We have found lots of great apps for math and reading, as well as science and geography. Most of them are free or at least have a lite version that is free. I will highlight our #1 favorite in each subject, even though there are many that we love.
If you have grade school children and an i-device, please spend $4.99 on this app. It's Math Board by Palasoftware. It is worth every penny and more. (There is a free version called MathBoard Addition.) The parent can create specialized quiz settings for each child.There are a seemingly infinite amount of variations. You can make it as simple as one number addition and subtraction or as complicated as pre-algebra.
As the child is taking the quiz, there is a sliding chalk board where they can work in the problem.
There is also a problem solver if the child is stuck. It will mark the problem wrong, but shows every step in solving for the correct answer.
(obviously I solve these problems incorrectly. ha!)
This app is just awesome. The girls use it for review and for reinforcing skills. They took quizzes periodically through the summer. When learning a new skill, I'll reset the quiz parameters to isolate that new skill for practice. I love, love, love it.
Also made by ParaSoftware is the newest-to-us app, SpellBoard. Similar to MathBoard in its functionality and usefulness, we quickly decided to forgo a spelling curriculum this year. The girls were strongly in favor of me loading a list of spelling and vocabulary words each week for them to use with the various games, practices and quizzes.
I'm lovin' how the app keeps track of how long each girl spends on each list and what activity they did.
There is a practice quiz, where they can copy a word off the list while it's spoken and used in a sentence.
There is a word scramble.
A word search.
And a missing letter game.
The parent can load spelling lists into the app, complete with recording the word and a sentence containing the word. The girls enjoy doing spelling. That alone makes this app worth way more than the $4.99 it costs.
We are doing Astronomy for science this year. To go along with it, we found the Planets app by Q Continuum. I'll admit that this app is a little harder for me to understand. I haven't played with it enough to figure out how to use it. But the girls are enjoying playing around with it so I'm hopeful that I can get the hang of it as well. There is a lot of information in each photo.
The app registers your location and tells you what stars are visible in your night sky. You can view the sky in 2D or 3D. It looks like its going to be a great part of our Astronomy study this year.
Last year at our homeschool enrichment program, Alyssa took an art class about birds. It really stirred an interest in birds and drawing them. We found this free app to help her - because I know nothing about birds.
It's called Peterson's Feeder Birds of North America. Imagine a field guide with various photos, charts, information and sounds at your finger tips...this would be it.
You can keep track of what birds you spot, where, etc. It's not my cup of tea but Alyssa loves it. She looks up photos of the birds so she can draw them and then looks through the information about that species. And it's free!
Last is the app that I might play more than the girls. Stack The States is a super fun, informational game loaded with facts about geography. The full version is only $.99 and there is also a free lite version. We all enjoy this game a ton!
When you answer a question correctly, the state is then placed in a bubble you can spin and manipulate before dropping it onto the platform.
The purpose of the game is pretty obvious - stack the states all the way tot eh checkered line without making them fall over the edge. The states are all proportionally correct in size. California is huge and Rhode Island is teeny tiny. It makes stacking them a bit of a challenge!
So there you have it! Our favorite apps for babies straight through to upper elementary grades. The iPad and even an iTouch are such great tools!