These 10 free must have apps would allow our homeschool to run un-interrupted even if we had to get rid of all the printed curriculum we currently own.
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1. LivriboxWe had been using the subscription based Kindle Unlimited and Audible until we heard about this free app. Livribox features free public domain audiobooks, in multiple languages and versions read by volunteers. We're not just enjoying listening, but a couple of my girls are actually interested in becoming volunteers.
2 .EvernoteEvernote is a virtual notebook that keeps your notes, files, bookmarks, and reminders neatly organized. I admit it took a little bit of time to get used to, and I didn't like it at all at one point, but now that I've gotten the hang of it, it is the number one tool in my homeschool. I organize lesson plans, put courses together, create sharable files and tests for my girls, etc. The paid version allows you to access files offline, this paid feature came in handy when homeschooling during a move and while traveling last year.
3. Google Docs & Google DriveGoogle Docs gives you the ability to create, share and edit spreadsheets and word files in real-time. Google drive also provides cloud based storage space for all sorts of files. I keep our most accessed files as well as spreadsheet templates we use on a regular basis on Google Drive.
4. YouTubeLike me, my girls are visual and auditory learners. We use YouTube videos throughout the day, and look up science videos, biographies, and how-to videos on every subject. One of our favorite channels for memorizing math and science facts is Mr. R's Songs for Teaching, also check out Crash Course is great for various history and science topics. Please exercise caution and be sure to preview every video before showing it to your child. Content that is acceptable to some, may not be appropriate for others.
5. KindleLike Livribox, Kindle makes thousands of public domain books readily accessible for free. We download books on our iPads and read them on the Kindle app. When you're constantly on the go, schooling while traveling, short on space or you just don't want to carry a stack of books everywhere you go, this is the app you need. Like nearly every homeschool family we've ever met, we are book hoarders and though we love the convenience of Kindle, it has not replaced the printed books we love.
6. SpotifySpotify is a subscription based music service, that also offers a free version, with a limited number of commercials. Our favorite feature is the ability to search by mood. Our favorite playlist, Brain Food includes great tunes minus the sometimes distracting vocals.
7. YouVersionYouVersion is a mobile Bible app. Per their website there are 1,471 versions available in 1,071 languages. The app features a new Bible verse every day, offers thousands of reading plans of different lengths and in regards to hundreds of topics. We use the YouVersion app throughout the day to quickly look up verses or passages in our lessons.
8. Voice MemoMy 13-year-old broke her right wrist a few weeks ago. Since she is right-handed, this would have meant her falling behind on every subject. Using the Voice Memo app on her phone she was able to record science and history notes. She even recorded the answers to a couple of her tests and sent me the files for grading at a later time. What we both enjoyed about this method is that since she was not limited to a blank space on a test, each response was more thorough than they would have been on a piece of paper.
9. Google EarthGoogle Earth is just plain cool. Zoom in as close or zoom out as far as you like. We use Google Earth for geography, history, and even literature. We often look up places described in stories we're reading, and go on hour-long rabbit trails that allow for great discussion and even further exploration.
10. Merriam-Webster'If you don't know what that means, look it up.' Ask the girls, that's my catch phrase. We actually have an iPad on the table, with the Merriam-Webster app permanently open. It's our homeschool's best friend. It's your run! What is a free must have free app in your homeschool?
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For more everyday tools for homeschool moms, check out the link up at the iHomeschool Network blog below.