As the pandemic drags on, thousands of schools around the country remain closed, leaving parents to navigate homeschooling and virtual classes on their own. Between balancing work and being a mom, teaching your kids might be a bit too much to handle alone.
Luckily, there are a handful of apps out there that can simplify learning and keep your kids engaged so you don’t have to pick up all the slack.
1.) Easy A
Math looks a whole lot different than it did when you were in school. Gone are the days of long division and the old fashion sic algorithms. Now, kids are learning new methods under Common Core. This new math can be incredibly confusing for parents who have never seen it before, which is why EasyA can come in handy.
This app provides on-demand access to math tutors who can help your child solve those difficult equations through secure instant messaging. All tutors are from Oxford and Cambridge University and can help with algebra, geometry, trigonometry, probability, integration, differentiation and more. Simply snap a photo of the question and get help in a matter of minutes. Most sessions are 30 minutes so students can learn how to solve the problem and others like it.
2.) Khan Academy
Many teachers rely on Khan Academy for resources and lesson planning, so there’s no reason why parents can’t do the same. This non-profit organization seeks to provide a world-class education to anyone for free. Standards-aligned lessons cover everything from early math to college-level history and SAT preparation.
The app offers thousands of interactive exercises, videos and articles that would be of interest to both adults and children. The kids can follow along with topics they’relearning about in virtual school or practice other lessons at their own pace. Plus, you can easily bookmark and download content so the little ones can keep learning, even if they’re offline.
3.) Remind: School Communication
In a world of overlapping modes of communication, it can be easy to miss a deadline, misplace a document or forget to respond to a message. For parents struggling through virtual homeschooling, trying to remember all the details can be overwhelming. Luckily, there’s an app that streamlines communication and organizes everything into one accessible place.
Remind is a comprehensive communication platform that allows teachers, students and parents to share files, links, photos and messages. Communicate in real time on any device and keep personal contact information private. The text-like interface makes for easy navigation and downloading the app is completely free. Plus, as its name suggests, it sends reminders about upcoming tests, schedule changes and more so you and the kids never miss another meeting or deadline again.
While the ability to learn a new language is strongest until the age of 18, becoming completely fluent means starting before the age of 10. Therefore, if your kids are still in elementary, now may be the perfect time to start teaching them Spanish or French. Of course, you may not know or be fluent in another language, either. In which case, you may rely on an app like Duolingo to do the teaching for you.
Available as a website or an app, Duolingo can walk kids through 38 written and spoken languages, including Klingon and High Valyrian. Every lesson has games and provides immediate grading so you and your kids can receive prompt feedback. Plus, virtual coins, levels and fluency scores incentivize learning and keep students engaged.
If your kids have an obsession with the popular video app TikTok, they’re going to love Edplus. This interactive app has a very similar interface and uses a unique algorithm to make learning fast and efficient and personalize questions.
As students swipe through Edplus, they’ll see videos from people like Olympic Gold winner Rebecca Adlington and other users who record their own video questions. The app will then record how you answer every previous question and use the information to optimize its teaching strategy. In this way, your child can build their knowledge of everything from math to languages. This app is free to use during school closures.
Give Yourself Grace
Homeschooling on its own can be enough to drive most parents crazy. Now, with a pandemic, an election and virtual classes on your mind, you may be on the verge of pulling your hair out. While these apps may engage your kids and help them keep up with classes, they won’t ever compare to in-person schooling. Therefore, it’s important to give yourself and the kids some grace during this unique time.
Some days, you won’t have the energy to teach, help with homework or even download an app — and that’s alright. Just do your best and hang in there. If it’s any consolation, Christmas break is just around the corner!