I have to admit that I am one of those parents that has been slow to incorporate the latest technologies into our homeschool experience. My love and passion are in great literature and hands on experiences for learning. There is so much isolation among our children today, because of technology. Rather than playing in an imaginary world filled with wonderment, so many children sit side by side playing video games without uttering a word to one another. This very image has led me kicking and screaming into the world of devices and apps in our education.
There are some things however that I have learned after the kicking and screaming.
The Use of Educational Apps offer:
A Great Reward
Because we do try to limit electronic devices during our day, being able to earn time on a kindle device or iPad is a wonderful reward. Generally, this is time that our children are able to cash in at the end of the day after all their schoolwork and chores are done. Our youngest got a tablet for Christmas. He felt that it was one of those “wow” gifts, but there was a definite method to the madness in our choice. The Samsung that we purchased as a built in kids mode that allows us to set a timer on how long he can use his device. This is great for a way of issuing out those reward minutes.
Supplemental Resources to Reinforce Learning
We have found some great supplemental resources in apps. Many of the things that are so much fun and entertaining can also help to reinforce academic concepts and critical thinking skills. These are just some of the ones that our family has enjoyed over the last few years.
IXL Math and English for Apple
IXL Math and English for Android
Stack the States for Apple
Stack the States for Android
Roman Town from Dig-It Games for Apple
Apologia Biology Flashcards for Apple
When talking about supplemental resources for homeschooling, I love to just jump into either the Google Play store or the itunes store and search by the topic we are studying for science and history. It is truly amazing what you will find. Our oldest son is currently studying World War II. I am not sure my iPad has the storage capacity for all the resources I found through the App Store.
Along these lines, I have also found App of the Day in the Google Play Store and Apps Gone Free on my iPad’s App Store. These apps highlight other apps that are marked down to free for the day. We have found lots of great things for school just by browsing these each day. I think my best find was a 3D World Atlas app that shows a 3D representation of the earth from the time of the ancient empires through today with a redrawing of country/dynasty/empire boundaries. You can scroll a timeline at the bottom to see how these boundary lines have changed over time.
A link to Online Curriculum
In addition to pure entertainment and also as a great supplements to other curriculum, there are complete curriculum that are available through apps as well. These are usually paid apps, but well worth it for families that are on the move or for kids that use their iPads or Android devices to help with school
Some of the full curriculum we have used are:
Duolingo for iPad and iPhone
Duolingo for Android
Spelling and Vocabulary City for Apple
Spelling and Vocabulary City for Android
Apps for core curriculum subjects are a bit harder to find, but can be a wonderful resource for any research project, unit study, or study helps. When we start a new online course, I do always search to see if an app is available just for the sake of ease so the kids don’t always have to type in the web address in the browser.
Great Resources for the Homeschool Parent
There are lots of great resources for the homeschool parent as well. These are a couple of our favorites when we need a little encouragement and inspiration.
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for Apple
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for Android
Molly Green Magazine for Apple
Molly Green Magazine for Android
Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk for Apple
Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk for Android
I am sure that there are many other ways that families use apps in their homes and in educating their children. Please be sure to click through the image below to read how other members of the Crew use apps in their homes.