Spotlight on Five! ~ Teaching with Mobile Apps

/ / Advertisement, Blog, Homeschool Resources- Spotlight on 5

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine- Spotlight on 5

Welcome to our monthly Spotlight on Five! 

Teaching with Mobile Apps


I am probably a lot like you. I have a love/hate relationship with technology! I’m the gal who has oodles of bookshelves with books that I cannot bear to give away. I love the smell of books, both new and old! My school cabinet is loaded with curricula in all subjects and blank spiral notebooks ready to be filled in with freshly sharpened pencils. 


I would rather hear the squeals of children jumping on the trampoline or sliding down the zip line in the backyard, than the cacophony of sounds emitting from the computer speakers. 


I feel greater joy when I find my children reading to each other or listening to an audiobook together than I do when I find them playing a video game on the computer in the living room. 


But I have to admit that I love my tablet and the educational apps we use for homeschooling. They make my life simpler, and the kids think they are extremely fun. Mobile apps are also exceedingly affordable. A couple dollars spent in the app store can deliver a boatload of information for the kids and a quiet 15 minutes a day for mom. 


Here is how we use mobile apps in our homeschool. These are my best practices learned over 4 years of iPad use: 

  • Be sure your tablet or smart phone is password protected. Password protect the tablet or smart phone. I don’t want my children on a mobile device without my knowledge. Password-protecting the device allows me to keep track of who is using it and for what purpose. Another family practice is that any device that can access the internet stays in family rooms. 
  • Use the built-in timer function, if necessary. If the app is game-like, then your child might get carried away and spend more time on the tablet than you would prefer. Set a timer for 30 minutes to alert you both to the lapse of time. 
  • Organize your device for educational success. Place your favorite educational apps on the front page and file games and other “fluff” in folders on successive pages. Folders both condense and tuck away apps that you would rather not draw your kids’ attention from the apps that you believe have greater educational value. 
  • Use apps strategically. We always work on our Bible and other memory work on the iPad before watching videos, for example. We also get all bookwork completed before pulling out the iPad. 


A little thought and organization goes a long way toward using mobile apps successfully for school. Ask your friends what their favorite educational apps are, and don’t be afraid to spend a few dollars on a highly recommended 4 or 5-star app. But the great news is that there are many free ones of great value to choose from as well. Apps can help make school fun, but should only be part of the whole school experience.

Terri Johnson

Terri Johnson has been homeschooling for 16 years, has graduated two children and has four more to go. She is the founder and Vice President of Knowledge Quest, Inc., a publisher of history and geography curricula, supplementary materials and mobile apps. Their newest app, Quest Magazine, is often #1 in its category (history) and Timeline Builder is their most popular app to date. For more information about Terri and Knowledge Quest, visit them online at


Take a look below at this month’s resources for additional ideas. Be sure to let us know how you use educational apps in your homeschool. Email Paul and Gena Suarez and share your story. We’d love to hear about it!

May’s Spotlight on Educational Apps!

Dew Learning


Dew LearningDew Learning is the first Christian K-8 curriculum developed for the iPad and accessible on any web enabled device. The curriculum combines first-rate academics, sound pedagogy, and state-of-the-art technology – grounded in biblical truth and centered on Jesus Christ. Our aim: to shape both minds and hearts in his image. 


With a focus on both acquisition of knowledge and competencies AND development of curiosity and thinking skills, Dew Learning is a robust curriculum in an easy-to-follow academic framework designed to bring the world to our students. Lessons include engaging activities and regular opportunities for reflection and inquiry enabling students to connect classroom learning and real-life success. 


Dew Learning’s Learning Management System bookmarks completed lessons and securely stores and protects your student’s records and information. Tests are automatically graded and posted to your record book. Essay results are stored and you have the tools to grade online. Data pertaining to lessons and report cards is available to you and is easy to retrieve. 


Dew Learning gives students an educational experience that is truly mobile, interactive, and engaging. 


Try an online demo at today!



Time4Learning - VocabularySpellingCity

Summer Program Builds Academic Success
Year Round

Summer Program Features: 

  • Game-based learning activities for Vocabulary, Writing and Spelling 
  • Self-Paced Lessons for grades 1-12 
  • 40 Customizable Assignments 
  • Review or Advance: Access your completed grade level or start on the next grade 
  • Web or App: Access more than 30 learning activities on your computer or by mobile app 
  • Bonus – Year Round Access! 


Get a Premium Membership for one year at no extra cost!


Visit for complete details!


Quickly set up your lesson plans.


Lessontrek helps homeschool parents create lesson plans quickly and easily. In just a few minutes you can setup your school year and subjects, create lessons and assignments, record grades, and more. 



  • Lesson tracker 
  • Grade recording 
  • Drag ‘n’ drop lessons 
  • Copy/paste lessons across weeks 
  • Copy/paste entire week of lessons 
  • Print weekly lesson plans 
  • Secure information storage 
  • Customer support 
  • Ongoing feature updates 



  • $6/mth or $60/yr 

I imagine by Bizzibrains 


I imagine is an interactive story book app with a difference: children create the characters that appear in the story. Three to eight year olds love putting themselves in the story by choosing a face, hair and clothing. 


Designed to help parents encourage independent, imaginative play at home I imagine tells a relatable story about your child who, unable to coerce her care giver into playing with her, discovers the joy of using her imagination. You’ll hear laughter as she helps her character build sandcastles, run in the yard, draw, dance and even jump on the bed! Story text is highlighted as it is narrated or you can choose to ‘read myself’. 


AppPicker say I imagine is “probably the best story book app on the App Store”, Mumsgrapevine say “I imagine is a gorgeous new children’s app that blends your photos and voice in to a beautifully illustrated, personalized story” while Kirkus Reviews say “thoughtful design features make this an inclusive story that will resonate with many young children.” 


Available on the App Store
and best experienced on iPad.


If you enjoy, please let us know by reviewing I imagine on the App Store!

Brain Parade


Brain Parade

See.Touch.Learn. is a versatile, cost effective, and easy-to-use picture card learning system for the iPad that is perfect for homeschooling. Effective with students Pre K – 6 grade and beyond, it will quickly become an indispensible tool for your daily instruction. 


True 1 to 1 Custom Instruction – Access thousands of ready-to-use lessons in the Brain Parade Community, or create your own, custom instruction using 4,400+ images we provide or your own images. 


Use See.Touch.Learn. every day to teach: 

  • Language, vocabulary, and spelling 
  • Picture identification 
  • Shapes, colors, letters and numbers 
  • Relationships of objects (larger, smaller, above, below, etc.) 
  • History, Geography 
  • And many more 


Save Hundred$ – A few hundred flash cards can cost $150 or more. See.Touch.Learn. Pro includes 4,400 cards for just $29.99. 


A Limited Time Offer – Reduced from $39.99 to just $29.99 through 5/31. 


Don’t miss this opportunity to get See.Touch.Learn. Pro at 2012 prices. 


Join more than 400,000 users in 104 countries who have chosen See.Touch.Learn. for their instruction needs. 


Interested in 10 or more copies? Contact us at


“I have well over 600 apps. I often tell my co-workers that if I could only keep one app, I would choose See.Touch.Learn.!” – Angela Ring., SLP, Long Beach, CA

Read TOS magazine FREE on your mobile devices. 


Get the FREE TOS apps here for Kindle, Nook HD, Android, and Apple.



Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6

Pin It on Pinterest