Mom Tips: 11 free iPad apps to help with homeschool

I have an iPad. Not because I bought it, but because my husband won a contest (I didn't know you could actually win those things). We have shared custody -- I have it during the week and he gets it on weekends. Sometimes. Nevertheless, I have this amazing tool and I was using it for all sorts of inane things (like changing my eye color or hairstyle in photographs and playing word games), so I decided to actually use it (at least occasionally) for the education of my children.


I didn't want to just go out and spend a ton of money downloading apps that we may or may not like, and that may or may not work for our homeschooling needs, so I did some research on freebies and came up with a list of ones that we actually do use. Keep in mind that I have a third grader, a kindergartner and a preschooler, so that age and ability range guided my search parameters. No calculus here. We are all about letters, early math and younger grade stuff. That being said, even I enjoy some of the programs I found.

Language Arts:

1. Alphabet Tracing by Oncilla Technologies, Inc

This app is awesome for my kindergartner who is practicing his letters. It does upper and lower case, as well as numbers.

2. ABC Cards - Tracing Cursive HD Free Lite by Brain Counts

If you are ready to do cursive this is a good starter app. Only uppercase though, at least in the free version. I find the voice saying the letters to be grating, but my children don't seem to mind and they get to pick an animal to walk them through it.


3. Aaah! Math Zombies HD Free Lite by Brain Counts

I have boys so maybe this app is more suited to them, but if you have to drill on your math facts, you may as well take some zombies down with you. Who doesn't love to burn down a zombie or two while practicing an important skill?

4. Count Money - Coin Matching Game for Kids by GrasshopperApps.com

This is great for reinforcing and practicing with the value of coins once your kids can identify basic U.S. coins.

5. Math Flash Cards Addition by King's Apps

Good way to drill on larger mental addition problems.

Social Studies:

6. TapQuiz Maps World Edition by Rolzor

This app has been amazingly useful in teaching geography to my third grader. He knows more countries in Africa now than I do.

7. World Book - This Day in History for iPad by Software MacKiev

An interesting way to start your day and remind you of important historical events you don't want to miss teaching your kids about.


8. Science360 for iPad by National Science Foundation

Amazingly cool site where you can get lots of info for free. Articles and videos.

9. NASA App HD by NASA Ames Research Center

Lots of really great stuff for your budding astronaut.

Miscellaneous Educational Apps:

10. Shapes Toddler Preschool by Toddler Teasers

Definitely for the preschool crowd, but sometimes you just need something quiet to occupy your preschooler while you are teaching the older kiddos. This is perfect to teach shapes and the younger siblings feel like they get to do school too.

11. BrainPOP Featured Movie by BrainPOP

Each day there is a short free educational movie. You can purchase additional content, but you don't have to. My kids love it.

The apps listed above are great in assisting a busy homeschooling parent by teaching or reinforcing concepts. This is, obviously, just a small sampling of the options out there.

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