My kids are still amazed that we are older than Google. I don’t know how anyone survived parenting before Google. And now we have the ability to have Google Home devices in any room of our house, giving us access to more information than we thought we could use.
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Google Home in Your Homeschool
Why not use the technology available to us in our homeschool? I was a little resistant in the past about it, but it has been a great addition. Having a small device that can answer random questions that pop up has been great.
Two things to teach your children are the most important, all commands start with either “Hey Google” or “OK Google”, and they need to speak clearly. It may not be able to understand young children.
With a bit of prompting and practice, even young kids can use Google Home and Google Assistant independently. Here are ten prompts you might want to try with your class to get started:
- “Ok Google, spell ________.”
- “Hey Google, what’s ___ x ___?”
- “Okay Google, what’s the capital of ________?”
- “Hey Google, how far away is the sun?”
- “Okay Google, tell us a joke.”
- “Hey Google, what’s the weather forecast?”
If you don’t have a Google Home, you can test this by opening the Google Home app and clicking the speaker icon in the bottom-middle of the screen. You can also use the same Google Assistant icon on a number of products, including Google Search on some devices.
You may find Google Assistant to be helpful with homeschool organization. Here are a few things to try:
- “Hey Google, on Thursday, remind me _____.”
- “Okay Google, set a timer for 20 minutes.”
- “Okay Google, play the clean-up song”
Unlike performing a Google search, children using Assistant on Google Home can check their spelling and access the internet without having to type anything. The spelling feature being one of our favorite things.
For second language learners, there is Google Translate is using inquiries like ‘Hey Google, how do you say [phrase] in [language]?’ or ‘Okay Google translate [phrase] into [language].’
Additionally, for students with an audio learning style, or who like to listen to stories (‘Hey Google, tell us a story’), or just have a chat, the device can be a useful stand-in when an adult is not available.
Using these types of devices in your homeschool isn’t cheating, it isn’t taking the simple route, it’s simply using the tools available to you. This device is very similar to using an Amazon Alexa device.