3, 2, 1… Blast Off

Retro_eblast_Flyer

A flyer for Ayars Animation’s newest app, written by my oldest daughter and illustrated by my husband!

One of the many benefits of homeschooling, is learning your child’s strengths and teaching them how to use them. It is always a pleasure to help my children discover their gifts and how to implement them in daily life.

My oldest daughter has the gift of words. She can tell a story so beautifully, setting the stage and creating a mood. For quite a long time now, her goal has been to become a writer.

My husband illustrates children’s book apps for Ayars Animation and often gets the task of writing the stories for them as well. On his latest app, “T” was pulled in to help out. She lent her gift and helped him create a simple app that focuses on teaching preschoolers all about numbers.

While the app was written and illustrated back in May, the animation was only recently completed. I am very proud to announce that their app is now available on iTunes! (If you happen to be on iTunes today, you can download the app for free! But hurry, that offer ends today.)

I am very proud of her. Not because it is on sale, not because people will buy the app (although I hope they do); I am proud because she had a goal and she stuck with it. She knew what she wanted and she made it work.

She very diligently completed the task given to her, taking into account what other people thought. She wrote, revised, and finished. She can now proudly say that she has accomplished at least one part of her goal… she is now published.

While it may seem like only a small goal and very few people may actually purchase it, it is special for her.

With this project under her belt, she is now trying to focus her attention on a more complex project. (Writing this little app was fun, but very simple.) Her ultimate goal being to write a children’s book and have her father illustrate it.

I truly believe that our methods of homeschooling have afforded her the time, ability, and drive to reach these goals. It is very exciting to see the possibilities.

What gifts do you see in your children and how are you helping them to reach their goals?

An Apple a Day

Little Man PlayingAs I mentioned in a previous post, media is limited in our home. Our children are only allowed TV and “free play” on devices from Friday evening until Sunday evening. Even then, they are limited to how much time they get. At times, it can become a little hard to uphold these rules; especially when we develop mobile apps.

My husband is part of Ayars Animation, a small company based in California that develops apps for Apple mobile devices. To date, they have completed four apps and are working on a fifth. Their first app was the classic story, Jack and the Beanstalk.iPod

Working with Ayars Animation has been loads of fun for him. He was mainly hired to handle the illustrations for the apps, but it has become much more. Now, he has become instrumental in helping to develop future apps and the fine tuning of details.

The Tree I SeeOne side effect of developing these apps has been that we are constantly testing them out. Our children are often called upon to check for “bugs” and crashes. While the kids have a blast with helping out their pop, they are taking in a little more media than we often would allow.

It also means that they are being exposed to the world of Apple. Our children know their way around any Apple device that is placed in their hands and can sync any handheld with a desktop. They know iTunes like the back of their hands and, unfortunately, are up to date on the latest and greatest kid apps available. Pirate Puzzles

We now have a large assortment of learning apps, strategy apps, game apps, and book apps; our collection growing larger every day. The minute their friends get a new app, the kids are anxious to try it out.

Cozmo's Day OffAs it is the school year, I still refrain from allowing them to play with media during the week. However, testing does need to be done. We are trying to find a balance between the two; helping out Pop and yet not have media overkill. It isn’t always easy, but we are learning as we go.

However… It is Sunday and the house is filled with the sound of technology. Now, can someone tell me how I am supposed to get the Angry Birds theme song out of my head?