Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on October 21st, 2014

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Kids homework making you nuts? Here are two apps to help you help them!

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Happy Hump day! Midweek, I tend to notice that midweek is prime studying or cramming for test time in our house. With two teenagers we have lots of tests. It seems the last few years the amount of test my kids have has grown substantially. So much so, that I often wonder with all these tests, when do they ever have a chance to have lessons and learn the material?

These days, there are lots of different teaching methods. Technology has changed not only the way we think, but it has changed the way we learn things. Any parent can tell you that sometimes helping kids with homework can be frustrating. Let's face it, how many of us remember 4th-grade math? And, if your kids are doing Every Day Math or Common Core Math, forget it! I mean I am no fan of the Lattice method. We are relatively lucky with the age spacing of our children. An older one can typically help a younger one. But, the oldest, yeah that falls on us.

Well, as parents in 2014 we have a few great tools that our parents didn't. We have computers, tablets, and smartphones. Today kids do homework via digital textbooks. With digital textbooks, parents can review pages in the book to assist with homework dilemmas. But, what about those days there is a worksheet with no book tie-in? And what about studying? Well, today, I am going to tell you about two great apps to help you help your kids as well as be your kid's homework godsend!

1. PhotoMath. I found out about this app today. Let me tell you that if I had known about this three weeks ago I would've been one happy homework helping Mom! It is available for FREE in the iTunes store. Hurry go get it before it's not free anymore.  Our middle schooler is in Algebra. And last week we had linear equations! Our son was doing makeup work after vacation so we had to learn the lesson on the fly. This would've been fabulous. It doesn't just give you the answer, it gives you step by step problem solving so you learn how to get the answer. Simple, scan the problem and learn.

2. Quizlet. This is another FREE app. At our house, we go thru flash cards faster than they can be produced. We have been trying to convert them to 100 percent use of digital flash cards/apps.  With Quizlet they can make their own flashcards and then test them self on them and get graded. No more of me trying to read the kids scribble and flash card after card and make piles of right and wrong.  My kids always have their phones with them so studying any time for a few min in between activities is a breeze.

So, there you have two apps that will save your sanity, help your kids and make homework a little less frustrating. Technology's presence in education is growing every day. With the increase of online textbooks, ebook reading, MAP testing, Google Docs, computer-based exams and more, expanding our digital education resources is key. If you expand how you learn to digital it makes digital testing easier.  Don't view these apps as cheating. If they are giving you step by step problem solving they are teaching you how to do something not just giving you the answer. With the availability of the world at their fingertips, our children have the opportunity to be smarter. They have the direct, instant access to learn about anything they choose. And not just learn about it, these tools can help them master it. No longer is memorizing everything the key. Today, knowing how to find the answer is key too.  So, hurry up and download these, you have no idea what homework pitfall awaits!

These are just examples of two apps available to make homework smoother.  Talk to your kids, they may have some apps they already use, or maybe they have an idea for a great app that would help other students. As always, if you have an app you would like me to review, feel free to drop me a line! Happy problem-solving!