Last year my children missed almost 5 weeks of school due to travel. I truly believe that not everything can be taught in a classroom so I don’t stress about it. This doesn’t mean they get a education hall pass when we’re away. There’s lots of time for schoolwork to be done while we’re traveling — waiting at the airport, on the plane, in the car, back at the hotel room — so I always make sure that learning is at their fingertips.
For me, there’s no better way to do that then with our iPad and education apps. iPads are extremely portable and we can jam a whole lot of learning on one lightweight travel buddy. The added bonus is that when it’s time for the main event, it can be safely tucked away until we return. This year my oldest is in middle school and I was a little worried that it would be hard to find apps to challenge her. I was wrong. I rounded up these ten education apps for middle schoolers and I’m happy to report she’s still an A student despite more travel this year.
Top Ten Education Apps for Middle Schoolers
I love TED as an adult, so I thought it would be interesting to see what my middle schooler thought of it. I let her watch personal favourites of mine, Sir Ken Robinson speak to the problems in education and Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on creative genius and she found a few she loved herself. For the most part, these talks have nothing particularly racy in them and even though some of the content was over her head, they are great discussion starters. If you’re wondering where to start here are the most popular TED talks.
I heart this app so much. On our last trip my middle schooler kept quoting poetry to me, word for word. I think she really enjoyed the challenge this app threw out to memorize the poem, I really enjoyed hearing her speak so eloquently. This may give her a jump in high school when Shakespeare gets introduced.
Oh No Fractions
Oh no Fractions, indeed. The bane of my existence in middle school! Where were these ingenious apps when I was a kid?! This app makes fractions fun. Hard to believe, I know.
This is straight up timed drills and it will bring out the competitive side of your kid all while keeping them on top of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I love this app because it keeps those drills fresh, something I find the school falls off by this stage. Refreshers never hurt.
Pictures, translation and audio so there’s no way your budding Einstein will mess this up. Challenge them to slip their word of the day into a sentence or two through the day to reinforce the learning. Note: This is lots of fun for adults too.
If you said “Ugh, more math?!” then you’ll be happy to know that’s exactly what my daughter said. This app is grade focused though (iTooch has all grades covered) and covers a curriculum unlike some that only focus on certain skills.
Trying to round things out while we travel, it never hurts to keep my kids focused on language and grammar. Particularly since they’re both gunning for my job. Language matters and so the iTooch app for us is a must.
You can’t travel and not bring along a little travel education with you. GeoWalk 3D is an excellent place to start and encourages a life long love of travel. Kids (and adults) will love flipping through and finding interesting tidbits of information from around the globe. It may inspire the next destination on your travel bucket list.
Ah, puberty is so much fun, isn’t it? Sigh. Not that I encourage your kids to get all they need to know from an app BUT it is nice to know that some of the information they need can be found here. With sections on nutrition, medical musts, physical activity and sports, safety, and growth and development this app is a well-rounded health education class without the smelly locker room. Again, as with all iTooch apps, remember this can be downloaded for your child’s grade.
Would you be able to pass your country’s citizenship exam? The reality is that many wouldn’t. I love this app for keeping me and my kids on top of our Canadiana. Besides, if we’re traveling to represent our country, we should have our facts straight! If you’re American, you can find your US Citizenship Test too!