miBook

miBook! Ok, before you think I’m just being selfish, this is a gadget that my hubby brought home for us. Just when I’m thinking that I’m starting to get a handle on all the different technology that’s out there, another one pops up that I’ve not heard of!

 

I’m pretty sure that this is not new in the gadget world. What exactly is a miBook anyway?? Well, this thing is a reader, much like a Kindle. However, this works with memory cards (purchased separately) that come pre-loaded with information about just about every subject you can think of. Not just pictures and information but also videos of how to do things such as make a pizza or how to install a light switch!

 

Ok, so from what I can tell, this is a gadget that must not have really taken. I went to their site and basically all you can do is e-mail someone about your player or fill out a form to get repairs or parts. What a shame! There is a little card that came with our player informing us of a miBook club where we are supposed to be able to get free and discounted titles.

 

My father-in-law actually gave us this gadget, which he bartered for, from the guy who owns the shop next to his. It came with several different titles. I’m thinking that we can still go online and find other titles that we can use for homeschool enrichment.

 

Anti-social Homeschoolers??

One of the main arguments homeschoolers hear against their choice is “They need to be socialized!” All homeschoolers know that this is a bunch of baloney! Ours are some of the best socialized kids in society. Even my kids who, due to our family sharing one vehicle, are at home pretty much 24/7 are better ‘socialized’ than most public school kids. How can I say that?? Well, technology of course!

Because of technology, my kids have friends that they chat with daily from different parts of the world. ManBoy has a friend from England who he plays with and Fashionista has a friend from Finland. They get to learn about each others culture while they are having fun playing games like MineCraft. Once Fashionista had a whole conversation with her friend from England about how we call frozen flavored ice on a stick, Popsicles. He informed her that they call them Lollipops. Interesting!

This is what we typically see on the screen when ManBoy is on the computer.

In case you are wondering, that is a split screen. He is playing MineCraft while at the same time chatting with friends. My kids are VERY aware not to share any personal info while chatting online. We also keep our computers in “public” area of the house so that mom and dad can keep tabs on what our kids are doing.

Paper Dragons

My youngest son, RoboBoy, has a passion for origami. He’s very good at it too. I did not teach him this craft. He found a book on our shelf one day and was intrigued by it so he decided to pursue it more. This is where technology comes in! He was able to find videos on Youtube which he followed and learned the basics of paper folding. Now he has several patterns that he can do from memory. He continues to learn origami from the internet and even has a couple of favorite designers.

This has been a wonderful activity for my son who is on the Autism Spectrum. It has opened doors for him to be more social with others. One day we were at the library and he had brought his origami kit with him. While we were there the kids from the local elementary school started streaming in for their ‘after school’ activities. Several of the boys came over to see what RoboBoy was making. Before we knew it, RoboBoy was teaching an impromptu origami class! His “students” were greatly impressed by his knowledge and appreciated his willingness to share with them. RoboBoy felt special and like he ‘fit in’ for maybe one of the first times in his young life.

 

Blogging Safety

I have talked before about how you kids/teens connect with others, you know facebook, email, texting and then there is blogging.  Today I want to bring up a few internet safety tips on blogging. These are not just safety tips for teens but adults also.

Names on blogs is a big safety issue. Some people use their own real names for themselves but not use their children’s names. Some people use nicknames for everyone. If you are under 18 it is safer to not use your real name.

Location of where you are. This is a safety issue in that if you share where your live and your name it makes it easier to find you.

Telling to many personal details. Details like your school or location of a local store. These can all be dangerous.

For me I only ever tell people the area that I live in. Not the town.

A great way to get better details on how to be safe is to take a blog writing course.

 

 

Extracurricular Activities for Kids in School

There are about 10 questions that people ask about homeschooling when they meet a homeschooler for the first time. The top question usually is “What about socialization?” but one of the other top questions is “What about extracurricular activities like sports, art, music or even drama?”

 

Let me say there is always private lessons for art and music. You can even add extra practice with art games and music games online. For sports there is usually a private options available, too. With Drama there is are a local theater available.

In my area there are homeschool groups that do all of the above. In the state of Florida you can duel enroll in public school also. This is when you only enroll in certain classes or extracurricular activities like sports, art, music and drama. You only come to school for those classes or activities.

I hope that answer the question of “What about extracurricular activities?”

You can even say this is a way to take care of that first question that everyone is so concerned about Socialization, too.