There are so many great technology platforms geared toward helping kids learn. (Almost too many, if you ask me.) But all are not created equal.
If you know your kid, you probably know what kinds of platforms will fly, and what won’t. Our goal is to give you the basic rundown -- including screenshots and price points -- so that you can focus on the products that seem like they will be best for your family.
That said, in the process of working on this, I found a few products that I’m super excited about and can’t help but share.
- WonderStories - This app looks awesome for young readers who CAN read but don't really love to. Formatted sort of like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid style of chapter books, but digital and interactive -- and, of course, with more theme variety. So cool. I can't wait to try it with my six-year-old, who is way more into computers than into reading paper books. We’ve been trying to get her to do unsupervised reading time, and I’m optimistic that this could be just the thing. (Price: $6.99/month)
- Adventure Academy - Made by the creators of ABCMouse, this is a beautifully designed MMO (massively multiplayer online game), where kids can interact with each other and with NPCs (non-player characters) to do all different types of learning activity. It’s designed for ages 8 - 13, but I had a hard time pulling myself away when I was testing it out for my 8-year-old. I can only hope she loves it as much as I already do. (Price: $9.99/month)
- BrainPOP and BBCBitesize - I’m not sure whether I’ll personally do an all-in-one platform for my kids -- it honestly depends on how their distance-learning program from school goes -- but I’m super excited to know that if I do feel like I need to build a whole homeschool curriculum, there are some really cool options out there. We’re putting together a list of officially credentialed online elementary schools as part of the Guide, but for those (like me) who are sticking with the public school system’s official credentialing through distance learning but also want to make sure your kids are moving forward in every subject, these might do the trick. BBCBitesize is an official product of the British government, and tracks with the British public education system, so not everything lines up. But the platform is free and easy to use, and looks like it has a ton of great content that kids can engage with directly, with limited adult supervision. BrainPOP looks similar but for the U.S. audience. The drawback? It's definitely NOT free. Prices range from $9.92/month (for the family plan billed annually) to $49.95/month for the full-featured homeschooling plan billed monthly.
- Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government - Yes, this website is well made -- especially considering it’s the product of the U.S. government’s General Printing Office -- but the main reason I’m excited about it is its subject matter: civics! Yes, you too can teach your kids how the federal government works. And the games are honestly pretty cute. Another one I can’t wait to roll out to my little scholars. (Price: FREE)
Ok, those are my faves -- now I’d love to hear about yours! If you have an app or online education resource that you love, let me know and we’ll include it on the site.