I will admit to being addicted to certain endless runner type games on my iPhone. All in the name of research as The iPhone Mom! But when it comes to my children, I try to limit their time with this style of app and direct them to more productive apps instead. One area that iPads and iPhones are very useful in is education. In fact, some schools even provide iPads for students use to reinforce classroom learning. I feel that children learn best through repetition and there are many engaging and fun apps that accomplish this goal.
There is of course great potential for distraction when it comes to any electronic device. I am the queen of procrastinating and my Subway Surfer score gets quite high whenever I have a deadline looming. I heard firsthand that in one school that provided iPads to each student, some students handed them back in after a few months because of the distractions it caused. I do try to monitor my children’s screen usage and guide them towards educational items.
There are some really fantastic math apps I would like to briefly highlight.
- Math Fun 1st Grade and Math Fun 2nd Grade are two separate apps from the same developer. These are among the most comprehensive educational apps I have seen. Both apps have 10 activities with over 200 equations to focus on different aspects of addition & subtraction and multiplication & division. With exercises in number families, vertical equations, place values and so much more, children will become comfortable in important aspects of elementary school math.
- Mathmateer (formerly Rocket Math) is a great math game with the goal of building a rocket. You’ve got a set amount of money to spend and you can use it to buy boosters, fins, decorations, etc. You can choose between the following mission categories: numbers, counting, time, US money, shapes/patterns, addition/subtraction, multiplication/division and challenge. You can also choose a mission based on one of these difficulty levels: beginner, novice, intermediate, advanced, expert and genius. Completing your missions earns you money for rocket improvements. For me the hook was trying to get my rocket to work the way I thought it should. In order to do that I needed money which meant I had to do the Math. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I think that’s the general point of the app. So mission accomplished Rocket Math!
- Splash Math features sixteen chapters that cover over 200 skills that third graders will learn in Math
- Squeebles fractions, our current favorite, where answering fraction problems correctly earns you ingredients to bake a cake to enter into a bake show!
- Little Digits, great introduction to counting for the younger crowd, ages 3 – 7.
I could go on and on about different math apps which I feel are really fantastic for reinforcing skills. Particularly when it comes to multiplication tables! However, I’d also like to point out some notable apps in other subjects.
In geography, science and social studies:
- Stack the States
- Stack the Countries
- Presidents vs Aliens
- Our Amazing World: Antarctica
- Monster Physics
- Disney American Presidents
Letter and Sound Recognition:
- Goodnight ABC
- ABC 123 Fun
- Antique ABCs
- Pre-K Letters and Numbers
- Letters with Pooh
- Pre-K 123, Pre-K Rhyme and Pre-K Paper
- Share my ABCs
These are just a small sampling of educational apps which should give you a taste of the value a smartphone or tablet can add to furthering your child’s education. Used in conjunction with regular classroom learning and homework assignments, these apps can help your children progress to the next level.