How We Use Screens in Our Homeschool (and Why It Works!)
Screens get a bad rap, but in my experience, they aren’t all bad. Screen time has added tons of value to our homeschool experience with educational apps, documentaries, and gameschooling. In fact, I always include relevant Youtube videos and documentaries in my unit study lesson plans here at the Waldock Way.
Don’t be afraid to use screens in your homeschool. There are lots of awesome learning opportunities you can engage in when you welcome technology into your lesson planning. Keep reading to discover the best options for learning with screens in your homeschool and how we incorporate them into our lessons here.
How We Began Incorporating Screen-Time Into Our Learning
I’ll admit when we started allowing screens into our learning time I had my doubts. I was afraid of all the negative possible outcomes too. Slowly but surely I began to see the opportunities though. Especially since Emily is an auditory learner. Screens give her the ability to see and hear things which only extends the learning experience.
I also realized one day that screen time was far less negative than a mom losing her mind. Which means that sometimes screentime saves my sanity. Especially because as a homeschool mom of an only child I need a minute to myself to think, and allowing her screen time gives me that.
Incorporating screens into your lessons can have some really cool outcomes. Reluctant learners are more engaged in the lesson and young children seem to retain the information they learn from videos and apps better than they would from listening to a lecture.
Don’t be afraid to give the screens a try. Now that we’ve discovered the possibilities, I’m totally sold on incorporating this modality into our lessons. In fact, they seriously helped us survive 2020 by providing us all with some valuable opportunities for time apart while being stuck under the same roof.
The Best Options For Screen-Based Learning In Your Homeschool
There are a lot of options for incorporating technology and screen-based learning in your homeschool lessons. From learning videos to apps to audio books, the possibilities for learning with your kids are endless. Check out my favorite options for screen-based learning at home:
The Best Apps
Wanna make sure tablet time is still learning time? Check out our favorite apps for learning on the go with a screen:
Reading & Writing Apps
- Endless Reader
- ABC Kids Tracing and Phonics
- Hangman Classic Free
Numbers & Math Apps
- Moose Math by Duck Duck Moose
- Dragonbox Algebra 5+
- Prodigy Math Game
Check out even more learning apps for your smartphones and tablets in my list of 60+ Educational Apps for homeschoolers.
Our Favorite Online Classes & Programs
Engaging in online classes has been a game-changer for us this past year. Platforms like Outschool make it easy and affordable to explore a wide variety of learning opportunities online with your kids. Check out some of our favorite online classes and programs in my article all about the classes we love.
Documentaries Your Kids Will Love
Yes, there are lots of fun documentaries for kids and families to enjoy together. Check out some of our favorites:
- The Secret Life of Dogs
- Secrets of the Solar System
- Conversations with Dolphins
- The Secret World of Legos
- Nature’s Mathematics
Learn about more documentaries to use in your homeschool lesson plans this year in my Amazing Documentaries list.
Explore Learning with Podcasts
We love using podcasts in our homeschool lessons, but we also really like listening to learning podcasts together as a family too. There are tons of awesome podcasts to explore! Check out my Ultimate Podcast Guide to discover our favorite podcasts about science, history, music, ethics, and more.
Audio Books for the Entire Family
Our family loves audio books. We constantly have them playing in the car or house. There are many different ways to listen to audio books but I typically use apps like Libby, Hoopla, or Audible and then just bluetooth my phone to some sort of speaker device for us all to listen. Any of the books from our Books the Whole Family will Love list would make for great listening!
Why It Works To Incorporate Screens Into Our Homeschool
There’s a lot of fear surrounding using screens in homeschool learning. I’d like to encourage you to explore the opportunities that come with incorporating screens in your learning journey. It’s ok to do what works for your family and your child’s own unique learning needs.
Maybe screens aren’t destined to be an amazing part of your homeschool learning adventure and that’s ok, but maybe there’s a whole world of learning opportunities you’re missing out on. Check out some of our favorite screentime activities above and see what you think. Then, let me know what you think about incorporating screen time in the comments. I can’t wait to read about how you’re using screens to enhance your homeschool experience.