Do you need Apple’s $99 unlimited support?

I made two investments in homeschooling this week.

First, I bought Rosetta Stone Hebrew. I am worried that Hebrew is too hard for me to teach the kids. I’ve had two years of college Hebrew. I’ve also had five years of get-ready-for-bar-mitzvah-Hebrew that really add up to about one month of college Hebrew. I think this means I know enough to know that I’m going to have to ship the kids off to a kibbutz for a summer if I really want them to learn Hebrew. But I have to start somewhere. And, anyway, how do kids who live 100 miles from the closest Jew learn enough Hebrew to get bar mitzvahed?

The other purchase I made was a $99 all-you-can-learn pass at the Apple store. I thought maybe they can pick up the slack for me in the tech department even though some dad on The Pioneer Woman was railing against parents like me who can’t take personal responsibility for dealing with homeschool technology. But look, I’m an Internet entrepreneur and I can’t cope with the homeschool tech, so how can anyone else?

So I thought maybe Apple could start by teaching my kid how to get photos from my iPhone onto his blog. I keep thinking that if he could do this I could send everyone to his blog and everyone would think I’m such a great homeschool mom.

But he missed the Apple class because I put it in the wrong spot in our spanking new homeschool calendar on Gmail. And then I think that if I can’t handle the Gmail calendar, who will install the Rosetta Stone software?

We get to the Apple store for our next appointment. My son is blown away by the huge expensive screens at the Apple store (which may or may not be bigger than ours but are way way cleaner than ours). He wants to play his favorite games on the computer in the store.

The Apple person and my son sit at a computer together for an hour and look remarkably similar to the Playmobil Apple Store Playset. My son learns that Minecraft is something he accesses locally, on his own computer, and he learns that he could see a lot more of his favorite video channel if he downloaded the plug-in that Apple has downloaded.

He does not learn anything I asked the Apple store $99 guru to teach him. Because you can’t teach kids what they are not interested in.



7 replies
  1. MBL
    MBL says:

    Sooo, is checking out your son’s blog creepy and stalkerish? I looked it up over a year ago when you had posted enough info to find the farmer’s blog and your son’s. I thought about showing it to my daughter and maybe seeing if she wanted to comment because I thought he might like that, but it just felt too weird to.

    Just wondering out loud. . .

    Those playmobil exercise balls are hilarious.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Not stalkery, I don’t think.
      My standard for what is starkerish: the people who obsessively edit my Wikipedia page. They are constantly digging in my life for new things to add as footnotes.


  2. toastedtofu
    toastedtofu says:

    If you can’t do it, installing software is something you could get your housekeeper to do. Or you could get a game and watch how your son installs it, because the steps will be the same.

  3. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    Are your kids interested in learning Hebrew? It’s a serious question because it appears to me that ideally the kids determine the subject material in an unschooling environment. The question probably comes across as ludicrous since you and your sons are Jewish and learning Hebrew is mandatory for becoming bar mitzvahed. What I’m saying is there are things we need to learn in life (whether or not we think it’s superfluous or agree with it) in order to achieve a goal. How do you teach kids something they’re not interested in? You find a way to make that something interesting so they’ll pursue it on their own.

  4. nicole
    nicole says:

    sadly, wanting my kids (should i have any) to truly learn a language (arabic) of which their mother is not a native speaker is the reason i will not be able to homeschool (or unschool) them. is the goal with hebrew to learn just enough to get them bar mitzvah-ed?

    to get photos from my iphone to my blog, i just email them to myself, download them from the email, then upload them to the blog. is there a more efficient way? :)

  5. redrock
    redrock says:

    all (nearly) install the same way on an apple computer – so you can just find a program your kids really want to have and they will be able to do it for all the others. Several ways for the photos: either connect your camera to the computer and upload to itunes (which i personally find a pain), or the icloud, or use dropbox, which is a little program to download on your computer and phone, and also serves to safe your photos. Dopbox also has now an automatic photo download set up. And you can check out your photos everywhere you have access to the internet for example when traveling.

  6. karelys
    karelys says:

    I haven’t read that guy’s idea on why homeschooling parents should know the ins and outs of technology but to me that sounds like the idea that all stay at home moms should be chefs and Martha Stewart and crafty and super organize all in one.

    That’s way too much pressure.

    At some point, I imagine, parents choose homeschool/unschool not just because of what can be learned academically but what can be taught emotionally, and to make life choices. When you take out the chunk of time that it requires to get ready for school, commute there, be in school, get back, do homework, etc. You are left with a much smaller window of time to influence your kids.

    Not only that, many parents find themselves fighting back what the kids learn from other kids in school. Or the teachers. And so instead of spending quality time and teaching them something or moving forward they are trying to undo the damage that has been done or fighting with the kids.

    So if homeschool/unschool is a lot more than teaching English grammar, math, the use of technology, etc. why would anyone pretend like the parent has to be all these things just because they choose to homeschool? it’s too much pressure!

    And my post is already long so whatever, I was just thinking, if your kids went to school do you think they would actually get a big chunk of time to learn about technology and software? no!
    And if you are a send-your-kids-to-school kind of parent that has only basic understanding of certain software do you think that the kid will have the luxury to take extra curricular classes to get awesome at coding among all the music classes and sport activities?

    Doubt it. That said, I’ll probably be in the lookout for super talented people around us that can teach our kids the ins and outs of technology just because I never got the chance to become good at it myself.

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