Posted: Jun 14, 2013 9:00 AM
 
The end of the school year doesn't mean the end of learning for kids. Keep the basics at the forefront of their minds with these educational apps that reinforce subjects such as reading, writing, grammar and math.

iTooch Elementary School

iTooch Elementary School education appiTooch Elementary School app has over 18,000 exercises for grades three to five. It covers the subjects of math, language arts and science based on the US National Common Core Standards on the App Store. Each grade level is separated by subject, and within those subjects, there are more options. For example, in math grade three, children can review numbers and operations, geometry, measurements and data and more. Each one of those options has levels to work through including practice questions and tests.

I like how much information is offered within the app and that it applies to more than one grade level. I don't like that you have to pay to purchase many of the lessons. The app is free to download and you get free access to 10 titles, but after that it's $5 to purchase additional lessons. Over time, this could add up to some serious money. Since the app has so much information, I figured it was worth including in this list but watch out for those in-app purchases.

GET IT^ iTooch Elementary School is available in iTunes for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy appBased on the Khan Academy website, the Khan Academy app has over 3,500 videos on topics ranging from basic math to organic chemistry. Videos are usually no longer than 10 minutes and they show you visually what's going on using a virtual blackboard. On the iPhone, you can only watch the videos with an internet connection, but on the iPad, you download videos to watch offline and you have the option of using subtitles.

This is a really good app to use along with other materials or when your kids hit a roadblock learning particular topics. I like that the videos are fairly short and really break down the information. It would be nice if there were also some practice problems to go along with the videos like there are on the Khan Academy website.

GET IT^The Khan Academy app is available for free in iTunes for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. A similar version is available for free in Google Play for Android devices.

BrainPop Featured Movie

BrainPop Featured Movie appWith BrainPop Featured Movie, your kids will learn something new every day. In the free version, the animated featured movie changes daily and covers topics such as science, social studies, arts and music and technology. After watching the short movie, there is an interactive quiz that kids can take to test what they learned. The free version also has three more movies and quizzes in each subject. The explorer subscription is $2 a month and gives you access to five movies and quizzes each day while the full access subscription is $7 a month and provides full access to everything the app offers.

The app covers a wide span of information and videos are short so kids aren't as likely to zone out while watching them. It's unlikely I would pay for either of the subscriptions, but the free option is nice because there is a new movie each day.

GET IT^BrainPop Featured Movie is available for free in iTunes for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and in Google Play for Android devices.

Writing Prompts for Kids

Writing Prompts for Kids appAs a writer and a homeschooling mom, I want children to love writing starting at an early age. For this reason, I like the Writing Prompts for Kids app because it's full of silly, creative writing ideas that children can use to spark their imagination. The app contains writing prompts, lists of better words and hard to spell words. Prompts can also be saved to favorites for later use if needed.

I love the instant prompts that give random situations, settings, characters and objects. If you don't like one of the options, it can be replaced by tapping that section. One instant prompt suggests I write a story about a robot that wins a prize in a candy factory while also including something about a skateboard. Using your imagination, the possibilities with that story are endless. I also love the list of better words that kids can use to enhance their writing, such as replacing boring with drab. I do wish that you could add to the list of better words and hard-to-spell words so that it was customized for the child(ren) using the app.

GET IT^Writing Prompts for Kids is available for $2 in iTunes for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

Grammaropolis

Grammaropolis appGrammar is necessary for both reading and writing, so it's important that kids stay current on their nouns, verbs and adjectives. With Grammaropolis, that's exactly what kids will do with animated characters that play the different parts of speech in their own neighborhoods. As you stroll through the neighborhood, there are songs, books, videos and quizzes to help you learn more about the various parts of speech.

My oldest daughter sometimes gets grumpy when we pull out the grammar workbooks, so I like that this app gives her a fun way to learn. However, only the nouns section is free to download. The rest have to be purchased as in-app purchases. You can buy everything at once for $13 or get them individually for $2.

GET IT^Grammaropolis is available for free in iTunes for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

PopMath

PopMath appPopMath is one of the first educational apps for kids I downloaded on my iPhone years ago and my kids still play it. Math problems are presented as bubbles and you have to select the problem and the answer to pop them. Points are accumulated as you work through the levels and the levels are timed but you don't lose if you take too long. Once you finish a level, you can move on to the next or continue with the current one.

Since my kids are different ages, I like that I can select the number tables for the games as well as the different operators of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or all of them together. The sounds can get a little annoying at times but that is solved easily by turning them off in the app or turning the volume on the device down.

GET IT^PopMath is available for $1 in iTunes for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

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