Homeschool Discoveries

Sharing a few things I've discovered along the way…

Tech Tuesday: Finding Great Educational Apps February 21, 2012

Filed under: Technology — kirstenjoyhill @ 10:09 pm
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When we got our iPad last fall, it didn’t take me long to realize that finding good educational apps in the app store can be a frustrating experience.  I felt like I was wasting a lot of precious time sorting through page after page of apps, while finding few that would meet our needs.

I feel very fortunate to have discovered a great site — Apps for Homeschooling.  Site owner Jennifer has reviewed dozens of apps, maintains a page of free and sale price apps that is updated regularly, and regularly does give-aways or “tosses” for promo codes that can be used to get free apps.   This is really not just a site for homeschoolers — anyone looking for educational apps for their kids will find this site useful.

If you like Apps for Homeschooling on Facebook, you’ll see almost-daily alerts to these free and on-sale apps, as well as having the opportunity to jump in on promo-code “tosses”.  Even when you do find apps you like for your iPad, iPhone or iPod, it’s easy to be tempted to spend way too much money buying them all.  🙂   By checking the Apps for Homeschooling site or reading Jennifer’s posts on Facebook, I have gotten many, many apps for free or for a very low price.

Another site I recommend is Digital Kindergarten, a blog written by a Kindergarten teacher who uses iPads in her classroom.  Check out the two pages she mentions in this post for a long list of apps she finds useful.

I also take note when bloggers I already enjoy share about their favorite apps Carisa at 1+1+1=1 and Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler both share lists of apps they like.

As I mentioned in my first Tech Tuesday post, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to homeschool tech, including several links to posts or sites with lists of educational apps.  I’ll keep adding more as I find them!

What sites have you found to help you discover great apps?

I’m linking up with Tech Tuesday @ Sunflower Schoolhouse!

 

Tech Tuesday – A New Meme! February 7, 2012

Filed under: Technology — kirstenjoyhill @ 11:02 pm
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I’ve been thinking about writing a series of posts on “techie” stuff we use in our homeschool.  I love reading about great iPad apps and educational websites on other blogs, so I am excited to share some of the discoveries we’ve made.  I was also thinking that “Tech Tuesday” or something similar would have quite a ring to it as far as blog memes go.  Well Honey at Sunflower Schoolhouse was kind enough to start just such a meme after I suggested it in the comments on her blog!

I’m linking up with her Tech Tuesday meme and plan to do so on a regular basis.

We got an iPad late last September.  It is such a wonderful tool for learning (and for fun!).  I asked each of my kids what his or her most favorite app is:

Miss M (age 7.5) said:”My Horse” — An app that simulates having a horse that you can feed, take care of and even take to horse riding competitions. It’s perfect for my horse-loving daughter. This is an app the potential for in-app purchases, but of course those need the parent’s password (and I am not sure that Miss M even realized until recently that it was possible to buy things). It hasn’t been a big deal for us. She is able to enjoy it without spending any real money.

Mr E (turns 5 next month) said: “Red Birds” (aka Angry Birds) 🙂  This one is a classic, and needs no explanation!  My boys love to run around the house pretending to be “red birds”.  The only problem with this is that they want Miss M to play the role of the pigs in the Angry Birds game.  That usually does not go over well!

Mr K (just turned 3) said: “Robots!” (aka Toca Robot Lab).  Toca Boca makes many innovative apps for kids, and Mr K enjoys all of Toca’s apps that we have purchased so far.  The Robot Lab involves constructing a robot from a selection of parts, then maneuvering this robot through a maze of sorts.

I’m not surprised that each of them picked an app that is mostly “for fun” — but they do all have more educational apps they enjoy too, and I’ll be featuring some of those in future Tech Tuesday posts.

I started a new Pinterest board for techie stuff today too.  I *think* you can see this even if you aren’t a member of Pinterest.

Do your kids have favorite apps or websites we should check out?