The long, leisurely summer is coming to an end. School means busy days, filled with classes, afternoon activities and homework. A parent can help a kid do their best in school, and these days that help can go far beyond checking a few math problems. Now you can use your smartphone or tablet to teach them and help them manage their lives. Need help with school? There's an app for that.
Check out these apps for your Apple and Android devices to help your kids keep up and get ahead...
Smarty Pants School
Teaching your child to read takes more than just patience. This app evaluates their skill level and, with that information, provides a series of structured games and activities that you can guide her through. Smarty Pants School lets kids intuitively link words and letters of the alphabet with pictures. They're so much fun that she won't even know she's learning.
This flashcard app helps elementary school students learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You pick the number of questions and the range of numbers. You set the time limit for each question. And the app takes it from there, giving plenty of positive reinforcement for a pleasant learning experience.
Android users can try StudyDroid, which has similar functionality, but also lets you make your own flashcards and sync online.
My HomeworkNOW & School Alerts
This app lets you stay connected to your child's school and classes. Receive notices about delays and closures, view classroom information and find out when teachers update a homework assignment. Parents and teachers can stay in touch, wherever they are.
Grammar Jammers Elementary Edition
Animated songs and rhymes work in concert to help your child learn grammar mechanics and usage. Quizzes are unlocked at the appropriate time, with interactive rewards waiting in the wings. Grammar Jammers is also available for younger and older kids.
TimeTable — Class in Session
Keeping track of everything can be a challenge for parents and kids alike. Use this app to see a running account of your student's class schedule. You can be a backup reminder should your budding genius forget where she's supposed to be and when. The app can also help to avoid family conflicts, pointing out after-school events, such as band or soccer practice. Edit functions enable last-minute scheduling changes to be done in a snap.
The CIA World Factbook 2011
Turn geography into a shared multimedia experience, with detailed information, covering over 250 countries and regions, gleaned from U.S. Intelligence reports. The app also provides up-to-date social, economic and political data. Text, photo galleries and regional maps help create a snapshot of each country for a better understanding of its relevance in the world.
School Supply List
Quickly create a list of your child's back-to-school shopping needs, selecting from 100+ items or adding your own. And do it without ever leaving home. Include notes and sort the list by items or store; keep the list current throughout the school year with just a few finger taps. Your child (and you) will never be caught short. And the best part... no paper or pencil is involved.
Android users can try the Manage School Supply List, which has similar functionality.
Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology, gadget and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast.
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