Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials: The Internet

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support.

 Yesterday, I explained why Pinterest was one of our homeschooling essentials.  But really, there's no way I could homeschool without the Internet itself.

First, I can't tell you how many hours I spent googling "Homeschool Curriculum" when we first started.  I literally was starting from nothing.   I found everything from boxed curriculum sets to websites to worksheets.  I also spent a lot of time researching homeschooling methods, to try to figure out how Jude learned. (You can guess how I kept track of things...)  When it was Luke's turn, it was back to Google to to look up high school graduation requirements and course ideas.

We also use several online programs in our homeschool.  Time 4 Learning is Celia's favorite program; she asks almost every day after school to use it as a supplemental "for fun" learning.  Through the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we get to use a number of web-based programs: IXL, Moving Beyond the Page, and Reading Kingdom.   Luke is learning about microeconomics by being my Guy Friday in our Lilla Rose business. The kids' Faith Formation courses are also online --with so many doctor and therapy appointments (including one doctor for four of them that only is in clinic on Tuesdays), we just don't have the ability to commit to the Tuesday CCD class at our parish.  Plus, Jude is going at a much slower pace than he would be in a classroom - he just doesn't have the attention span to sit in a group class for an hour (especially one that doesn't start until dinnertime).  This is perfect because we don't have to forego learning about our Catholic faith because of our family's medical issues causing time conflicts.

We also use Skype.  We started using it this past summer when Celia began taking violin lessons from MacPhail Music, a music school in Minnesota.  Yes, Minnesota!  And we live in New Jersey.  She absolutely loves her instructor, Jeremy (as do we).  Obviously, much of the ability depends on your equipment, but I was astounded when Jeremy was able to help tune Celia's violin by listening to the tones over the connection and direct us.  Most importantly, Celia has blossomed as a musician since starting lessons with him, and her confidence knows no bounds.  Last week, she vowed she would master a new song within a week.  She practiced her little fingers off, but she did it! 

Luke also uses Skype to have private tutoring in Spanish.  He wins the longest-distance-teacher contest.  Nora is from the Homeschool Spanish Academy, and lives in Guatemala.  She's a wonderful teacher, but I admit that one of the great things about tutoring via Skype instead of in-person is the cost is more affordable for us - there's no commuting costs built into the tutor's fees.  Plus, with seven people in the house, our home tends to look...lived in, if you know what I mean.  We only have to speed-tidy the one corner of the study seen in the webcam rather than try to tame the entire house!

There is one other aspect of the internet that we use a lot -- online shopping!  A fair amount of our school books come from online purchases.  Amazon is one of our favorite sites - because they pretty much have everything, from copybooks to e-Books.  Another one of my favorite homeschool sites is Lakeshore Learning.  While we have a Lakeshore store about an hour from here, I prefer shopping online because there just is so much more available.  Finally, most of our school-as-therapy items, like speech cards, stringing beads, adaptive scissors, come from internet retailers.  One of Jude's favorite items is his new "net swing."

Swinging is one of his favorite sensory input activities during occupational therapy.  Thanks to the internet,  we now have a swing here at home for him to hang out in when he needs to decompress.

The internet makes homeschooling possible for us.  How do you use the internet in your homeschool?

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials Schoolhouse Crew ReviewThere are 89 Crew Members sharing what they think is essential to them.  That's a LOT of reading.  It would be awesome if you could read all 89 blogs, but almost 450 posts in one week is a tall task.  However, to make it a little easier for you, we've divided ourselves into smaller groups.  I'd love if you'd take a few minutes to visit the others in my group - I know there are MANY great ideas.


Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Julie @ Nurturing Learning
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Nicole @ Journey to Excellence
Adriana @ Homeschool Ways
Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Don't forget to enter the giveaways I'm co-hosting!

iPad Mini Giveaway

 Enter to win an iPad Mini! In our house, an iPad is a homeschooling essential, too!

Pin Money Giveaway

Enter to win $75 (awarded via PayPal) so you can create all the things you love to Pin!

©2012- 2013 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.


  1. We do use the internet for a LOT of stuff. We have done online learning courses, virtual field trips, and so much research. There are a lot of great free websites you can use too, so the internet can save you a lot of money too.

  2. Yes yes yes! The internet is an excellent tool and I'd be lost without it when it comes to schooling!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover