Can’t Find Moby Dick? Just Follow The Smell…

When I describe our style of homeschooling to people, I often get that “oh, yes, you are a Moonie, how wonderful for you” look.  I think it’s actually a pretty accurate comparison, though.  In general, people know little to nothing about the beliefs, practices, and mission of the Unification Church, and so they associate it with the few stereotypical images they have filed away in their psyche.  Trying to get someone to understand what it means to be a techie homeschooling family is actually not so dissimilar.  Who knows…perhaps pictures of kids wired together in front of a mainframe in someone’s bomb shelter first come to mind???

Anyway, for us, being a technology-friendly homeschool entails lots of electricity, lots of hand-eye coordination, and usually lots of fun.  Both Uber-Techie and Hyper-Techie take most of their classes online.  Uber, an eighth grader,  is involved in a 3-D Virtual School called 3-D Learn, where his personal avatar represents him in classes, and interacts with his other schoolmates’ avatars.  (Who says homeschoolers aren’t socialized??)  His assignments are completed and uploaded to his school daily, and many projects are done using 3-D building techniques.  It’s sorta like high school drafting class, minus the T-squares and protractors, oh, and maybe the smell of that kid’s tuna fish ripening in his backpack…yep, there are some things about high school you just never quite get over.

H-T, in sixth grade, also takes both math and language arts online, through Time4Learning.  H-T has dyslexia, and T4L is designed in such a way that the lessons can be read aloud to you if you want them to be.  H-T generally does NOT want them to be, but I like the idea that the option is there if he so chooses.  In my day, having my school lessons read to me would have been comparable to sitting next to the classroom radiator with Yanni blaring through the PA system, so I sort of get how he could balk at the thought. 

In addition to taking classes online, we integrate technology into many other parts of our homeschool day.  We use a portable keyboard called The Writer for keyboarding lessons, and daily journaling.  I also supplement most of H-T’s science and geography lessons with online educational videos from United Streaming.  We Tivo CNN student news each day, as well as other educational programs that we use as springboards for discussions.  We have an Interactive Globe that downloads world facts and news, and plugs in the facts into a fun geography game format.  We use spelling, geography, math, and even handwriting software at various points in our day, as well. 

The only non-techie thing in our homeschool?  Books.  I know…I know.  Nowadays books can be downloaded, added into portable readers, and accessed in virtual libraries.  Reading an actual spine-bound manuscript is somewhat traditional and conventional.  Olde worlde…right up there with the thee’s and thou’s.  Passe.  Archaic. Out-dated.  Moth-eaten.  Last season’s Top Model.  I know!  But have you ever just put your nose right in the open fold between the freshly published leaves of a good book?  There is absolutely NOTHING like it.  No sensory experience can equal it. Not even that nice dinging sound my Tivo makes when I obey it. 

So sue us.  The Topsy Turf will always have a book or two lying around.  Usually under the portable DVD player.


5 Responses

  1. Great post! Your comparison to last season’s top model is just classic and funny. One suggestion for you and maybe keep this between us so I don’t look dumb, but what is a Moonie? You might need to explain that one.

  2. I really like how detailed you got with your curriculum and activities….. I love reading other people’s blog posts about homeschooling. It gives me ideas on what we can add to our program! The only thing I’m curious about it how old are your kids?

    I love regular books, and I actually prefer them…. I’ve purchased a few electronic books, but I just don’t enjoy them as much as the regular ones.

  3. Moth-Eaten! Haha! Loved that whole paragraoh about books, as well as your description of your techie homeschool methods. Good stuff :o)

  4. Ya know that feeling you get when the cashier calls you “ma’am” for the first time? Yep. That one. Well, it hit me again today. I conveniently forgot I was ancient, and that not everyone would know about the Moonies. The name “Moonies” was somewhat of a derogatory name given to members of the Unification Church, followers of Sun Myung Moon, who became stereotyped as folks who sold flowers on street corners and in airports in the 70’s and 80’s.

  5. I just have to tell you that your blog is one that I check daily. The posts are always SO funny and I love reading them. My family is so similar, I just sit and nod throughout all of your posts, lol. We also use T4L for my 3rd grader and we spend WAY to much with computers and gadgets (most women want and get jewelry for Valentines day, well I wanted and got an iPhone, lol) yet we still have enough books in our home to open a store that would rival Borders! :o) As usual, great job!!

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