Monday, January 9

Technology for the Ill-Prepared

When I closed up school for the weekend I made mental notes to find a read-aloud, a science book about blood, make out some lesson plans, and find my old lesson plans for this unit to refer to for ideas.

This morning when I woke up I had done exactly
of that.

Quickly searching the web catalogs of our local libraries I found a book that would work for our read aloud.  It's even on the shelf at our local branch.  But at 8 a.m. I'm not getting the boys ready to go out quite yet... hmm.

Enter Kindle's whispernet and free sample.  I downloaded the free sample instantly and we read the first 8 pages of our new read-aloud.  In a few minutes we'll head out to get the hard copy from the library and keep up with our reading for the next two weeks.  Mission accomplished and it didn't cost a thing.  

Now, that science book that I thought I could find this morning is, of course, nowhere to be found.  It's driving me crazy because it was exactly the resource I needed to teach with today.

Enter YouTube.  I had to do a little searching through some strange things (my search was "parts of the blood") but I eventually found a video explaining and diagramming what I wanted B to know.  We drew our own diagram, figured out the percentages of what our blood is made up with (perfectly tying in with today's math lesson... which is also online!) and had a decent science lesson.

Last Thursday when I brought out a video tape (yes, video tape) resource from the California Department of 
Water the tape didn't work at all.  I was disappointed because it had great paper workbooklets to go along with it which included some some neat experiments to view.  YouTube came to my rescue again that day.  I found the exact video presentation on the site and we carried on without much of a hitch.  And the video tape went in the trash.

I love how homeschooling is so much easier now than it was for me when I started 10 years ago.   It's not helping my work-ethic per se, but the world's knowledge is, indeed, at our fingertips.  

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