Online learning or no online learning?

We have always been a very limited screen time family. We limit TV to ‘movie night’ on a Friday (and of course for when we just cannot cope anymore!) and none of the children have access to phone or IPads at home.

So… as homeschoolers, what are we goi g to do about Learning Technology and it’s place in our ‘classroom’?

The first thing to say is that the car we bought to tow the caravan cane with a DVD player! I know! The irony!

We decided that despite our views on too much TV we would use the DVD player on ‘travel days’

At this point I should say that our travel plans are, at the moment, based around:

1 day travel (maximum 500km)

3 nights in a campsite


This is to help everyone enjoy the camping as well as maki g sure we make progress on our journey South.

So, 500km at between 50km and 90 km an hour, can take anywhere from 6hrs

That is a long time in the car for a 6yo, 4yo and 22m old.

The DVD player was a lucky addition 🙂

Already, two weeks in, the kids have become obsessed with the TV though. Even Felicity is chanting ‘pig’ when she gets strapped into her car seat (referring to Peppa Pig Which we have on DVD).


Where they used to play, draw, role-play and day dream they now demand TV and we all have an argument 😦

Yet…. there are still hours in the car ahead of us…

Given all of this, do we want to introduce another screen?


The girls get ‘addicted’ very quickly when they are shown videos or photos in people’s phone and iPads.

Once you start it is difficult to stop.

The iPads may start as learning tools but it is a slippery slope and the thin end of the wedge.

We only have one ‘kids’ iPad , the other is my IPad Pro


There are some great learning resources online

There are many times when it would benefit us if one child was working independently so we could help the other child.

The kids are interested and motivated to work in the iPad

Following g our research, We have decided to:

  • Use iPads for 20-30minutes a day
  • Use two pieces of software that can compliment our home schooling
  • Have only one child on the iPad at a time so that the other child can get personalized attention
  • Ensure that we have ‘eyes on’ what is on the iPad
  • Only use the two programmes we have agreed to in the first instance.

The two programs we have subscribed to are:

– Nessy (reading and spelling)

– Mathletics (maths)

Our decisions were based on:

  • Freya’s dyslexia tendencies (and Nick being dyslexic)
  • Not wanting to teach spelling ourselves discretely
  • Flossy learning phonics from scratch (Which neither of us has taught ourselves)
  • Research showing that repeated practice and rote learning of things like times tables and spelling are advantageous, but boring using traditional methods

We will let you know how we get on!

If you are interested in trying either program let us know and we can refer you as a friend so you get a discount 🙂

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