When Your Homeschool Desktop Computer Dies. Using the Kindle as a Backup

computer-dies-kindle-homeschoolHalfway through our homeschool year last year our beautiful desktop Mac died. To be sure it was rather old and still ran system 9 (for those who know) but still! We used it for research, video watching, and learning to type, and learning piano, to name a few things.

We were all bummed.

My husband was bummed, my daughter was bummed, and I was bummed because that meant everyone was going to try to get their hands on my laptop. Since it was a birthday present I’ve been generous trying not to hover too much when they take turns using my precious baby.

Back up a little bit to when I got my Kindle HD 7 around the same time, about a year and a half ago. I never envisioned how it would come in handy in our homeschool.

Initially I didn’t think I would use it much and for the first few days my daughter was more interested in it than I was.

Then school started back up and it was a little more than just having an extra gadget to browse on. I found myself reaching for it more and more.

I stated to wonder if there was a way we could make it even more efficient in our homeschool. I had purchased a keyboard for my mother’s iPad and wondered if there was something similar for the Kindle.

Yes, yes there was such a thing! Eureka! The price wasn’t bad either. After doing a bit of research I ended up with this model. I have an older Kindle than it is actually made for but it works for our needs.

After charging overnight we’ve been using MY Kindle daily in the homeschool room.

I’m talking about more than just math and spelling apps. There are all kinds of ways I’m finding this little gadget to be useful in our homeschool and now with the new Kindle Fireand it’s lower price I’m thinking I’ll upgrade so I can have my reading tool back.

Background Classical Music: This past year we reviewed Successful Homeschooling Made Easy and one of the tips Stephanie had for us was to use classical music during seat work. I loved that idea and we’ve been doing ever since. Problem was our CD player died (as they so often do) during the summer so when we started back over school we didn’t have a CD player in our homeschool room.

Since we have Amazon Prime (birthday present) we also have Prime Music which includes several classical albums (cause we would be singing too hard with the gospel ones). I’ve downloaded my favorites to the Kindle and we can keep the classical music going during homeschool.


Research: While the browser on the Kindle isn’t the best we still use it fairly often in the schoolroom. Our local library has a kid’s portal with all kinds of great subjects for school. My daughter has taken to browsing the through the science (life section) and learning all kinds of facts about her favorite bugs and animals.

Erasable Notepad: When I picked up a Whiteboard App last year for playing tick-tac-t0e I never envisioned we would be using it in for doing homeschool on the go. This app has been great for using a scratch paper. It’s great for working out math problems.

Educational Videos: These days what is homeschool without educational videos? From youtube to selected portals just for educational use videos can really enhance the learning experience and especially for a visual learner like my Peanut. We’re able to use the Kindle to watch videos on several platforms.

Learning Piano: The bug had finally bitten my daughter and she sits down at the piano to practice whenever she can get a chance. Yaaayyy!!! Luckily we’re able to pull up the Homeschool Piano lessons right on the Kindle and it’s small size makes it just right for propping up on the piano. She’s moving right along and will hopefully playing in church rather soon.

Affording the Kindle

Now just so you know I won my Kindle. I don’t think I would have purchased one otherwise. But now that I have it and love it so much I’m going to upgrade buy another one.

My Favorite way to earn cash for shopping on Amazon and getting your own Kindle:

Swagbucks: This is one of the best ways to earn dollars for all kinds of purchases. Especially Amazon. If you haven’t signed up yet be sure and click through (my link) to get your own Swagbucks account.

You earn points for various online activities and then cash them in for gift cards and such. A lot of people pay for gifts with their earnings.

Ways to Earn through Swagbucks

  • Use their search engine. This is the easiest way but probably one of the slowest.
  • Shop online through their portal. You can earn points for all kinds of purchases. This is probably the fastest way to earn. Before you shop online check to see if you can earn points through Swagbucks.
  • Watch videos: If you have some time to kill selectively watch a few videos and earn points.
  • Surveys: Somehow I never qualify for these but you can also wrack up points fast with surveys.
  • Coupons: Print coupons through Swagbucks and earn more points.
  • Sign up for Swagbucks

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  1. Great post, Kemi! Before I got my laptop back in January, we used the Kindle Fire as our “school computer.” You use it a lot more efficiently than we ever did, though. Great tips. (Although we won’t be able to implement them since our Kindle Fire died and we haven’t felt the need to replace it as of yet. Your tips could also be used on an iPad – I’m guessing – but we don’t have, and have never had, one of those.)

    1. Thanks Wendy! I probably got the idea to explore it some more from you 😉 It’s really come in handy. I’m actually thinking you may be able to do a bit more on the iPad but I don’t own one either.

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