I was just thinking the other day about how many helpful websites/apps I’ve come across over the years that we now use on a regular basis. They’ve truly enriched our homeschooling experience and I’m sure they could be useful to others too. So here’s a quick list of our faves that have a permanent home as a bookmark on my iPad or computer:
1: Spelling City
Make your own spelling lists and it will generate games with those words for your child to practice. They can even take their spelling test on here. You can use the free version which has fewer games, or buy the premium version (which we have done for a few years now) which has several more options. You can create over 100 separate lists. I always load up all my lists from our spelling curriculum for the entire school year ahead of time so they’re ready for when my child reaches that lesson. I’ve got several grades worth of lists created by this point, which is handy as my younger child is now coming up on spelling lessons I’ve already created lists for.
This is great for studying vocabulary words or anything else you would create flash cards for. You make sets of words and their definitions and then your child can play games and test themselves. You can also print out flash cards or quizzes if you prefer to do it that way. Additionally, you can browse and save other people’s sets, so if you’re looking for vocabulary words to go with, for instance, a novel you’re reading, you might get lucky and find that someone else has already created a great set. You can use it both on the computer or on the iPad app.
This is the perfect solution for drilling the math facts. You set the level/operation for each of your students and they work on the math facts until they’ve mastered them. You even get reports emailed to you, detailing how your child is coming along.
4. Khan Academy
We’ve used this a few times when needing to hear certain math concepts explained differently, but I have plans to incorporate their great videos into our history studies next year and beyond. There is so much on there it’s almost overwhelming. Most of the ones I’ve previewed look like they are probably best for middle school age and up.
I wrote a blog post about Audible not long ago, and we’ve continued to LOVE it. It’s not cheap, but in my opinion it’s money well spent. In the four months we’ve been using it, we’ve listened to 14 books together. That adds up to a lot more “reading” than we would ordinarily do. I’ve also found a lot of great stuff that I’m excited to use to enhance our history studies in school, such as this series called Weird World of Wonders as well as lots of historical fiction that would tie in well to the different time periods we’ll study.
6. Book Adventure
I just recently came across this and I’m excited to use it this school year. While I’m certainly not into imitating public schools by overdoing it with tests, especially when it comes to reading, I’ve been looking for a tool that can help me assess how much of what my kids read “sticks”, so when I came across this website that has comprehension quizzes on thousands of books, I was pretty thrilled. After setting up their account, kids can earn points by scoring well on each short ten-question quiz and eventually buy prizes (albeit, they’re not the greatest prizes), or you can set up your own incentive plan with rewards you’ll give when a certain number of points is reached. My kids and I have tried out a few quizzes on books we’ve read together and they seemed to think it was more like a game than a test, which is exactly what I was going for.
My kids have been using this iPad app to learn more Spanish. There are around 18 different languages and several more in development. You won’t become fluent by using it, but it definitely can increase your vocabulary if you use it regularly.