This page is very incomplete and is going to develop over time as I am better able to organize my thoughts and my practices. I am publishing this, prematurely for my own benefit. If you find value, that’s great but it is not complete, at all.
Often, in the home education model, there is an aversion to the usage of technology in order to keep things “simple”. While I can largely appreciate the idea if the “stick in the sand” methodology, with the pace of my life, I am just not able to do that with my time restrictions. Everything I do must be very deliberate.
These are some tools I have put together as a recommendation for using technology to aid in the efficiency of educating in the home. Everything here is going to be bent to utilizing openSUSE over any other operating system but I will try to add other references as well.
Home Education Command Center
Work in progress, moving the ad hoc collection of things from the refrigerator and the dining room into one consolidated area. The idea here is I want to be able to consolidate much of the school activities to one area for focus and to minimize impact on the rest of the house, most notably the dining room.
The idea here is, on a per-week basis, have all the materials covered will be in this one location. Several of the items are quite arbitrary, most notably, the handwriting and STEM portion. Those may or may not disappear from the board or shift locations depending on how I decide to proceed. The weekly tracker of how I reward my kids for their activities also, might not stay here. There are still many sustainability questions to be answered but what I do know is that how I am currently conducting home education activities is too painful.
I use openSUSE Linux but there are other operating systems may work too as it is all free and open source software.
There are several videos that I pull from YouTube so that I can play from a local media player. I do not want to be dependent on any Internet services in order to make my home education possible. I should be able to go anywhere with a minimal setup and my technology will still work.
As part of my need to be able to operate without the internet, I use Syncthing for much of my internal network file synchronization strategy.
Although there are many great media players, VLC happens to be my favorite to use. I do appreciate the ability to make and save playlists and seeing that it is very easy to do, I call it a win.
I have everything broken down into weeks of what it is I am doing. These folders are synchronized between multiple machines using Syncthing so that I do not have to use my primary system to assist with the memory work and other visual aids.
I like to have good structure with my home education activities. There are days the schedule is not followed but having it as expected helps to keep the kids, as well a me, on track.
I am not going to pretend that my method of time management is the best, at all, but if you would like to use it as a template feel free to download and modify it for your own usage
Adding some sort of E-ink display to the command center would be spectacular. One such candidate can be found here but is out of my price range. I am thinking of somehow incorporating a defunct laptop screen into the board but I have to work out the execution piece of it yet.
I am continually looking at ways to improve the efficiency of educating in the home while also making effort to keep it simple enough to continue to operate if there are technical difficulties.
Feel free to contact me with any questions, criticisms or suggestions.