Thursday, June 29, 2006

Homeschooling and Education Podcasts

I wish there were more podcasts about homeschooling. I’d also enjoy hearing some on education in general and also on education reform.

If I had the time I’d look into starting my own podcasts. I don’t have the time.

I don’t quite know what is involved with podcasting. I have heard some people say that it is so hard, you have to spend a lot of money, etc. But I have also heard that it is so easy and so inexpensive to do that teenagers are doing podcasts with their random thoughts just for the fun of it.

I used to love to listen to the podcasts on HomeSchoolTalkRadio. However they have not issued one of their free talk radio shows for a number of months now. I don’t know what is going on. I checked their site last week and there was no explanation given for the lapse. I hope they resume broadcasting soon. Go here to listen to archived radio shows.

I also enjoyed listening to Homeschool Habitat. There has not been a new release since November 2005. Go here to listen to past recordings.

Last night while doing book sorting and organizing in our library I listened to more podcasts from Education 911. These are recorded by a long-time teacher and they are about the call for education reform. The host talks of problems in the public school system. Go here to find the list of archived podcasts.

Last night I found short podcasts by David and Shirley Quine under the podcast name “Homeschool Helps”. They are a married couple who have homeschooled their seven children, six of whom are finished with homeschool high school at this point. They are Christian. These seem to be a combination of home recording spliced in with recordings from homeschooling conferences. Go here if you want to listen to one of the many recordings they have made.

Listening to these podcasts is just like listening to a lecture at a conferene, but these are free and done in the privacy of your own home.

Technorati Tags: homeschooling, , , .


Henry Cate said...

When do you listen to podcasts? Podcasts seem less efficent to me. I can read, or skim, a blog entry much faster than a podcast. Do you listen while doing some other activity?

christinemm said...

This week I was listening to them while going through books in our library. I was straightening the shelves and culling out homeschooling books and curriculum that we are done with, to get rid of it. I also am sorting through boxes of books that I've purchased at library sales in the last 9 months or so. Lastly, I have been logging book data into an Excel spreadsheet to help keep track of what I own and what I paid, which helps me to not buy duplicates and to know what to price it when I resell it. As of this week after doing data entry, which I find mindless and very boring, so I need to listen to something...I am almost at 4800 books. I have been working on that spreadsheet since 2003 so this is not a brand new project. :)

I find listening to lectures on education or homeschooling quite different than reading blogs. For one thing there are a segment of people who don't like to write or won't keep a blog but those people are podcasting.

Oh, sometimes my husband will download MP3 files for me to a cheap-o MP3 player I have and I listen while cleaning the house, another mundane task that I hate to do as it is 'not fun for me' and I get lonely while doing it.

I also love listening to tapes of HS or education reform lectures. I do that while cleaning the kitchen, the major cleaning, cleaning up after meals or while doing baking or cooking, especially on 'marathon cooking' days. There is a lot of wisdom shared by those who are willing to speak at HS conferences but never will write a book or blog or make a podcast of the same material that they gave a lecture on at a HS conference.

Mr. Stevens said...


I have found that listening to podcasts is a great way to gain the insight of other people interested in similar topics. I currently subscribe to a variety of topics ranging from elementary teachers, college professors, tri-athletes and politicians. As a teacher, I try to instill in my students that no one person has the answer and it is important to use a variety of sources.

As an educator I feel that podcasting is a great way to motivate students. My classes created wiki textbooks using Wikispaces and added short podcasts where the student’s lectured briefly on the topics they researched. We know that teaching is one of the best ways to learn and we often have students present such projects to the class. I used the time that we would have spent in observing class presentations to create the podcasts and then I allowed my student the opportunity to listen to the podcast on their own time. Most of them were more excited to listen to their friends in other class rather than those they share ideas with in class on a daily basis.

Regarding the difficulty in creating a podcast, I actually wrote a rather detailed step by step guide on this process. My post takes you from start to finish. As with any new activity, podcasting does take a bit of time for your first podcast. However, once through this process podcasting is an easy activity to manipulate. I gave my students less information than my post contains and they were able to complete this task with little difficulty. Check out my post and let me know if it is helpful.

Kyle Stevens