In this day of worry over tech addiction and screen-time, sometimes the learning potential of devices can be overshadowed. But personally, I’ve always been a big proponent of using technology to learn because it opens up so many realms for kids to explore in ways that make sense to them.
Luckily there are numerous options for learning nearly anything they might be interested in, but that also means it’s a constant struggle to sort through various offerings to find the gems that are actually worthwhile and will connect with your kids. So I thought I’d take a moment to share with you five of the websites and apps that our kids are loving to use right now!
My kid have tried various methods of exploring the world of numbers over the years, but Khan Academy is proving to be very successful for them. Using a mixture of instructional videos and quizzes, it’s helped them master quite a lot of maths, and they show no signs of slowing down. Even better, they’re easily transferring the concepts they use in Khan Academy into real life situations.
Free, available through apps or online at Khan Academy
My kids love chess. They’ve been playing for some years now and attend a local homeschool chess club as well as some local scholastic tournaments. Although they enjoy playing with each other at home, ChessKids gives them the opportunity to play with other kids all over the world whenever they want, as well as providing a huge array of instructional videos, lessons and tactics problems.
Free or paid, available through apps or online at ChessKid.
One of our more recent discoveries, Kids Discover Online is proving to be quite popular among my kids. At it’s heart it’s a kid-oriented online encyclopedia with articles on a variety of fascinating subjects. Articles are well organized with a variety of ways to navigate the content, all of which has plenty of visuals as well as the option to have the text read aloud for reluctant readers. And if you use it alongside a more structured curriculum, Kids Discover Online also has options to build assessments for your kids, as well as to search for articles that align with various standards.
Free or paid, available online at Kids Discover Online
My kids love music. They just straight up love it. As a result we’ve got a growing array of instruments that the kids are learning how to play, including a piano. After experimenting with a variety of apps and websites we’ve settled on Hoffman Academy for our growing pianists. It offers a fairly balanced curriculum, including musical theory, technique, as well as fun songs to play and a healthy dose of silly humor in a blend that keeps the kids excited to come back for the next lesson.
Free or paid, available online at Hoffman Academy
Currently two of the kids are learning French and one is studying Japanese, via Duolingo. Every day without fail they each sit down to study the language they’ve chosen and have a great time. Such a great time that I constantly find pages full of French sentences floating around the house.
Currently Duolingo offers 30+ languages so there’s a good chance that the languages your kids are interested in are available. To top it all off, its appropriate for all ages, so feel free to use it to learn a new language alongside your kids!
Free, available through apps or online at Duolingo
Although we’re constantly looking for worthwhile apps and websites to explore, these options meet some of the kids’ core interests at the moment. That being said, it generally takes a mixture of digital and unplugged exploration for them to truly understand the concepts they’re learning about. So by all means, enjoy these sites, but don’t forget to spend plenty of time getting outside and exploring the world around you!
And please comment with your kids’ favorite websites and apps to help us find more awesome learning opportunities!