In my early homeschooling days before smart phones existed, I carried a basket full of books, CD’s with CD player, an Atlas and reference books next to me when we studied. But once I bought my smartphone I reduced the pile of books to mostly just our read alouds.
In 2015 I included a smartphone as one of my 3 Ingredients I would select for homeschooling. As techno-savy mom, I have added many more homeschool apps for planning, specific subjects and especially for references. Here are some I used with our middle school and high school children.
- Kindle – with current Ebooks, downloaded novels, and any pdf files
- Bible – I use You Version, and enjoy the different Bible versions and reading plans and Bible studies. Sometimes we follow good Bible plans for teens and family devotions.
- Dictionary and Thesaurus (download the offline versions)
- Google Translate for 2nd language studies
- Duolingo or Babbel for 2nd language practice
- Wikipedia our go-to favorite!
- YouTube subscriptions, playlists or general looking up
- World Atlas especially with flags for Current Affairs and Geography
- Google Sky Map for Astrology studies
- Google calendar for all my planning
- Just plain old Google to look up anything
- Music playlists containing our Hymns, Geography Songs, as well as current classic musician’s music
- Radio streaming app such as Spotify with our favorite genres and artists while we do handicrafts and art
- Timer for Maths drills, arrows games, and revision
- Audio Recorder to record oral narrations
- Audible for audio books. (I download the book for my daughter so that she can listen to her story offline)
- Camera to capture nature finds
- Bird, Tree and Plant reference apps for Nature Study
- Photo editor for art and drawing reference, as well as for sharing art with other family members
- Podcast app with my favourite homeschool posts such as TEDtalks for Kids and Family
- News for our Current Affairs (note – I preview before I share)
- Khan Academy especially for high school Maths and Physical Science
- Online games for Phonics and Spelling such as Spell City, Starfall, The Spelling Bee,
- Shopping list app for mom’s weekly shopping. Add a menu planner and a recipe app and you’ll be completely sorted for all your meals
- Dropbox which enables everyone to safely store and access documents across different computers.
There are dozens of phone apps for toddlers and kindergarten, but I prefer to encourage real-life interaction and limit screens for young kids. It is really addictive! Also, be aware of “fluff” or “candy floss” apps which are simply fun and not really educational. Nothing replaces time for real play and exploration and time to be creative.
As technology sometimes fails, always save and make physical pencil-on-paper plans, records and notes. I always start here and then look online for educational support.
For families with limited WiFi, opt for offline versions and select and download specific information for subjects. We made the decision to only use free online educational games and not pay for subscriptions even though many were excellent.
What others are sharing:
- I love to read Sonya of Simply Charlotte Mason weekly posts and this week Sonya shared her 10 Smartphone Hacks For Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers.
- Best Educational Apps at Homeschool Academy.com
What other smartphone apps do you use for homeschool? Please share in the comments below.