Today’s blog post comes to us from Dusty Hepler, a homeschool teacher and Versal fan.
As both a homeschooling mom of a decidedly techie child and the organizer of a growing homeschool co-op (roughly 120 students from 3-15 years old), my approach to education is shifting to keep pace with this new digital generation.
As my child matures, I’m looking to capture her imagination and engage her in pursuit of knowledge. The lesson content is important, as is the ability to teach her to love learning and how to seek understanding. Likewise, since I organize teachers and assemble classes for students of various interests and learning styles, I’m constantly experimenting with new learning methods and innovative tools.
Over the past four years, I have explored many styles of teaching: traditional textbooks, biography and “living” book courses, unschooling, computer-based programs, and everything in between. With the vast amount of resources available, organizing and compiling lessons is a bit overwhelming.
That’s when I discovered Versal. It appealed to me because of its adaptability, and how swiftly lessons could be assembled and implemented. Building the lessons myself creates a much higher degree of familiarity with the material, thereby enabling me to teach it with a stronger authority. Versal’s adaptability makes it a great platform for assembling engaging courses for larger groups and individual lessons for home use, in one location.
Lapbooks are popular among homeschooling families, but they are time consuming and can be difficult to create and assemble all the components. Versal allows parents and instructors to make online “lapbooks” with widgets that produce interactive vocabulary practice, picture labeling quizzes, even 3D renderings and so much more . These interactive exercises are not only appealing to younger children, but are exciting for students in upper grade levels as well. Lessons can be augmented with videos, pictures, links and text organized into categories and subcategories so students can easily jump back-and-forth between lessons and sections
I also love that I can organize multiple lessons for classes within our co-op community and our home simultaneously. I’ll compile online materials, including videos, quizzes, interactive activities and site external resources in one (or more) courses and cover both unit topics that interest my child plus for our group classes. I also love learning and have found that it is a great personal resource for organizing my thoughts and research on topics that interest me – from tips and tricks, to health information, even recipes.
For older homeschooling student’s, I’ve found that Versal offers me another way to explore project-based learning. For example, I can invite them as collaborators to a course, and from there they can create mini lessons, as opposed to writing tedious essays. By giving students the opportunity to assemble and present information to a teacher or group of peers, they dig deeper and develop a broader level of connection and comprehension.
Our homeschool community is an integral part of our educational system. The opportunity to share lessons with other homeschooling moms will empower us to work collectively and assemble a library of subjects with interactive lessons. Versal allows me to organize and create appealing lessons quickly. There’s no better way to create a number of engaging lessons in a crunch!