We have often shared things that we love and use on a daily basis. We’ve been sharing about our Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventures as we read through the Little House on the Prairie stories. (More lessons to come soon, I promise.) We’ve also done our share of ‘free schooling’ and schooling-on-the-fly lately as life can often times get very crazy at the drop of the hat.
You know we’ve had our own share of struggles with special needs, speech issues, and learning disabilities too. We’ve shared a lot of the great programs we use like ABC Mouse, Mystery Science, Kids Cook Real Food, and Character Concepts, plus many great resources like NotebookPages.com, Skill Trek, UnitStudy.com, Kiwi Co, Green Kid Crafts, and Positive Parenting Solutions that have really helped us out with our homeschooling journey.
One of our favorite resources lately has been our Google Home device that we received last year through a product testing opportunity. This thing is AMAZING! Not only has it helped to relieve some of my stressors as I have been able to integrate our Cozi calendar into the system, look up recipes in a pinch but it has also helped out in so many other ways.
Google is a talking encyclopedia!
Mr. Joey (7) asks approximately 31,252,374 questions a day! I may be on the low side of that estimate though… lol. Mr. Jacob (5) asks at least half that many questions too. This means my mind is constantly in a whirlwind trying to remember how many teeth a timber has or how big a blue whale baby is when it’s born. They are so inquisitive and curious about everything which is where Google has helped out. Now they can just ask Google!
Since I have my Cozi calendar integrated into it, Google can even tell the kids what we are having for dinner. Okay, sometimes I do feel a little bit sorry for Google and tell the kids that Google needs a break.
Google is a speech therapist!
Not only has this feature helped the kids learn some amazing facts it has also helped them with some of their speech issues. Yep, that’s right. If they don’t say something correctly then Google doesn’t recognize it. This means they must slow down and practice speaking more clearly.
Not only does it help with their speech but with their grammar as well. They must ask the questions in a proper format for Google to understand. Sometimes they do need a little help with this but most of the time they can figure it out for themselves.
Google also helps with spelling and vocabulary. If the kids aren’t sure how to spell a word they can ask Google. If they are sure of the meaning, they ask Google. If they need another word to replace a word for something they are writing, you probably guessed it, they ask Google.
Google is a visual aid!
Sometimes they may have a special project or craft they are working on. Sometimes it’s a Minecraft issue they need help with. All they need to do is ask Google and she can help them with whatever issue it is. She can pull up a step by step tutorial or even a Youtube video to help them see what they need to do.
Not to mention Google can read them a story or even play games. Google can flip a coin and the kids can take turns guessing what side it will land on not to mention the trivia games and jokes that it can tell. It can definitely keep them occupied for a while.
Google is a great time management tool!
As many of you know we use a lot of routines and schedules around here. I have some of these programmed into our Google which makes life so much easier. Every morning at a set time Google plays some soft music which helps the kids know it is time to get up. This not only helps get the sleepy heads out of bed but it helps keep the early risers from running through the house like crazy minions.
Google also has a set time to remind everyone to do finish up their chores before school starts. The kids LOVE this routine as she tells them some interesting trivia and facts and then starts playing some fun and educational songs to get them motivated. No more yelling and nagging from me as Google has it under control.
The kids have even learned how to set timers on Google. They can set timers for playing games, for cleaning up, or for just about anything their little hearts desire and let me tell you that they are always coming up with new ideas.
I’ve even been thinking up some new ways that it can help with our routines and such.
While Google does have some filters that you can use to help prevent it from displaying anything inappropriate it is still a good idea to supervise your kids while using it. We treat our Google just as we would any other kind of media or device. We keep ours in the Main Room of the house and the kids know the rules for using Google so we haven’t had any issues with ours.
Ours is set up like a tablet in some ways but it must stay plugged in so that keeps anyone from possibly sneaking it away also. This is something I both love and hate as there are times I really could use the video feature in the kitchen but can’t without the hassle of unplugging it and moving it. Maybe one day I can get one for the kitchen?
While Google may not have been designed as a homeschool resource, it definitely has been quite the handy helper around here. I know it has saved my sanity on more than one occasion. The list of things that Google can do is endless and we are constantly learning new ways to use it in our home.
I’m sure that the Amazon Echo probably has a lot of the same features and uses but we haven’t had the chance to try it out… maybe we’ll get one as a product test and have the opportunity to compare the two, who knows?
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