The notion of homeschooling conjures images of sitting around the kitchen table, texts and exercise books at the ready, like something straight out of Little House on the Prairie. In truth, that is about as outdated as picturing a school classroom where the teacher is covered in chalk dust and the desks all have pots of ink.
There is no getting around the fact that technology plays an immensely important part in every aspect of our day to day lives. Whether we are handling our finances, conducting business transactions or even just chatting with friends or doing the weekly shop, chances are, tech will play a major role.
It is only logical, then, that is also needs to form an important part of any homeschooling regime. Here, we look at some of the must-have technology that keep homeschooling relevant in the 21st century.
It’s a prerequisite and opens up a whole world of possibilities for your youngster, so don’t stint or assume they can “get by” using the home PC or borrowing your equipment. Today, you can buy a basic laptop for less than £200 from Tesco, or you can shop around and check the discount sites. Quite frankly, you’d be mad to try and manage without one.
We live in a paperless world now, right? Not really. Printing off that masterpiece project is the final part of the creative process, and you can also use the printer to produce some fantastic artwork. A simple inkjet is inexpensive, and if you shop online, you can get a range of printer toner and cartridges far cheaper than they will be at the high street shops or business supply stores.
Document sharing software
One of the downsides of going for a budget laptop is that it will not have much in the way of storage. But in this age of cloud-based everything, that’s really not a problem. An app like Dropbox is an ideal place to store documents, photos and just about anything else. It also means that those precious files will be safe even when the inevitable happens and a sugary drink gets spilled all over the keyboard. You’ll be pleased you opted for a cheap one!
It’s one of the oldest pieces of tech around, but it still has its place. Yes, of course there are calculator apps on laptops, tablets and smartphones, but having a desk calculator to hand is far more convenient and saves tabbing across to different windows. You can buy one for less than the price of a cup of coffee, so why not make life easy on everyone?
A set of headphones is an absolute essential. You’ll be using plenty of multimedia as part of homeschooling, and headphones keep your student focused and avoid disrupting the rest of the household. There are lots of different types out there, from the tiny ear bud variety to the full “Cyberman” effect. Which you choose is really down to personal preference and comfort, so make sure your student gets to try several out.