Doctor Who: “The Magician’s Apprentice” – A Homeschool Dad Review

Doctor Who - The Magician's Apprentice

Credit: BBC America

As a homeschool dad it sometimes fall upon me to watch shows, read books, or evaluate software to make sure it is appropriate for “the kids”. As such, I sometimes find it fun to review shows for you too. The Magician’s Apprentice kicks off this season of Doctor Who and it seems like an appropriate place to start.

My kids have not started watching Doctor Who regularly yet. Of the 3 or 4 who are old enough to watch the show one isn’t interested and the others may find some of the images a little too scary.

You may be in the same situation with your kids. Some of the episodes may be just fine while others may be too scary or the topics and themes might be in appropriate for your child’s delicate psyche.

I thought I would start reviewing the current season of Doctor Who from a homeschool dad’s point of view. I look at content, themes, and quality as well as try to determine if you can get any educational value from a particular episode or if there are any talking point that could spark some educational discovery.

Doctor Who is considered a “family drama” and is rated TV-PG so there’s some parental guidance needed. I realize my preferences won’t be the same as yours so, please, don’t take my word for. Watch it yourself! Continue Reading →

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Interview with Christee Brauckmann From Homeschool Buyers Co-op – WHS 165

Today I’m interviewing Christee Brauckmann from Homeschool Buyers Co-op to discuss the history of their company and some of the great deals they have to offer for homeschooling families.

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op is the world’s largest buyers club for homeschooling families. Founded in 2005, they are family-owned and operated business dedicated to providing top-quality curriculum at the lowest price possible. Like you, they are homeschoolers with a love for family and a deep commitment to homeschooling.

Like you, they made the profound and life-changing decision to assume full responsibility for their children’s education. They understand the sacrifices and joy that this entails, and have decided to devote their energies and talents to helping other homeschooling families who have chosen to walk the same path.

Homeschool Buyers Co-op

The Wired Homeschool is underwritten by Scholaric: The homeschool planner that SAVES you time. Plan, track, and organize your homeschool more easily than you ever imagined. Start your free trial today.

Thanks to all the individual patrons who have supported the podcast. Special thanks go out to Matt Kamla. Continue Reading →

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Amazon Announces New Low-Cost Fire Tablets

Amazon Announces New Kindle Fire TabletsAmazon announced the latest Kindle Fire tablets today. It’s an amazing collection of devices that is sure to attract budget-conscious buyers who are looking for a functional tablet.

Kindle Fire TabletFirst up is the new Kindle Fire. The new 7″ is priced to sell! For $49 you can get a fantastic tablet that’s great for your kids. Want to buy one for every member of the family? You can get a 6-pack of tablets for $250.

Here are some highlights of the specs:

  • Rear and front-facing cameras.
  • All-new Amazon Underground, a one-of-a-kind app store experience where over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items are actually free – including extra lives, unlocked levels, unlimited add-on packs and more.
  • 8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
  • Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching videos, and listening to music.

Looking for a tablet that’s a little larger? How about the Kindle Fire HD 8? This one is the same size as the iPad Mini for half the price, $149.99. With a slightly larger screen and a little bit more processing power you’ll have a better experience playing games and watching movies with this tablet over the standard Kindle Fire.

  • Fast quad-core processor up to 1.5 GHz. Rear-facing 5 MP camera and front-facing HD camera.
  • 8 GB or 16 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
  • Up to 8-hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, and listening to music

If you need something even larger, perhaps for your older kids look no further than the Kindle Fire HD 10. Amazon’s largest and thinnest tablet packs quite a punch for the $229.99 price tag.

  • Beautiful widescreen 10.1″ HD display
  • 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
  • Up to 8 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, and listening to music

All the new tablets come with Fire OS 5 which claims to allow you to get to your stuff faster, has a speed-reading mode, and a huge library of free apps.

Also updated are the Kindle Fire Kid’s Edition ($99.99) and the Fire TV streaming stick and box. The Fire TV now supports 4K video, games, and voice commands.

What do you think? Will you be buying a new Fire tablet?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement

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Can Gaming Channels on YouTube Be Educational?

YouTube Gaming is a new website from Google that allows you to watch live streams and connect with gamers from around the world. It’s a way for you or your child to learn more about their favorite videos games from some very inventive YouTube creators.

YouTube Gaming is built to be all about your favorite games and gamers, with more videos than anywhere else. From “Asteroids” to “Zelda,” more than 25,000 games will each have their own page, a single place for all the best videos and live streams about that title. You’ll also find channels from a wide array of game publishers and YouTube creators.

But is it educational? The folks over at Chromebooks 4 Homeschoolers think so. Here are some suggestions they have for fusing these videos to educate and inspire your kids.

A word of caution: Some of the channels contain VERY adult language. Make sure you preview any videos before allowing your kids to watch.

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