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Muffy Mendoza is the mama-in-chief at brownmamas.com, a lifestyle site that focuses on helping Black mothers enjoy everyday life. She often blogs about making life easier for moms using technology.
Apr 17, 2017
An arsenal of apps is essential for every homeschooler. Homeschooling today has been completely revolutionized by technology because kids simply don’t learn the way they used to. It’s common for my 8-year-old to do a multiplication worksheet, open a math app that uses a timer, solve as many multiplication problems he can do in 10 minutes and then use his skills to determine how many square feet his Minecraft house should be in; all in one day’s lesson plan.
Our kids are digital natives. They love pulling information from multiple resources and trial and error learning via technology. For our homeschool, this makes for busy lesson plans and hands-on, technology-driven learning. Here’s a list of homeschool apps we use just about everyday – and better yet – all of these apps are FREE.
Crash Course, Peekaboo Kids and TED-ed are mainstays in my lesson plans. I don’t know what I would do without the ability to add visual learning to my curriculum. YouTube is number one on my list of must-have homeschooling apps.
Any homeschooler knows that repetition is a very important strategy in teaching children. That’s where notecards come in, but you don’t have to spend hours making them. StudyBlue helps me create online flashcards that my kids can access at home on their laptops.
Instituting a reward/behavior system in your homeschool is integral in helping children set and meet goals. It also helps them learn accountability for their behavior and understand the rules of their classroom. Class Dojo is accessible for both parent and child and allows parents to decide which behaviors to reward their children for (i.e. hard work, kindness, etc.) while giving kids visual expectations in a classroom or homeschool environment.
Got questions? IXL has answers, thousands of answers! I love using IXL to test my kid’s knowledge of what we’re studying. IXL has hundreds of questions at each grade level (K-12) and for each subject.
The sheer amount of math, science and technology education available on this app makes it a must-have. This math app will follow your kid from number recognition to calculus and is a great tool for kids who need to move above grade level expectations. For example, my 8-year-old is in 3rd grade, but has already begun pre-algebra. Had it not been for Khan Academy, I could not have kept up with him!
This foreign language app makes it possible for parents who only speak English to teach their children another language. It should be noted that DuoLingo is not just for kids, parents and adults of all ages can use it to learn too. The app currently has seven languages available from Spanish to Vietnamese to Russian. It tests verbal and written skills, as well as assigning homework.
This is the first app we used in our homeschool. It’s great for homeschoolers because it makes astronomy a totally accessible subject for small kids. With its kid-friendly interface, the app points out names of stars and planets at the touch of your child’s fingers. SkyMap uses the GPS on your smartphone to pinpoint your location and once your kids hold their phone or tablet camera toward the night sky, they’ve got a full view and explanation of the world above.