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10 Tips for Parents of Homeschoolers Taking Online Courses

Summertime is here! Homeschoolers all over the world look forward to taking a break from their school work and basking in the sun, soaking in the pool, staying up late by a campfire roasting marshmallows, and taking online courses.

Teen Girl with laptop — 10 Tips for Parents of Homeschoolers Taking Online CoursesYou might be thinking to yourself, “John, one of those things is not like the other.” I know. Who wants to roast marshmallows all summer long?

Summer is supposed to be about fun and sun but sometimes you need to do a little catch-up. Maybe you took an extended vacation during the school year and got behind in a subject. Perhaps there was one parent in your co-op didn’t cover a subject as thoroughly as you’d expected.

Online courses can supplement what a child learned last year or allow them to pursue something that interests them without having to take away from their normal schoolwork. Summertime is a great opportunity for this because while school is “officially” over, learning can continue.

Since moms and dads need a break from homeschooling too, online courses can also offer parents a way to keep those math skills polished or add in an extra course during the school year without having to do all the preparation.

The folks at My Fun Science sent over a PDF that will help you and your kids get the most out of an online course. These 10 Tips for Parents of Homeschoolers Taking Online Courses will help you and your child get the most out of any online course you take this summer. Continue Reading →

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5 Mind-Expanding Astronomy Themed Science Project Ideas [Guest Post]

Astronaut Orbiting Earth - Astronomy Themed Science ProjectMost homeschooling parents are no strangers to the need to instill their children with a thorough education in STEM subjects. One of the most exciting aspects of studying science throughout school can be hands-on projects that bring abstract concepts to life.

I personally remember creating a model of the solar system that depicted the relative sizes of the planets, and it is one of my fondest educational memories. Not only did I have the chance to be creative and get my hands dirty with colors, but the project brought the reality of our solar system’s planets to life.

It taught me how small my home planet is, which grew into a larger love of astronomy and a more-involved appreciation of the fragility of our system and universe.

The unknown reaches of the universe are complex and relatively incomprehensible, but these abstract places and ideas fill people with wonder, and the study of astronomy forces us to confront our universe’s mysteries.

Experimentation is an excellent way for children to engage astronomical concepts and realities with concrete visualizations. Fortunately, in this era, we are gifted with a multitude of digital resources that can accompany hands-on projects in order to solidify underlying education objectives.

Ours is a universe of motion, so we should take advantage of our electronic ability to visually represent difficult concepts.

Below are five simple, engaging twists on classic astronomy-themed science projects for homeschooled children of all ages. Each project has a suggested approximate age level, but these are not absolute as they are subject to your child’s unique interest, learning objectives, and ability. Continue Reading →

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Falcon Heavy Launch: A Homeschooler’s Guide and What to Expect

One of the great things about homeschooling is that we can break away from our routine and take advantage of teachable moments. The Falcon Heavy Launch happening today is a great opportunity for homeschoolers to use as a teachable moment.

Falcon Heavy will be launching from a historic launchpad: 39A in Cape Canaveral. This is the same launch pad that sent men to the moon. One day, men and women may go to the moon or Mars from this same location.

Lift-off is scheduled for 3:45 PM, EST and will be streamed online via YouTube for the whole world to see. So what should you expect?

Note: this article was updated to include the new launch time. Launch time may change throughout the day. Continue Reading →

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5 3D Printers Under $500 for Homeschooling – WHS 223

When you think of 3D printers, what comes to mind? Do you think technology like 3d printing is beyond the reach of homeschoolers?

3d printers under $500

Photo credit: Creative Tools (CC BY 2.0)

It’s not! 3D printers have become affordable and easy to use. There are many 3D printers that have been specifically designed for home use and homeschoolers can use them to teach STEM topics.

Your kids can learn about 3D modelling, engineering, and other scientific principles while designing their own creations. Who knows, maybe your child might design a better mousetrap with his or her 3D printer.

In this podcast, I’ll cover the basics of 3D printing, some basic guidelines to consider when purchasing a 3D printer and talk about 5 3D printers under $500 for homeschooling. If you’re already familiar with 3D printing you can skip ahead to the list.

Continue Reading →

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CES 2018 with Matt Kamla and Michael Prince – WHS 222

CES 2018

Photo credit: Ryan Boyles


CES 2018 has passed but coverage still continues. There’s no doubt you’re seeing many articles about the gadgets and gizmos from CES 2018 that will make your life easier or more connected.

Matt Kamla (a listener of the podcast) and Michael Prince from Family Tech Blog both attended CES this year and shared some of the things they were excited to see. In addition, I shared three things from CES that caught my eye.

From VR to conductive ink, here are the things we’re excited about from CES 2018. Continue Reading →

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