Electronics Galore! Using Video and Computer Games for Learning

We started our morning off by watching this fun YouTube video about the United States and the capitals.  The boys were more impressed with all the drawings.  They just loved it.

I had been thinking about a fun day after all of yesterday's math angst and offered to try Khan Academy with them again. We've tried this website before after hearing so many positive things about it from other homeschoolers.

The boys thought it was OK but it never really clicked with them.  The questions range in difficulty from super easy to super hard and I found they wanted my constant attention when they were using it.  With only one computer that made math last a really long time.  Knowing we had no where to go today I offered to sit, listen and help out when needed.

 I had no idea we'd end up covering almost every subject using technology today!

Evan wanted nothing to do with Khan Academy after the first two questions so after I got Ian settled at the computer and working well on his own, Alec, Evan and I played a math Bingo game.  We had this one from Leap Frog that we got many years ago and never seem to find time to play.

As soon as Ian was done I set up Alec on his account and helped him for a bit too.  He tends to be a more independent and he doesn't get as frustrated as quickly so I felt confident leaving the room after he had completed a few tasks.  He went from 11% mastery of 3rd grade concepts to 35% in under 20 minutes.

Perhaps we need to do this more often!  Ian was surprised to have gotten 99% of his problems correct and I assured him that he's great at math.

Even my husband was surprised to hear that we had such a bad day with math yesterday.  His exact words allude me but it was something to the effect of "Ian? Ian thinks he's bad at math? Reading or writing I could understand but math??!"  When I told Ian that today (leaving out the part about reading and writing; not wanting to discourage him in those areas either!) he beamed.  He kept telling me "I don't understand why you and dad and even my old teachers all said I was good at math because I never feel like I am.... but maybe I am!"

He grabbed out the protractor to help with problems dealing
with angles.  Smart thinking! 

Fun with basic addition 


Ian completed a page in his spelling workbook while Alec wanted to play Hang Mouse on Spelling City.  I took a few minutes to enter his spelling words into the program and he happily spent an hour playing Hang Mouse practicing all of his spelling words.

Ian watched Alec for a bit when he was done with his words and asked if I could get the game up and running on our backup computer.  He wanted to use the same words Alec was using so I quickly logged him on and he too worked on Hang Mouse trying to beat Alec's time.

He was faster but Alec had 100% accuracy while Ian was OK with guessing and getting some wrong.

Evan saw his two older brothers playing video games for learning and asked if he could play something on his Kindle.  He had planned to play Word Monkey but we ended up playing Cimo Spelling.  I sat with him and sounded out each word with him slowly so he could put the letters in the right order.  We did 10 kindergarten sight words and 9 first grade sight words.

MORE math:
He then asked if he could play Dragon Box 2 for a bit.  It's a fun algebra based game that the boys just love.  I let him play for a while until he got bored.

He was flipping through his app icons to find something else to play when I spotted Kids Measure.  I asked him if he had ever tried that game; it was a fairly new one I had downloaded.  Neither one of us knew what it was about so we decided to give it a try.

 He practiced measuring the length of various objects using a tape measure on the screen and when it awarded him a medal for getting them completed he accidentally clicked on money.  We then spent some time counting coins to various denominations to buy things like shells, pencils, and feathers.  He did awesome!

Arts and Crafts:

 Alec had bought himself a sand art kit at the craft store last week and decided to work with that.  We set up a tray to catch the sand and he asked to use some of the sand we had on hand already since the colors were different in his kit.  

He was excited to see a long skewer included in the kit and remembered watching the girl using them to make lines and mountains in some of the YouTube videos we watched on sand art.

Using his new tool

His completed works 
Language Arts and Reading:

Alec downloaded a book or two onto his Kindle and went to read those.  They each have a few books, games and a list of things that they can play on the computer or their Kindles to count towards our school day.

I really am trying to embrace a wide variety of learning materials for the boys and knew I had to include computer and video games.


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