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Is your child struggling with their homework? Do they come home with grades lower than you hoped for?
Don’t rush out to hire a tutor. Tutors can help, sure, but hiring one involves spending too much money and you’re inviting a stranger into your home.
There is a better answer to get your kids homework done right and on time: Alexa. Yes, Amazon’s innovative tech isn’t limited to a billionaire’s home – you can now get one for your own home. The best part is that Alexa can help your kid concentrate and finish their homework!
Not sure how Alexa can help? Let’s clear the air. Read on below to discover 7 ways Alexa can help your kid finish their homework:
1. Practice with Impromptu Quizzes
Studying and doing kids homework is never fun. Who wants to sit down and stare at a school textbook for hours?
The problem is that our current education system can get a little boring and simplified. Teachers don’t ask difficult questions as often as they should. This makes students feel uninterested and bored.
You can address this issue with Alexa.
With the thousands of skills available on Alexa and Echo, you can surprise your kids with a few random, impromptu quizzes. Don’t limit yourself to basic enumeration or “yes and no” questions, either. Go ahead and take the advantage and seek out more open-ended, high-concept quizzes that make children think and consider their answers carefully.
Even if you utilize basic quizzes, you can still twist them into random but fun activities that keep the little ones engaged and interested. You can, for example, hand out small rewards each time they answer several questions correctly. This guarantees that your kids know the answers to their homework by heart.
One other important note is to use Alexa as a means of repeating homework. If your kid struggles with a math assignment, you can use Alexa to ask similar questions until your child masters the subject. This helps make sure your kids understood the answers in their homework before they go to school the next day.
2. Use Alexa to Practice Spelling and Grammar
Is your child writing an essay as part of their weekend homework? You’ll want to make sure they got it done right. An important part of checking their homework is to go through all the spelling errors and grammatical setbacks.
Yes, there are grammar and spelling tools online but imagine the pain of typing a hand-written essay simply so you could check its content. There’s also the issue of online temptation: it’s so easy to get distracted when on a laptop or desktop PC. Your child might not get their essay done and instead might spend time on social media or YouTube.
Helping kids with homework through Alexa is the better solution.
You can simply call on Alexa for a quick grammar check. If your child doesn’t know how to spell a word, they can do a spell-check with Alexa and this won’t break their writing flow.
The best thing about using Alexa is that the app spells out words in a clear and slow manner. This allows your child to practice and spell out the word as they write.
Checking for spelling this way won’t disrupt the student, allowing them to learn the word’s proper spelling and continue writing their essay. There are no distractions or break of writing flow.
Using Alexa to check grammar is a little more complicated. The best that Alexa can do for your kids homework is to pull up different grammar checking apps. You could also recite a specific line and let Alexa check it, using appropriate Alexa Skills.
3. Learn a Foreign Language
Even in a country where English is the primary language, let’s not forget that the US is home to millions of foreign nationals and immigrants. In fact, Spanish, Chinese, French, and Tagalog (Filipino) are the top most-spoken languages in the country right after English. Spanish tops the list, with nearly 38 million speakers.
Some states adapted to this and now include foreign languages in their high school and college curriculum. You might have kids learning how to speak in Spanish or Mandarin. This also means they might have homework involving these different languages.
While this helps broaden a child’s perspective and language skills, it can also prove quite challenging. Imagine how tedious it could get if a child has to write a short story or essay and then translate it to French. They could spend hours on a laptop researching and translating everything by hand.
With Alexa, the process becomes a faster and easier ordeal but there are a few obstacles to work around.
First off, Alexa can only directly translate a handful of languages, like Spanish and Japanese. However, you can use different Alexa kid skills like Translate.
Ask Alexa to open the skill app and then use that to directly translate a word or phrase. Translate, in particular, covers 37 different languages.
You may find others that offer fewer languages but have more in-depth translation options. Other options include SayHi Language Learning and Cleo. The latter uses quizzes to help kids remember specific words and phrases.
4. Enhance Vocabulary
Did you now that the average IQ of people born after 1975 are significantly lower compared to the generation prior? Scientists state this is likely due to the changing environment people grow up in, with the Internet and social media affecting how people learn and engage in the world.
This is one reason why essays are important. They help people discuss matters in-depth and consider high-concept ideas.
Many schools continue to give essay homework to help their students dive deeper into their lessons. This gives children more time to digest their thoughts before putting them on paper.
However, writing and presenting a good essay requires a strong vocabulary. The good news is that Alexa can help in this type of homework too.
All it takes is a quick question to make Alexa pull up a dictionary or thesaurus tool. Alexa can then dictate a word’s meaning, it’s synonyms and antonyms. This can help your kid write a better essay and make their homework easier to tackle.
You can go one step further too. If your child uploads their essay on something like Google Docs or an online MS Word file, you can ask Alexa to run the document on something like the Hemingway Editor. This tool checks for passive and active sentences, complex sentences, and word flow.
Don’t forget that you can do the same thing with Grammarly. This is a far more complex tool and Alexa can’t run everything automatically. However, it’s an easier time using Alexa to launch the app and run things before you have to do the manual edits.
5. Organized To-Do Lists
With new technology comes new distractions, researchers state. There are more things trying to steal your kids’ attention. While your child does their homework, they have to deal with smart TV apps, Facebook notifications, text messages, YouTube videos, Instagram messages, and online video games.
You can combat all these distractions with Alexa.
Using several Alexa skills, you can organize a to-do list for your kid to follow. The list could focus entirely on their homework or you could include scheduled breaks and time for dinner, games, and social media.
To-do lists not only keep your kid on schedule but they also motivate them to get things done right. There’s a satisfying feeling, a moment of instant gratification, whenever you check something off a list. Even kids feel this triumph and it can inspire them to get things done in an orderly fashion.
A to-do list also ensures that your kid won’t forget their homework. If your child has several assignments to finish, it’s easy to forget one or two of them. An organized list, with or without alarms, reminds your kids about each task.
6. Monitor Activities
Are you sure your kids do your homework instead of visiting dubious sites? Allowing them to use a smartphone or laptop has its benefits but you also run the risk of them visiting porn sites or getting in trouble with messaging apps. They might do anything troublesome but they could be the victim of hate speech or cyber-bullying.
Your home needs smart security systems but this goes beyond locks and alarms. You need to monitor your kids’ online activities too.
Fortunately, you can rely on Alexa to monitor their activities. You can use Alexa’s built-in parental controls or use an Alexa Skill to keep track of the site’s your child visits or what kind of apps they open.
You can use these options to block certain sites, like porn sites or offensive forums and messaging apps. You can block off dating apps or have Alexa remind your child to get back to their homework.
There is one more option: you can use Alexa and its options or Skills to limit your child’s online access. Your kid might have a written essay to finish or a science project to finish but they keep getting distracted with SnapChat or Instagram. You can use Alexa to restrict their Internet access until they get their homework done.
Yes, this can seem a bit mean for some parents but it does keep your kid focused. You can always bypass these restrictions once they finish their homework.
7. Engaging Science Projects
Is your kid struggling to finish their homework because they can’t understand some of the important concepts? You can help your child better understand their homework and school lessons by engaging experiments or projects.
The good news is that Alexa comes with a lot of educational Skills. You can use these Skills to build a miniature volcano, for example, to help your child understand how volcanoes work. Use Alexa to download a blueprint for basic electrical wiring and teach your kid how series and parallel circuits work.
This idea works even better if you have something like Echo Show. Echo Show features a smart display, giving you and your child a visual representation of the instructions. This makes it easier to follow the steps and finish the project.
Building science projects come in handy when your kid’s homework tackles difficult topics, especially if you’re not that familiar with the subject. Is your kid supposed to finish an assignment about atomic bonds? Use an Alexa science project to build a visual representation, making it easier to grasp such a complex scientific topic.
There is one important thing to keep in check: don’t use Alexa to answer all the questions in your kid’s homework. Using Alexa that way is a form of cheating and defeats the purpose of using it as a study tool. Alexa should help your kid finish their homework and refine their work instead of standing as a crutch to answer all the questions.
It can get tempting. All your kid has to do is ask Alexa a question to get answers for their take-home quizzes, especially for math problems or science homework. Make sure you monitor your child’s use of Alexa and Echo to guarantee they don’t cheat.
Don’t let your kids cheat; use impromptu quizzes, projects, dictionaries, and translators or grammar checking tools instead to enhance the experience. Let them learn and do their homework on their own but keep Alexa as a quick and easy to use assistant.
Try Out Alexa for Kids Homework Now!
Technology continues to evolve and kids have more distractions or new information to deal with on a daily basis. Why handle these new obstacles with old methods? Use Alexa to help finish your kids homework.
Still new to smart devices and the concept of a smart home? Is Alexa your first step into the IoT foray?
Don’t fret if you’re a little apprehensive. We’re here to guide you through it. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more about a smart home and which products you need to get the most out of your setup.