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We’ve been using Kindles in our homeschool for several years now. What started as a simple request from our daughter to have one for her reading has turned into a significant educational advantage.
So, how do you homeschool with a Kindle?
Getting over the Fear of an eBook
The comment I hear the most about using eReaders is how people miss the feel of a real book. Over the last few years, as tablets have become popular, I’ve noticed even diehard page turners converting. Here are a few things to understand about Kindles and Kindle apps.
- Swiping turns the page– while you aren’t going to feel a page in your hand, you can make an easy movement to turn a page and Kindle apps make it *look* like you turned the page!
- You can add notes– some folks like to write in their margins. You can do something similar on a Kindle by adding a note.
- Highlight Text– You can do this too! Simply hold your finger down and swipe. Easy as pie and if you have tablet Kindle you can choose the color too.
- Access all notes to books from Amazon– Using this link you can find the highlighted text from all your Kindle books.
- Place a bookmark– simply tap on the upper right of the screen to put a bookmark on the page.
Kindle eReaders are the best devices if you want a pure reading tool without the extra goodies a tablet will provide. Check out 10 Reasons to Use a Kindle in Your Homeschool Part 1.
- Get a book in less than 30 seconds and anything in the public domain is either free or very cheap.
- A quick Amazon download is often cheaper than the gas to get to the library on a day when you need a book and certainly cheaper than the fines you accrue when you aren’t good about getting books back!
- Less to store than shelved books if space is an issue
- Take lots of books with you when you travel
Using a Kindle Fire in Your Homeschool
Going a step beyond the eReader to the Kindle tablet will give you more flexibility in how you use the device for schooling purposes. One of my favorite things about the Kindle Fire is the cost vs. the functionality of the device. It works well, has great sound and video, and is a fraction of the cost of high end tablets. If you are looking to try out a tablet, the Kindle Fire is a good investment. Want more reasons to love a Kindle Fire? Read 10 Reasons to Use a Kindle in Your Homeschool Part 2. Want just the tip of the iceberg?
- Play video that goes with a lesson.
- Load eBooks from your curriculum and have the ability to click through links embedded in the text.
- Watch tutorials
- Listen to audio books
- List assignments for your students
The possibilities are endless! Using a Kindle in Our Homeschool has meant more independence for our kids as they navigate throughout their day. Our high schoolers use them daily for text work and reading literature. It’s my daughter’s preferred mode of email and all her internet consumption– which mainly consists of craft and sewing blogs.
Managing Kindle Content
- The Kindle Fire gives you the option of managing content. I have an Amazon account and all of our Fires are on the same account. You cannot merge accounts so be careful of how you set up at the beginning.
- All the content you buy for one account will be available on all the Kindles on the same account. Very convenient for purchasing one digital file that everyone can read.
- Libraries have eBooks to loan– it’s an easy process and you won’t accrue late fees! Again, this content is available to all the Kindles at the same time.
- The great thing about a Kindle Fire is all the parental controls Amazon provides for you for free. You can also manage content and provide content through Kindle Free Time.
- Set the amount of time your student can play games and videos on his Kindle.
- You can set reading to all the time or have the Kindle be “unavailable” after bed time.
- If you have content you don’t want your kids reading, you can choose only the titles you want them to have on the Kindle. Using Free Time means they won’t be able to browse the internet.
- Kindle Unlimited is a great program where you pay $9.99 a month for “renting” Kindle and Audible Books. You can read and use any title in the Unlimited collection as long as you are paying your bill. This is a great service with a lot of potential. I’d like to see them add more titles in the genres my kids read.
Enjoy the benefits of Using a Kindle in Your Homeschool!