I first came in contact with an iPod Touch through my husband. He purchased one to play audio books while driving his truck quite a while ago. Honestly, I was not interested in it AT ALL. Sure, my kids listen to an audio book every day during quiet time, but we used a cd player for that, with a handy wire to connect daddy’s laptop where all the audio books are held. What would I do with an iPod? It turns out, quite a lot!
I have many hundred PDF ebooks on my computer both for myself and for homeschool. I come across more free PDF resources on a near daily basis and hate being tied to the computer to read them. My other option was to print them, but that can get expensive as well.
I started looking into ebook readers as a possible solution, a portable device that I could take to the couch or the back yard and snuggle up with kids to read. I found they do not show any pictures in a PDF, a total waste! We use many ebooks where the pictures are integral to the file, such as the Wanna Be series we’ve used for our firefighter and police unit studies.
Back to square one, my husband and I began researching iPod apps (applications) that read PDF files. We came upon PDF Reader Pro for less than $3.00. After communicating with the company we learned their app shows the pictures in a PDF file just like I see it on my computer screen. We bought the app for my husband’s iPod and I tried it out for a while. It was just right. I bought my very own iPod Touch shortly after that.
The iPod is lightweight and portable, it has a zoom feature to enlarge the screen as needed, and it could also hold:
- audio books
- access the internet with our wireless network
- provide learning games (see our newest ones here)
- the scriptures were even available in another app!
Remember, I’m not too technically inclined, so I am sure there are more uses I have yet to discover.
It is now a few months later. In the last month we have done all of the following with my iPod:
- Read PDFs like our Download N Go units, WeEbooks, and other PDFs like public domain books from Google Books - free!
- Listened to audio books - check out Librovox for free audio, my library also offers free audio book downloads for iPods.
- Listened to homeschool talks while grocery shopping alone - Andrew Pudewa from Institute for Excellence in Writing is who I’ve been listening to recently.
- Listened to Schoolhouse Rock songs while traveling to the city with the kids.
- Read the scriptures.
- Wrote notes of things I did not want to forget.
- Checked my email.
- Let the kids do math, matching, shapes, puzzles, and more.
- Read and listened to classics such as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Call of the Wild.
The best part is none of that was done with my family huddled around a computer to listen, look, or play. We can snuggle on the couch, on someone’s bed, or simply redeem those wasted minutes driving places, waiting in line, or sitting in waiting rooms.
What do you want to know about using an iPod Touch for homeschool? Do you have any questions for me? I would also love to hear your favorite places online to find free ebooks or audio books!