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Saved by the (Google Mini) Bell!

Remote learning is a challenge. (insert wide ranging sentiments here)

I thought I prepared for almost everything.

Dedicated space? Check! Fun decorations? Check! Functional elements? Check! Perks that can only come with home learning? Check! (peep the mini fridge)

What I didn't prepare for? My daughter's inexperience with moving from place to place without a school bell. Before this, she was in elementary school and had a few bells each day. The warning bell for 5 minutes before school and the bell to start the day, a few more for lunch and recess, and the one to end the school day. I didn't even think about the fact that there'd be no bells at all and she'd need to manage the time while she was working in addition to the fact that this would be her first time switching classes without a teacher guiding them to the next place. I spent the first week and a half calling out reminders like, "Second hour starts in 2 minutes, sign in!" and "Lunch is over in 5 minutes, get signed back in to your computer and bring your dishes!" Well, finally, the inevitable happened. I was cleaning in another room and I didn't pay attention to the time and she was *gasp* late to 4th hour! I knew then that we needed a solution because I can't be watching the clock constantly and she's just not used to it yet. We're not trying to get sent to virtual detention (a real thing) in this house. I figured with all of the "smart' tech we have there had to be at least one gadget in the house that had an answer for us. Enter the Google Home Mini. Apparently there is a new-ish feature called Family Bell Announcements that allows you to set announcements that will play on whichever Google Home device you select. It will say WHATEVER you tell it to say and can be scheduled to broadcast to a specific device (even if you have multiple in your home). No need to set new alarms each day!

It's safe to say I'm enjoying this a hair more than she is, LOL, but she does like knowing that if she forgets and loses track of the time the alarm will make sure she's not late to class.

Here are Google's set up instructions: Remotely yours, E

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