We’re an Unapologetically Tech-Friendly Family
We’re a really techy family. I don’t have screen-time limitations for my kids now the same way that I did when I first became a mom. My first couple of kiddos went two years of life without any screentime, which is a stark contrast to my second couple of kiddos that were born with a Kindle in-hand. (Maybe an exaggeration? Maybe not.)
I’m a firm believer that people’s demonization of screen time is as misguided as the way reading books used to be demonized as non-constructive and bad for you. Since I believe it, I can find oodles of evidence for my way of thinking. Funny how that works.
Side Comment: It’s also my most tech-free kiddo that ended up with ADHD and dyslexia, despite being told that those are “preventable” the banning of screens… I could rant, but I won’t. Let’s talk about the fun and upbeat stuff instead!
How do I utilize Kindle, Audible, and Kids+ in our homeschooling? I’ll break it down for you:
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. My goal is, of course, that if you make a Prime Day purchase through Amazon, you’ll do it through my link(s) at zero extra cost to you. Because it supports this site and it supports my efforts and energy here. That said, I wanted to write something of actual value as well because I hate salesy noise. So even if you don’t purchase anything, I hope you get some inspiration and help out of this article. Thanks for being here.
We Consume a LOT of Books
Since allowing a nearly unlimited amount of tech time in our household, the number of books consumed by each family member skyrocketed in ways I could have never imagined. My book-thirsty 10-year-old went from reading a chapter book each day to two or three, simply because she could read in the dark or listen to audiobooks while walking the dog.
I always buy 2nd hand tech, unless it’s Prime Day or Cyber Monday.
I love my eBay, I love my Apple products, and I love our Kindles.
My sister-in-law recently visited and lamented about how she wished she could communicate easier and stay better organized with her phone. She didn’t even a proper smartphone. I died inside a little bit and then hopped onto eBay to grab her an iPhone 6 for $90.
When I say I’m a tech junkie, please understand I’m also cheap and stingy. 99% of our Apple products have been second-hand. Actually, my Microsoft laptop is second-hand as well.
This said, if it’s Prime Day or Cyber Monday, I buy whatever we need NEW if I have the funds. Simply because I know how much longer they’ll last if I purchase them new.
My iPad Pro, for example, is a product that I purchased new so I could trade up when the time comes. I’m an avid comic art creator and wanted something that could truly utilize the power of the Apple Pencil. Anyways…
I also always purchase Kindles new from Amazon unless my friends have hand-me-downs. They’re just so affordable and come ready with a kid-friendly case.
Using Kindle and Amazon Kids+ For Preschool Homeschooling
Kindles are what I use for my toddlers because they’re far too immature and destructive to have an iPad ANY time soon. A cheap, 8-inch Kindle with Kids+ (previously Kindle FreeTime) is my default go-to.
My three-year-old son mostly uses his Khan Academy Kids app and watches Spanish music videos for kids. (We’re a trilingual-ish family.) He has access to lots of Spanish material on Kids+ that I wouldn’t even know how to find outside of the app.
My Dyslexic Daughter Has Thrived
Kids+ has been a gamechanger for my little dyslexic demi-goddess of a child. (Percy Jackson reference)
Electronics simply hold her attention better than physical books. Because of her Kindle, Kids+, and Audible, she has been reading dozens of books each month, whereas before I couldn’t get her to sit through one physical Magic Treehouse because it was too hard for her.
I get so upset when I hear people talk about e-books or audiobooks like they’re not the real thing. I find it so ableist and ignorant. It’s the real thing to her and she’d hate reading without them.
She always used to complain about word sizing and that the words blurred and danced around. On the Kindle she can change her book fonts to use Open Dyslexic, she can change the background color to sepia, she can make the words as big as she wants, and she can highlight words she’s having trouble with.
She’s almost nine years old and we’ve struggled SO much with reading. Give her Kindle or an audiobook and she’s entertained for the day.
Thanks for listening to my TED Talk!
See this post for more Prime Day deals for homeschoolers.