Homeschooling is challenging for any parent. For those who are suddenly trying for the first time due to COVID-19, it’s even more difficult to figure out what to do. Luckily, homeschooling with Amazon Alexa might help you out.
While you should set some ground rules so your kids don’t just play with Alexa all day, encourage them to use the virtual assistant in productive, educational ways. As they get the hang of it, you’ll discover Alexa is an invaluable teaching tool to complement your current curriculum.
Use Amazon Alexa to aid in any vocabulary classes. Kids can ask how to spell a word or find out the definition of a new word. This is especially ideal if they’re reading and don’t know the meaning of a particular word. If you want to get more advanced, Alexa can even give you the Greek or Latin root for a word with the Learn Greek & Latin Root Words skill. Test your kids spelling with the Spelling Bee and Spelling Game by Magoosh skills. Older kids might benefit from using SAT Word of the Day as well.
Research for Any Topic
Are your kids constantly asking questions and wanting to know more? Do you want them to learn how to research topics and write detailed reports? All they have to do is know the right questions to ask. Whenever they have a question, they can ask Alexa to give them more details. Obviously, you’ll want to keep Alexa off during quizzes and tests. However, kids can go far beyond textbooks, especially on topics they’re particularly interested in.
Listen to Audiobooks
Homeschooling with Amazon Alexa is fun when you use Alexa to read to your kids. Take a break to fix lunch while your kids listen to a few chapters. Audiobooks help you save space, and you can teach your kids to take notes. Consider giving them quizzes to see how much they’re learning. The best part is there are plenty of free audiobooks to use with Alexa. And yes, those free audiobooks are legal.
Some kids love math and others hate it. It’s a good thing they can get a little help and encouragement from Alexa. Kids can simply ask Alexa how to perform certain math operations if they get stuck. This is good for teaching new concepts and helping them practice. Give them some practice problems to use without Alexa to ensure they’re getting it.
Of course, Amazon has several great skills to help kids practice and have fun with math, including:
- The Queen’s Mathematician – A math game to make math more fun.
- Amazon Math – Get practice problems by grade and skill level.
- Math Facts – Practice basic operations.
- 1-2-3 Math – Math in trivia form for elementary students.
Get kids interested in history by letting Alexa help. Encourage them to ask creative questions, such as “which presidents owned cats.” If you’re looking for a quick history lesson, This Day In History gives kids and their parents insight into historic facts. Consider challenging kids to play a history game with the companion skill Ultimate History Quiz. Kids learn new facts even if they don’t get the questions right.
Games are always a great learning tool. This is especially true if you have multiple kids who can play together. Homeschooling with Amazon Alexa turns into a game when you test your kids with various trivia games. The best part is they can write down questions on topics they want to learn more about. While competing, they learn new facts, and you get ideas for more engaging lessons.
While you’ll still want to use pictures to teach geography, use Amazon Alexa to engage your kids even more. The National Geographic Geography Quiz provides six new questions daily. Use them to teach mini-lessons around each question. Kids can also ask random questions, such as “what is the most populated country in the Middle East.“
Other Useful Tools
In addition to all of the above, there are a few more things you can do when homeschooling with Amazon Alexa. A popular skill to teach a variety of topics is Curiosity, which offers multiple facts/lessons each day. You can also use Alexa to help your kids learn a new language with Daily Dose.
Since you don’t want your kids using Alexa without your permission or doing things they shouldn’t, you might want to consider using Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited subscription, which starts at $2.99 per month. It includes parental controls, which are also on kid-friendly Alexa devices, access to special kid-friendly content, and access to premium kids’ skills.
The most important thing is to just have fun and use Alexa to make homeschooling more engaging and maybe even give you a few breaks throughout the day.
Image credit: Homeschooling
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