Add Some Fire to Your Homeschool: Kindle Fire as a Homeschool Tool

Have you considered getting your homeschool students Kindle Fire tablets? You might be surprised at they ways they can be used as tools in the homeschool!

You may know that around here, we’re a family that loves digital. My four oldest kids have Chromebooks and they get their school assignments via blog post. We’ve used Nooks for a while, which are lovely devices but are simply eReaders – no extras.

Have you considered getting your homeschool students Kindle Fire tablets? You might be surprised at they ways they can be used as tools in the homeschool!

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I absolutely adore my tablet, love all of the available apps, and have found it a great tool for managing the homeschool. But at the price of a tablet, getting one for each child was out of the question. However, when my husband’s parents got each of our six oldest Kindle Fire tablets for Christmas, I knew we were onto something good!

There are so many wonderful educational apps available for the Kindle. And maybe I’ll write a post about that another day. Today, however, I want to share some ways that the Kindle has been a great homeschool tool, supplementing the other resources and curricula we have in our homeschool.

Have you considered getting your homeschool students Kindle Fire tablets? You might be surprised at they ways they can be used as tools in the homeschool!

Reading

When most people think Kindle, they think of an eReader. And this is definitely true. One of my favorite features of eBook reading on the Kindle Fire, however, is Whispersync technology. If you own the Kindle book and also add on Audible narration, you can switch between reading the book, and listening to the book. (This feature is also available on the Kindle app for iOS and Android, by the way.)

But my favorite part of Whispersync is that you can read and listen at the same time. And, Kindle will highlight the line that is being read aloud as you hear it. My son, who is a struggling reader, definitely prefers audiobooks to reading. This has been a great compromise for us, as he can still hear the story read aloud, but can also see the words in print, connecting text to sound. (Whisertync technology is also available on the Kindle app for iOS and Android, by the way.)

Check HERE for a list of Kindle classics for $0.99 (and some free) with free or very inexpensive Audible Narration!

Math

Have you considered getting your homeschool students Kindle Fire tablets? You might be surprised at they ways they can be used as tools in the homeschool!We’ve discovered plenty of wonderful math apps for the Kindle. But two of our favorites are simply ways for the kids the use the Kindle as a learning tool alongside their regular math work. First, of course, the Kindle comes with a calculator. Also, I loaded this drawing program onto each Fire tablet and later discovered that the kids were using it as scratch paper for working out math problems. Brilliant! Much less cumbersome than paper and pencil and much less mess than whiteboard and markers.

Have you considered getting your homeschool students Kindle Fire tablets? You might be surprised at they ways they can be used as tools in the homeschool!

Instant Visuals

Have you considered getting your homeschool students Kindle Fire tablets? You might be surprised at they ways they can be used as tools in the homeschool!I was a little wary about the camera option on the Kindle tablet. The idea of six children roaming around with the ability to take digital pictures was  … daunting. When you wear pajamas more days than not and can’t always use the bathroom alone, well, digital images could be problematic.

I eventually allowed the older children to have access to their cameras, however, because they were using them for such great purposes. My son has been exploring stop-motion movie making with this app and his Minecraft figures. And other children have used the camera for school, such as taking a picture of our big US Map and then using the picture on their tablet in another room for reference!

Homeschool Economics

And finally, the Kindle tablets have been a great asset in the area of home management. I loaded a multi-timer onto each tablet, so the kids can time themselves in completing school assignments or chores. They can set a timer to remind them when the closes will be out of the dryer, and simultaneously time the duration of their silent reading.

Have you considered getting your homeschool students Kindle Fire tablets? You might be surprised at they ways they can be used as tools in the homeschool!Our favorite management app by far, however, is Chore Monster. When I first heard about this program, I thought I might be the only one excited. But the kids have loved it! Each kid has a copy of the Chore Monster app. I have a copy of the Mothership app. I can assign them chores – one-time or repeating. Each chore is assigned a point value. You can also choose a picture to go along with it so that pre-readers will be able to recognize their jobs visually.

When the kids complete chores, they check them off on their app, and then I get a notification on my tablet that they are ready for inspection. Once I approve the chore, they receive the points, as well as a ticket. They can either save the tickets to buy a new monster or spin the wheel, hoping they win a new one by chance. Of course, spinning the wheel could just earn you a stinky sock or a crushed can, so it’s a gamble! (It’s been interesting to compare the size of monster collections of the impulsive-spinners and the habitual-ticket-savers!)

Kindle Tablet Care

Just in case you’re a family with multiple Kindle users, I wanted to share our Kindle charing/storage solution, because it took me a while to come up with it! For reference, we have the Kindle Fire 7 and these foam cases, which have been amazing for little hands and versatility of positions for use.

We tried several kinds of charging stations. Not many were made for six devices. But even if we settled for stations built for four, they usually had two ports designated for tablet-charing (2.4A) with the other two designated for phone charging (1A). We did find a seven-port charging station that was designed specifically for tablets. This might be a great fit for you, but for us, the foam cases were too wide to fit into the slots. (The cases bring the tablet width to just about 1″ and many of the charging stations had space for about 3/4″.)

So, we had to work up a DIY solution! Instead of getting a specially designed charging station, we just got a multi-angle outlet adapter for six outlets, another adapter with four slots for 2.4A charging, some super-sturdy and colored USB cables and a plain old desktop file sorter!

Altogether, it looks something like this …

Have you considered getting your homeschool students Kindle Fire tablets? You might be surprised at they ways they can be used as tools in the homeschool!

P.S. The color-coded cables have eliminated the arguing about who took a cable somewhere else and which cable should be plugged into which tablet!

Do you have Kindle Fire Tablets in your Homeschool? What apps or accessories do you recommend?

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