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5 Educational Apps to Use with Your Kids

Children today seem to know early on how to use a smartphone, tablet computer and remote control. They love to spend time playing games, collecting rewards and competing against friends online. As a parent, why not make the game-playing an educational time during which your child can still have fun but will be learning something new? Below are some apps you can use together for an educational adventure.

SpellTower

SpellTower teaches spelling to kids. What is great about it, however, is that it can be used by a wide range of ages with three different levels from which to choose. Children who are just beginning to learn to sight-read can use it as can older elementary children who are developing an advanced vocabulary and learning difficult spellings. Beginning readers can even play with the app to put letters together and see if they work. As players find words, they clear tiles from the board with the ultimate goal of not letting the letters reach the top of the screen.

Brainscape

Brainscape is a sophisticated virtual flashcard system. You create flashcards for language or other facts, using pre-set information or information that other parents have already created. After making your flashcards online, your child can use your mobile device to practice the flashcards. You can find just about any topic on Brainscape, making it perfect for kids of all ages. Brainscape is wonderful for studying for quizzes and tests or for reviewing concepts during the summer.

BusyKid

BusyKid is a great option for teaching your children about money, finances, saving money and investing. While it is a paid app, you will most likely find that it well worth the investment because it saves you plenty of time in paying out allowances to all of your children. The app will send you texts requesting your permission to give allowances to your children for chores that have been completed. Once the children have received their allowances, they can choose what they want to do with their money. Being able to choose between saving it, investing it in real stocks, donating it to a charitable cause or cashing it out for a gift card helps children learn how to use money in the real world.

DragonBox

DragonBox is a set of three apps that teach advanced math. The first app is designed for children ages 5 and up while the sequel is designed for those ages 12 and up. Using puzzles, the apps teach basic mathematics, algebra and geometry. The third app, which is called DragonBox Elements, teaches geometry and is designed for children ages 9 and up. These apps are great for children who struggle with math because it takes away the boredom of numbers by using pictures. These apps come as a one-time purchase but do not have any ads.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is widely recognized for its excellent standards, even being used by the U.S. Department of Education. This free app is ad-free and is great for elementary-age children who can already read. This app teaches all subjects, including math, history, language arts, science, and art history. Using pictures, videos, reading assignments and test problems, Khan Academy provides a rich educational experience for your children as well as for you if you want to brush up on something from high school or college. Use it also for your teenagers who are preparing to take the SAT or ACT.

While experts used to recommend a maximum of two hours of screen time each day for children, now the American Academy of Pediatrics does not set a specific time constraint. Instead, they say that parents should focus mainly on educational screen time rather than on entertainment. While tens of thousands of apps and shows are listed as being educational, you must be sure to look at each one carefully to determine if it really will help your child learn a new concept or reinforce an old one.

Tim Esterdahl

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