Homeschool
E-Learning

Many homeschooling families have discovered the power of technology to enhance and deepen their children's educational experience and success. Read on to find out which electronic learning tools are most useful for homeschoolers today.

Mom homeschooling daughter with e-reader

When choosing curriculum, homeschool families have the distinct advantage of being able to try different approaches to discover what works best for their children's learning styles. Some children respond best to a visual, auditory or kinesthetic approach. Others learn best when multiple learning inputs are used. Electronic learning is simply another avenue to engage your children's senses in a variety of compelling ways.

1E-Readers

Now affordably priced and easy to use, e-readers are fast becoming a fixture in modern society. In fact, Amazon just announced in May that e-books have now surpassed sales of paper books. A variety of excellent options are on the market including the Kindle, Nook, Nook Color, Sony and Kobo, among others.

The Nook Color is generating the buzz right now in the homeschool community because it functions as both an e-reader and a tablet. Just choose from thousands of books to download on your e-reader, and they'll be at your fingertips anytime you want. Young children who have not yet learned to read can listen to stories, look at the pictures and even explore exciting interactive activities built right into the programs. Each page is an incredible adventure as the books come alive in your children's hands.

2Online learning

The Internet is an extraordinary resource for homeschooling families. Literally thousands of excellent websites have been designed especially to help teach children everything from reading and math to science, architecture, musical composition and Swahili. You'll also find helpful tools such as online worksheets, quizzes, printable booklets, coloring sheets and streaming videos that make learning exciting and interactive.

3iPad Apps

Discover the incredible world of electronic learning with hundreds of engaging and interactive educational apps on the iPad. Your child can design her own puppet shows, study Shakespeare, compose intricate musical compositions, take a nature hike, conquer statistics, practice algebra, write and illustrate her own stories and bring animations to life — all with just the touch of a fingertip.

4Software, DVDs & CDs

An impressive selection of educational software is readily available on the Internet. Popular programs such as Math-U-See, K12, Rosetta Stone, Usborne and Switched-On Schoolhouse are very simple to use and often have separate logins for parents and children so that you can monitor and grade your child's progress. Don't forget educational films, books on tape and music, either. These are all excellent educational tools that your whole family will enjoy discovering together.

5Electronic games

Studies show that humans learn best when they are having fun. Many excellent products are available to keep kids engaged while stimulating their brains. For preschool and early elementary ages, the LeapPad, InnoTab, MobiGo, VReader, Fisher Price Smart Cycle, Sifteo Cubes and Nintendo Wii are all smart choices. For older kids, iPad apps, Sifteo Cubes, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Game Cube rank among the best for systems and games that are educational and entertaining.

Consider picking an electronic gaming console that engages your body as well as your mind, such as the Nintendo Wii or Kinect for Xbox 360.

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Tags: educational gadgets electronics and teens

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