A selection of apps covering a range of grade levels and academic subjects, great for home schoolers.
Guest post by Chris Martin.
Homeschooling your children requires discipline, hard work, and patience – and a whole lot of time and effort. Thankfully, technology has made this undertaking a bit easier for parents. Personal digital devices like the iPad let kids have powerful, multifaceted instructional tools right at their fingertips.
Here are eight educational iPad applications that can offer engaging interactive experiences to reinforce, test, and apply new subject matter.
1. Jane’s ABCs 123s Ages: Preschool or pre-kindergarten
$0.99 in (US) iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/janes-abcs-123s/id467262071
This app has generated a lot of praise from numerous people in the world of children’s education. Simply designed, it utilizes virtual flash cards to teach kids the building blocks of language and numbers. It also teaches students letter sounds, shapes, and colors.
2. Language Builder Ages: 3 to 10
$9.99 in (US) iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/languagebuilder-for-ipad/id405801365
Available in a basic and a deluxe version, this app assists kids with their sentence creation and formation. Users can listen to audio clips and even have their voices recorded and played back so they can hear how they’re progressing. It’s especially valuable for children with autism or special needs.
3. Rocket Math Ages: 2nd through 6th grade
$ 0.99 in (US) iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rocket-math/id393989284
After kids have been taught the basic mathematical concepts, they can practice what they’ve learned with this application. The software allows kids to build and customize their own rocket by successfully completing math problems to earn “money” to spend on spaceship accoutrements. They’ll be having so much fun, they won’t even know they’re learning math!
4. Scribble Press Ages: Elementary school and junior high
Free $ in (US) iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scribble-press/id487300076
Aspiring authors and illustrators now have an outlet to create their own literary and/or artistic works. Kids can write their own stories and draw their own pictures, or choose from dozens of story templates (like “My Babysitter is a Zombie”). And of course, these creations can be published in a global online gallery or transformed into real books, pictures, or postcards via a real publisher.
5. Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 Ages: 1st through 3rd grade
$3.99 in (US) iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simplex-spelling-phonics-2/id527299540
Phonics has been used to help kids spell and sound out words for decades. This app takes that approach with hundreds of words ranging from simple (“bag”) to complex (“democracy”). It’s like a self-contained catalog of spelling lessons for a whole year or more!
6. Stack the States Ages: All
$0.99 in (US) iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stack-the-states/id381342267
Finally, a way to learn about the U.S. states that’s more than just rote memorization! This app incorporates five different games that challenge users to learn all of the details about the states. In addition to shapes, abbreviations, and capitals, the software teaches flags, nicknames, map locations, and more!
7. 25-in-1 Free Educational Apps Ages: Toddlers through 3rd grade
Free in iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/25-in-1-free-educational-games/id464148258
This is a wonderful smorgasbord of apps for homeschooling parents to try out. This collection of puzzle, memory, and math games is made up of the free “trial” versions of A&R’s products. If there’s one you really like, you can download the full version.
8. Frog Dissection Ages: Junior high to high school
$3.99 in (US) iTunes Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/frog-dissection/id377626675
Do you want to expose your kids to biology and zoology but dread having to capture and kill and/or purchase a preserved amphibian? This app is the next best thing, with virtual tools, verbal instructions, and a treasure trove of information. Plus, you don’t have to endure the stench of formaldehyde.
Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes about topics ranging from auto insurance to consumer finance to home improvement.
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