ quotas.

Kids’ Quotas is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later and costs $2.99.

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Which Browser is the Best – WHS 22

For a long time “the Internet” was synonymous with Internet Explorer.  Since then a number of challengers to Internet Explorer’s dominance on the Internet has emerged.

Browser market share differs globally and the differences between the US and European market share a very interesting.  Internet Explorer’s dominance is fading and Google’s Chrome browser is quickly taking market share from all of the major browsers in the market.

Today I talk about different browsers available for OS X and Windows and provide you with my recommendation.  I also talk about how you can support the podcast and some of the plans that I have for the future.

Browser stats were taken from Wikipedia’s article, Usage share of web browsers.

I also mention the new blog posts you can find on the website: Homeschool Resource of the Week and the iPhone App Review of the Week.  If you have an app or resource you’d like reviewed, please contact me using the information below.  If you’re product is a paid resource, please provide a promo code or free trial so that I can fully test and review your product.

If you’d like to leave feedback about this or any other episode you can call and leave a voice mail by calling 518-290-0228, send email to wiredhs [at] gmail [dot] com, or leave a comment on the blog. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @jwilkers.  Also follow the podcast on Twitter: @wiredhs

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HSR: Homeschool Spanish Academy – The Wired Homeschool

As someone who speaks a foreign language, I can tell you that learning from a native speaker is easier and better than learning from a text book, listening to CDs or watching videos (I’ve tried all of the above).  Homeschool Spanish Academy offers courses to teach your student or yourself Spanish from native speakers.  Their experience with the language is greater than any you can receive from a teacher through a book, CD or video.

Best of all, students will learn one-on-one with their instructors.  This allows the curriculum  to be tailored to their specific learning style.

The course is available online and every module is conducted in real-time. No downloading videos or popping a DVD in the computer, you’re engaged with your instructor via chat, video or sharing documents. This is of great benefit to people who like to ask a lot of questions or need clarification on a subject. With some online courses you need to send an email and wait for a response. Because this is done in real-time with a real person you get your questions answered immediately and you get immediate feedback about your progress.

There is no software to download. More than likely you already have the tools necessary to participate in Homeschool Spanish Academy — which is great! There’s nothing worse than having software arrive at your house and finding out your computer is up to par. A broadband connection is about the only thing that you must have.

Homeschool Spanish Academy offers traditional, Christ-centered and unschooling curricula. You can even mix it up if you prefer.  I haven’t had an opportunity to try out the system yet but it does look promising.  If your student is interested in learning Spanish, check out Homeschool Spanish Academy and tell me what you think. Don’t forgvet to tell them I sent you!

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App Review – How Stuff Works – The Wired Homeschool

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What makes a clock tick? How do spiders spin their webs? How does GPS work? You can answer these questions and more with the How Stuff Works app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

I found this gem browsing around the Apple store and downloaded it immediately. I’m a big fan of How Stuff Works and this app is a great way to have access to their vast library of articles.

The HowStuffWorks app not only gives you instant access to a massive collection of articles and podcasts right on your iPhone or iPod Touch, but also you gives you direct access to our famous podcasters and HowStuffWorks experts! Tweet with the HowStuffWorks crew while you listen!

The interface is very easy to use and well-designed. When reading articles, you can resize the text and share it via Twitter, Facebook or email. Videos play in landscape mode and load quickly (especially over wi-fi). Some of the videos are a little pinched due to the iPhone’s aspect ratio.

Podcasts stream quickly and you can continue listening to them while reading articles and exploring the rest of the app.

I won’t try and list everything that you can access with this app. I literally puts an encyclopedia at your finger tips. Download it today to answer those weird questions your kids ask you.

How Stuff Works is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later and is FREE.

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Interview with Jeff Schmitz of Scholaric – WHS 21

Note: Since this interview the application has been re-branded as Scholaric and the links and information may be out of date.

This week I’m happy to feature an interview with Jeff Schmitz, the creator or Cogniti.us.

Jeff joined me over Skype and discussed his excellent homeschool planning system.

Please remember to “Like” this podcast on Facebook by going to http://www.thewiredhomeschool.com/facebook

Next week I plan to provide a review of 4 browsers that you can use on your Mac or Windows computer.

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If you’d like to leave feedback about this or any other episode you can call and leave a voice mail by calling 518-290-0228, send email to feedback@thewiredhomeschool.com, or leave a comment on the blog. Follow me on Twitter: @jwilkers. Also follow the podcast on Twitter: @wiredhs. Join the Facebook page over at http://facebook.com/wiredhs

The Wired Homeschool is a proud member of the Tech Podcast Network. For more family-friendly tech podcasts visit techpodcasts.com

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