These apps make your distance learning and homeschooling a breeze

homeschooling girl with tablet
Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash

The new school year is fast approaching and knowing that we have new challenges ahead of us thanks to “the virus”, I decided to be READY. I’ve been looking for great apps that can help my kids complement their upcoming distance learning and homeschooling lessons and I succeeded. My 13 year old son has a specific learning disability in math. Since he is in 8th grade, it is so much more challenging to help him succeed. I wasn’t a math whiz when I was in school so I need all the help I can get. I’m sure there are a lot more apps out there but here’s a sample of my favorite ones.

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Photomath for Android

Photomath is a lifesaver when homeschooling kids in middle school or high school. One thing I absolutely love about this app is, for instance, I can take a picture of any equation, written or typed, even if I don’t know the result and check my son’s answers. Last year that was an issue because the teachers were explaining the process but they didn’t include an answer key.

“The step-by-step guide is beneficial to students that do not have access to a tutor and struggle with solving math problems.” — Forbes. The app has in app purchases and a premium membership, Photomath Plus that provides teacher explanations for every problem in select textbooks. It also shows animations that help visualize and understand the steps and other neat tools like a glossary. Here’s an example of how this first app works.

Photomath for Android Preview

Amazon Freetime Unlimited

Another app I like that I’ve had for a while for the kids is Amazon Freetime Unlimited. It is an excellent resource that includes books, videos and apps that are age appropriate. I love that I can set limits for the time that my kids are using specific features. My 5 year old daughter reads books that are at her reading level, practices her writing and math skills which allows her to practice the skills she learns in her homeschooling lessons. I’m not a fan of screen time for young kids but I use the time I allow my daughter to access Amazon Freetime Unlimited to spend time with her, expanding her sentences (modeling is super important), providing feedback and praise and ensuring that she has real human interaction. Some of the skills my kids get to practice are math, language, science and reading. My daughter gets to also learn social language skills with her favorite character, Daniel Tiger.

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Camera to PDF Scanner (KunKun Software)

This app was very helpful last Spring to turn in written assignments in Google Classroom for my 13 year old son. He’s in 7th grade and most of his assignments were turned in through Google Classroom as PDF files. Camera to PDF Scanner turns your phone into a scanner so you can convert your picture into a PDF document. You can also do multi-page scanning, which is very convenient when you need to upload one file with several pages. My son did homeschooling from 3rd grade through 5th and using this app helped me organize his portfolio better and easier.

I also used it to provide documents via email, such as birth certificates for school registration and other personal documents like a drivers license. I’m the kind of person that likes simplifying my life and this app really helps. I don’t even deposit checks at the bank anymore. I use my bank app, take a picture and voila… my money is in the bank in a second.

Leapfrog Academy

Why we love it

Leapfrog Academy is one of my 5 year old favorites. She has had it since she was 4 when I decided to get it so she could be prepared to enter Pre-K. 

 It is designed for kids ages 3-6 to teach them age appropriate academic concepts through engaging games and online activities. The neat thing about it is that you can download activities and the kids can play them without the need of a wi-fi connection. 

You can also track you little one’s progress as they complete their games and activities. Leapfrog says: “LeapFrog Academy™ provides a well-rounded curriculum featuring fun learning games, activities, videos and eBooks that blend traditional school subjects with creativity, problem solving and social emotional skills.”

You can also take the learning off the screen since you also have the option to download printables for more practice.

 Where can you get it?

The app is available to download on the following devices: 

LeapPad® Academy, LeapFrog Epic™, Epic™ Academy Edition, VTech® KidiBuzz™ or Amazon Fire® tablets; Windows® or macOS® computers; and most Android™ or iOS® phones and tablets using a Wi-Fi connection.

How much is it?

As a parent I find value in the fact that the membership is reasonably priced at $7.99 per month for their month to month subscription but you can pick from two other options: 6 months or 12 months in advance and both options are still very well priced. You can start by trying it for free for a month.

Leapfrog has new pricing to help in this pandemic that we’re going through. LeapFrog is offering an extended 2-month free trial of LeapFrog Academy. In addition to that they’re offering reduced pricing on 6-month and 12-month plans for parents who want to keep the learning going.

Khan Academy Kids

Why we love it

Khan Academy is an Award Winning program for kids between 2 to 7 years of age. It is adaptive learning at its finest. It adapts to the child and creates a unique individualized learning for the kids.

I’ve been able to try it with my daughter this past month and we both love it! The program engages kids in core subjects like early literacy, reading, writing, language, and math. It encouraging creativity and building social-emotional skills as well.

Where can you get it?

Khan Academy Kids is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon.

How much is it?

It is completely free! Unlike other “free” apps, they don’t have any in app ads that may interrupt the learning. Their website also added distance learning resources in light of the current situation. Go here to access these resources, including weekly planners, workspace tips and much more.

Start enhancing your children’s academic skills with these amazing tools!

Although you may be doing distance learning for just a few weeks, months or maybe the next year, you can always use these apps and programs to keep your kids engaged with learning. My hope is that you will have a successful year, whether you do distance learning, homeschool or send the kids to school in person. Remember that you are your child’s first teacher and you got this mom! Here’s to a revived school year this year and beyond!