I have listed below 7 benefits of homeschooling with netbooks.
The desktop computer that my children had been using for schoolwork recently died. Instead of replacing the computer, we decided to get a pair of Netbooks, one for each of the older kids.
I expected the Netbooks to replace the computer, but they've done so much more than that. I'm beginning to wonder why we didn't get Netbooks for homeschooling long before now.
1. The kids are learning more about computers. Since the computers belong to each of my kids, they have both taken an intense interest in learning about them. Taking advantage of this interest, my husband required both children to look through the owner's manual for the computers before they messed around with them. After they read the manuals, they quickly learned their way around the system, changing preferences as desired, and customizing their Netbooks to match their personalities.
Of course, since the computers are PCs, the kids have also had to learn about computer viruses and how to avoid them. This is, unfortunately, a much-needed skill.
2. They are writing more — a whole lot more. Since the computers are portable, both kids have been writing a lot more than previously. They're on their computers a lot, but 95% of that time they spend writing on their stories.
My son has been churning out over 3,000 words a day on his Netbook! This would never have happened with our old desktop computer. He had already fallen in love with writing prior to getting the Netbook, but he wasn't writing on a regular basis. Getting the Netbook made writing so much easier for him; it has been a huge boost to his writing habit.
3. Schoolwork on the computer can be done in the car. Jerah uses the computer-based math program Teaching Textbooks, and she's been known to do her lesson in the car on the way to our various out-of-the-house activities. Talk about convenient. Next year we will be adding two other courses that are computer-based, so the Netbooks will come in especially handy then.
4. We have internet access on the couch. We do a lot of our schoolwork on the couch, so when we're reading science or history, and we run across something that we want more information about, the kids look it up on their Netbooks right there instead of us having to trudge to the other room to look it up on my desktop. The convenience is so nice.
For internet protection, we use K9 Web Protection. It allows us to set limits on the sites the kids can view as well as completely turn off access at certain times (such as after bedtime). We're also able to view the kids' browsing history.
5. They are learning responsibility. If the kids break their computers due to negligence, we won't replace them. As such, they are each learning to be more careful. They're having to think ahead about what might happen if they put their computers down in a certain place. So far we've had no major catastrophes.
6. Jaden is learning a little programming. He has a certain computer game he loves to play, and he has customized a mod for it on his own. He had to do some internet research to figure out how to do it, but he was successful.
7. There's no more arguing about whose turn it is on the computer. They can each do their schoolwork when they want to, without having to wait for the other person to get off.
I can't tell you how pleased I am with the Netbooks. Even thought they're not Macs (which would have been my preference), they have exceeded my expectations. Homeschooling has been made so much easier since having them.
The benefits of homeschooling with netbooks have made a tremendous difference in our childre and their homework.
NOTE: The actual Netbook model we purchased was the Asus Eee PC 1001P-M, with Windows 7 installed (better for virus protection). They were very reasonably priced. Buying two of them, along with an external DVD drive and two cases, was cheaper than replacing our desktop computer.