This blog is where we share our homeschooling journey. Our style is eclectic, employing strategies like notebooking, workboxing, and some relaxed unschooling I like to call organic or free-range learning.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Top iPhone Apps for Homeschoolers

If your household acquired an iPhone or iPod Touch for the holidays (or prior), you can use it to enhance your family's homeschooling experience. There are tons of add-on applications you can install for your child's (and your!) learning. Best of all, many are free or cost only a dollar or two.

Here's a rundown of some of our favorite iPhone apps:

1. Stanza
Read books anywhere, right on your iPhone/iPod. This free ereader app not only allows you to download ebooks off the web, but you can transfer files and books from your computer as well.

2. ABC Tracer
A great activity game that teaches the mechanics of writing letters. Your child traces over letters, and the program colors the line red or green depending on whether they are tracing the right direction. Fun and effective for emerging writers.

3. GoSkyWatch Planetarium
An awesome astronony app. Point your iPhone/iPod at the sky and this app will identify stars, planets, and constellations where you are. Also has a full 180-degree rotating display to "see" the night sky in other parts of the world. Over 200 images of planets and more. At $5.99 it's the most costly of the apps on this list, but worth it.

4. Google Earth
A 3D map program that shows landmarks and lets you zoom in on any spot on the planet. For a lighter version of this, try Pocket Earth.

5. Moon Globe
Same 3D idea as Pocket earth, but for the moon. Highly detailed, with over 1800 landmarks identified. Very cool.

6. NASA app
Very cool linkup to space agency news, videos, mission info, photos, and more.

7. Art
View thousands of famous works of art by more than 200 of the world's greatest artists. Link off to websites for artist biographies, play quiz games, and more. This is only 99 cents, but there is a free "lite" version as well.

8.A Bee See Sight Words
Darling talking flash card game that introduces over 300 words. There is a free lite version that you can try out to see if your child likes it.

9. iReadMusic
A fun app that teaches your child to read musical notes via a series of games. Multiple instruments to choose from, including guitar, piano, and mandolin.

10. iWriteWords
Teaches kids to write upper case letters (there's now a lower case version available too) by a set of games. A good progression game after ABC Tracer.

11. MathSplat
A game set that teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

12. Mathemagics
Mental math tricks that will let your kid pluck complicated answers from thin air!

13. Japanese Phrases
Yes, you can learn languages on your iPhone--a lot of them, actually.

So how do you get these apps? Visit the iTunes store (using the app store button on your iPhone, the iTunes program on your computer, or Google it online) and search apps to find a ton of educational and fun experiences for the whole family. Enjoy!