We live in a world where technology is everywhere.
Seriously, in some places there are commercials streaming on the gas pumps. Not here in small town Ohio though, some of ours just got card swipey things not that long ago. And thank God, because what kind of ADD inducing nonsense is that?
I have a love/hate relationship with all that is technology. When it works correctly (as in the way I want it to) it is a beautiful thing. When I get error messages it makes me crazy! I won’t even talk about my husband here, but lets just say we’ve had a printer go out the window, and his first blue tooth met its maker via a vice. (He has less of the love, more of the hate).
In my life technology is not just entertainment, or organization. My children attend cyber-school, which means we’re plugged in to it. They use computers for their lessons, but do have regular books to read from (although there is an e-book option available, I request the “real” books). They type a lot of their assignments, but worksheets, notebooks and pencils still play a significant role.
This year though I wanted to do some Pre-School work with Daniel and get him ready for Kindergarten next year. (sniff, sniff, is my baby really that old?). The kid is super smart, and I’m not just saying that because he’s mine. He picks up on everything and his little ears are especially curious when his brothers are working on their school work. He is constantly curious, always learning, and asking questions, which I love! So I didn’t feel the need to buy a curriculum, or have a super structured school day with him.
I found some great ideas on Pinterest, for sight words & letter recognition. We write, play play-doh, color, and there is an abundance of free printable worksheets online.
And then there’s apps.
As I’ve mentioned before I was a late comer to the smart phone party. But one day while trying to help Nathan through long division and Anthony with Spanish, and Daniel with the papers I had given him I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. It’s not always, sometimes the big boys barely need me, but there are days I could clone myself 78 times and there still wouldn’t be enough of me. Poor Daniel was sitting there waiting, and I could tell getting antsy and rapidly loosing interest in “school”.
So I googled Pre-School Apps. A few minutes later we were in business. He was still learning, I could focus on the other two, and he was tickled pink.
“Really, I get to play on your phone for my school.” (insert little, super pleased giggle here)
I downloaded and deleted a few over the next couple days, finding the ones he enjoyed, that were teaching what I wanted, and were easy for him to navigate on his own. Although with two big brothers the boy can navigate an xbox and a wii better than me so that wasn’t a challenge.
So here’s the three that not only got a permanent place on my phone and are on Daniel’s “page” but this cheapskate actually bought the full versions!
Tracing ABC- This is exactly what it sounds like, virtual writing. Kids trace the letters and little stars appear to show them how to do it correctly. It also says the letter and shows a picture of a word that begins with it. It also does numbers and shapes.
JumpStart PreSchool- Nathan had the computer version of this and loved it. So I wasn’t surprised that the app is great! It covers everything. Letters, numbers, shapes and colors.
TeachMe Kindergarten- This one is a little more advanced. It is an addition and subtraction app. Daniel loves to add, so he really enjoys it. What I like is that it advances with your child. When they’ve mastered the basics it starts with things like __+2=4 So higher thinking skills come into play. With a 9th grader that hates algebra with a passion I’m hoping this app teaches the little one at a young age that numbers are fun!
Technology is your friend (or can be). If your child needs extra practice in a certain area, or is learning something new why not see if there’s an app that might make it fun, or at least present it in a different way they might understand!
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