What do Google products offer homeschool families, in particular?
As I have taught online classes, I have become aware of the free online tools available for homeschool families. Though many apps, like the Google Suite, were designed with organizations and full time schools and districts in mind, they ARE available and quite usable, even if you are homeschooling 1-2 students.
How can Google be useful with a small amount of students?
Assuming you are not unschooling — even if you have 1 learner — don’t you need to still lesson plan? Google Sheets is a great tool to lay out each week of the year, and what curriculum and/or classes your student will engage with each week. Personally, I felt my head was better organized when I could lay out our year, and see everything. Some of our work was up in the air, and may have been question marks, and Google Sheets is a great way to put these ideas in a place, so they are not knocking around in your head. It’s possible to color code cells and make things jump out that you’d like to highlight or come back to.
My student has used Google Docs in a class or two, but it seems so different from Office. How does it work?
The short response to this question — it IS different, but once you learn about the quirks, you can quickly turn Docs to your advantage and be able to do many things, like adding photos from Google Images, much more easily! I remember the early days working with Docs, and text and images were jumping around between different pages, and sometimes I could not even find my files. In the workshop, this is something we explore – how it’s different – but then how to make good use of some of these features and how to collaborate, etc. I must say, I am a convert to Google Docs, and I’d love to show you more about how it works!
Are my files stored in the cloud? Can others see them? How does “sharing” and the Google Drive work?
There are so many questions! Google is actually very good at safeguarding your files. In the workshop, I’ll show you where your files are, and how you can create folders, etc. The fortunate fact: Most people have Gmail and a Google account, so you can share photos, PDFs, other files with people, seemlessly and privately, without downloading to your computer and weighing down your storage on your hard drive. Once you learn how, you can go from your phone, to your iPad, to your computer, and access all the same content in your Google Drive.
As you can see, there is so much to address, and so much I’d like to introduce homeschool families to. One of the best ways I can think of to make this introduction is to offer a 4-week class; learning things slowly, in a small group setting. No doubt you have very specific questions. In a small group — you’ll get your answers (or I’ll look it up and learn something too!).
Here is what one parent had to say about the pilot workshop in spring of 2023:
“In my class with Christine Echeverri we embarked upon a tour of Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Classroom, Google Slides, and even Zoom. I had been navigating these platforms with scant knowledge, and her tips, tricks, and shortcuts have made a huge difference; I am on my way to becoming Google literate! Surprisingly, I am finding these platforms so much more usable, useful, and even enjoyable. I highly recommend this class!”Anna Montgomery, homeschool mom
Don’t wait too long!
Instructor: Christine Echeverri
Course: 4 weeks; October 18 – November 7
Date and time: Wednesdays at 1PM* (60 minutes)
*And if you are interested, but can’t make the date and time listed, let me know because we may be able to find an alternate time that works for all families!