The life of a homeschool mom has lot of upside. But it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t sit in our pajamas all day eating bon bons. Well, the pajamas are true, but the bon bons certainly aren’t. We don’t always have time to run to the store, sometimes we forget to plan out our meals, and our get togethers with our friends include our kids or we must plan our get togethers around our husband’s work schedule. Which is fine by me, we prefer it this way- however there are others who do not. We are blessed, but busy & sometimes life gets in the way as we try to stay focused on teaching our kids and maintaining the upkeep of our home.
Amazon provides me with resources that make my homeschool easier to teach and manage. Although they have amazing features and services such as Subscribe and Save, Pantry and Prime Video. However, they also have amazing products like The Amazon Echo.
What is it?
The Echo is sort of like Siri, but on steroids. It’s a device that you can place anywhere in your house and it looks like a speaker. It constantly listens for a “wake word” (which you can set as anything). When you say the “wake word” you can ask the device (also named Alexa) to do many different things, like giving you the weather or playing music.
Why is it beneficial in my homeschool?
I can place the Echo anywhere in the house, but I love having it in the school room. During lessons, I (or the kids!) may have a question or desire more information about a certain topic that may not be included in our research material. All they have to say is, “Hey Alexa, give me some more information about the constitution” and ta-da! Alexa spouts off detailed information about the constitution. You can do this with any subject and there’s more than just informational articles she can pull up.
Want to listen to a podcast or a song? Just ask and she’ll search her database and play it in a matter of seconds.
Another thing that I love about using the Alexa, is the ability to be able to use my own music too! It is very easy to play my own music from itunes by using Amazon Music for PC! Which means we can even use our Echo to play our Classical Conversations CDs!!!
Hungry for lunch time or dinner when you just don’t want to cook? Alexa can even order you a pizza! Now isn’t that awesome?!
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Not only can you ask Alexa to perform tasks like ordering a pizza and providing information, but there is more! You can also request Alexa perform “Alexa Skills.” There are literally thousands of things you can have her do, some of which are really awesome for kids! Here are some of my favorites:
- Read bedtime stories. Ask Alexa to “open the magic door” and she opens an interactive story telling experience which puts a whole new twist on bedtime stories!
- Spelling Bees. Yep, you can host your very own spelling bee with this skill! Alexa will listen and tell you if you are right or wrong!
- Research. Wondering about one of your favorite superheroes? Alexa will help teach you things you didn’t even know about them and many other topics!
- Dinosaur Facts. I bet this has evolution wrapped up in it, but it’s still really cool! Don’t forget to check out Dinosaur Gifts & then my Dinosaur Study Guide HERE****************.
- The State Capital quiz. If you are taking part in Classical Conversations Cycle 3, this would be an AMAZING tool!
We do need to take into consideration that the Echo is connected to the internet. And, just like with any internet connected device, there are certain things that we need to do as parents to keep our kids safe.
A great way to lock down the Echo (and any other computer or phone in your house) is by using Disney’s Circle. You can read our full review of it here, but the Circle is a great device that watches your kids’ internet moves, set specific times of the day or night when they can no longer access the internet, blocks websites and content you don’t want them seeing.
To prevent your kids raking up huge purchases, I recommend requiring a pin when using the Echo to shop. It also adds a second layer of security to your cart for peace of mind.
Some more of my Amazon favorites:
If you followed me for Amazon Prime Day, you’ll know that I love using Amazon on my home. It is just so convenient for our lifestyle, and honestly, they have great customer service! Here are a few other favorite items I love from Amazon!
Amazon Video is a huge feature that we use constantly. It’s another resource for the kids to watch a video on a topic that helps them learn by seeing it in action.
Subscribe and Save is another amazing feature. No more trying to remember to order school supplies or even every day supplies like toilet paper or dog food! All I have to do is set up my subscription, pick how often I want the product delivered and it shows up at my door.
Plus, the tons and tons of curriculum and resources you can get on Amazon pays is simply amazing!
There are so many things out there that you can use to make your homeschool simpler. Comment below and let me know what the name your favorite resource/tool is!