benefits of ai in homeschooling

Nine Ways AI Can Benefit Your Homeschool

Can Artificial Intelligence Help Me Homeschool?

Today, we continue our discussion about artificial intelligence by looking at a more positive side of the issue: How AI can be used as a tool to help you in your homeschool. AI programs such as Mid-Journey and ChatGPT are versatile in many tasks within their specialties. With some ingenuity, you can leverage the power of AI to assist your children and make your homeschooling easier!

1. Make Lists

One of the best features of ChatGPT and similar programs is the ability to synthesize information in an orderly manner. Students often struggle with this, especially in difficult classes. For example, students who have a hard time with history frequently complain that they are overwhelmed with information. They aren’t sure what is important or how to systematize their notes. AI can be of tremendous help in this area. It can generate lists of important information that can then be used as study guides.

Prompts like: “Create a bullet point list of the most important events of the Revolutionary War” or “Explain photosynthesis step by step in simple language” can be extremely helpful. You can use it to provide children another avenue for understanding what might otherwise be challenging content.

Alternatively, if your student takes notes digitally, notes can be copied and pasted into ChatGPT with the command, “Organize these notes systematically as a study guide of basic concepts.” This will prompt the AI to reorder the notes your child has already taken in a more pedagogically helpful manner.

2. Practice Foreign Language

Earlier this year, the BBC published an article about how students are utilizing AI to help them learn foreign languages. I recommend reading the article if you have time. The gist is that young people are often self-conscious about making mistakes when practicing foreign languages with teachers or native speakers. However, a chatbot will not judge you. It has infinite patience and will happily talk to a student about their interests.

The BBC article says research suggests that AI is helpful in this context for “vocabulary development, grammar, and other language skills, especially when they offer corrective feedback.”

3. Animate Children’s Drawings

Did you know there are AI programs that can take your children’s drawings and turn them into animations? I was delighted when I learned about this and spent a good deal of time animating my own, er,  my children’s drawings!

There is a website called Animated Drawings that allows you to upload sketches and animate them. It’s super easy and quick and allows you multiple options for animation (e.g., making characters run, jump, dance, etc.). This might be ideal for younger children whose simpler drawings are especially suited for this kind of basic animation. Check out Animated Drawings at https://sketch.metademolab.com/canvas.

4. Scrutinize AI-Generated Historic Images for Accuracy

An AI-generated picture of the siege of Jericho displays Joshua with flawless pearly white teeth and the luxurious hair of a male model. Byzantines from the 6th century are wearing 14th-century plate armor. John Wilkes Booth is shown shooting Abraham Lincoln with a pistol that wasn’t invented until 1911.

AI is known for generating images that are… well, not exactly accurate. This can provide students with a fun and educational opportunity to critique historical images for accuracy. It could be like an AI version of the old “find five things wrong with this picture” game. You can even have the AI intentionally generate an image with errors (e.g., prompt, “Generate a picture of Thomas Jefferson reading the Declaration of Independence with five historical errors in the image”).

5. Talk to Historical Figures

Did you know you can ask ChatGPT to assume the identity of a famous person from history? For example, you can say, “I want you to act like Leonardo da Vinci, the famous artist. I want you to answer like him, using the tone, manner, opinions, philosophy, and vocabulary that Da Vinci would have used. You must know all of Da Vinci’s knowledge. Begin doing this with my first sentence, ‘Hello Leonardo.'”

There’s really no limit to how much fun you can have with this function—famous historical characters and literary figures can be queried about their ideas on countless subjects. With a little creativity, you can turn this into a historical or literary project. For example, after setting up AI to assume the identity and beliefs of the philosopher Socrates, you can give a student the assignment, “Interview Socrates and ask him what he thinks about the state of contemporary education.”

6. Offer Feedback on Writing

While parents and educators are rightfully concerned about how AI can be utilized to help students cheat at their writing assignments, we should not neglect to consider how AI can help build a student’s writing skills. ChatGPT will offer writing critiques, giving students feedback on their essays and papers. Students can upload their writing into ChatGPT and then ask it to critique their writing according to the parent’s parameters (e.g., “Critique this essay and provide suggestions for vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure” or “Critique this essay for consistency, structure, and clarity of thought”).

Sometimes, ChatGPT’s feedback will be very general initially, but you can get it more specific with additional prompts. For example, if it says, “Your second paragraph could be better organized,” say, “Can you provide an example of how the paragraph could be better organized?”

7. Generate Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are a time-tested part of any creative writing class. The problem is that coming up with them can be a hassle, especially when you are short on time or midway through the year and have already used everything you could possibly think of. AI can be used to generate interesting writing prompts for your children in subjects they enjoy. This can increase student engagement, as it introduces an element of choice that will likely see them more invested in the prompt since it is about a subject they have chosen.

8. Create Quizzes to Check for Comprehension

You can ask ChatGPT to create a quiz on a certain subject matter. Homeschooling parents can use this to create assessments or use it as a means of self-checking by children. For example, suppose a student has their chemistry notes in digital format. These can be uploaded to ChatGPT with the prompt, “Create a ten-question study quiz based on these notes.” The student can then use the resulting quiz as a study guide to check for comprehension or prepare for an exam.

You can also create a real quiz for your students to take in ChatGPT. You may need to finagle with the prompts to get it exactly right, but many parents and teachers are doing this successfully.

9. Use ChatGPT as a Smarter Search Engine

Google is excellent for getting short, quick answers to queries. But sometimes you need something more thorough, and here ChatGPT can function as a superior search engine. For example, let’s say we want to understand the plot of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. If we Google, “What is the plot of Hamlet?” we will get several kinds of results. We will get the Wikipedia page for Hamlet, which will certainly have way too much information. The Sparknotes website for Hamlet will offer a breakdown of the play act by act but does not necessarily give a synopsis of the entire play, let alone at a specified grade level. We may also get scholarly articles about Hamlet from university websites far beyond high school-level comprehension, independent blog articles, and everything in between.

This is the sort of question that is better for ChatGPT. One can ask ChatGPT, “Please offer a three-hundred-word synopsis of the plot of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, using expressions and vocabulary understandable to a 14-year-old.”


We could discuss a lot more, but you get the idea. The options are almost limitless! Note that these are suggestions to be used under the guidance of a parent. There can be a fine line between using ChatGPT as a tool and using it to cheat.

Our next article in this AI and Homeschooling series will discuss strategies for teaching your children about AI’s ethical and responsible use.

What do you think about ChatGPT and AI? I invite you to join me and other Catholic homeschooling parents at our Homeschool Connections Community or our Facebook group today.

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