How have your kids transitioned back to school? How have you? The early morning wake-ups, the suddenly-filled afternoons, the busyness of balancing homework and sports and activities - getting back to school can be hard on the whole family. Today, we're sharing five apps that can help with the transition. Oh, and coffee. You'll need these apps and lots and lots of coffee.
Here are five apps that we are loving this fall. Have a favorite? Leave it in the comments below.
Help kids (and mom) manage stress - OMG I Can Meditate
By now, you've probably heard of the mind and body benefits that can come from meditation, and I've even shared some of my favorite "learn to meditate" apps for moms. But I hadn't found a great one to use with my kids - until now. The OMG I Can Meditate app is geared to help the whole family de-stress and breathe deep. The app has over 100 different mediation with series like Better Sleep or Stress Less, individual meditation to start your day, focus on your health or relationships, and over 20 meditations specifically geared for kids at different age groups.
I'm currently reading UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World (highly recommended!) which talks about how mindfulness can help our kids become kinder, happier and more successful. Whether your kids are stressed out from a busy schedule, dealing with difficult teachers or classmates, or need help developing coping techniques and self-control skills, mindfulness meditations can help provide lifelong tools. Download the free app for access to the 20 Kids & Family meditations or buy a monthly or annual membership for complete access to all the meditations.
Track reading minutes - You-Log Reading
Do you have a budding reader in your house? Or maybe a voracious book devourer? Does your school require students to read a certain number of minutes a day? We have reading charts all over the fridge and counter for my three boys to keep track of the books and minutes they complete each week, but I've been eying the You-Log Reading app that not only keep track of your weekly minutes, but also what titles you've already read, wishlists for books to read next, set reading goals, even see genre pie charts and write book reports! For a simpler, no-frills reading tracker that's also free, try L9Lab Timer Log app which just lets you track and save your minutes for reading (and other activities like music practice, time outside, etc.)
No-battle teeth brushing - Philips Sonicare for Kids
You never know what will motivate your kids. In this case, a furry little round character named Sparkles who only "speaks" in gibberish has successfully motivated my three kids to spend the full two minutes brushing their teeth morning and night. While the Philips Sonicare for Kids app will pair with one of their rechargeable toothbrushes, it can also be used with any old manual tooth brush too. The app models good brushing skills and gives them a visual for effectively brushing all four quadrants of the mouth. Kids earn snacks, fun accessories, and new backgrounds for Sparkles when they brush. I wouldn't have guessed that my kids would have been motivated by this (even my 10 year old!), but I haven't had a toothbrush battle since we got this app. It does mean the iPad makes its way into the bathroom, but if that leads to no cavities, I'm game. See more of our review here.
Figure out tonight's math homework - Photomath
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Quadratic equation anyone? Maybe file this under "Apps You Don't Want You Kids To Find" but if the night's math homework is leaving you just as confused as your kid, it might be time to call in the reinforcements. The Photomath app lets you take a picture of a math problem (handwritten or from the book) and it will a) not only tell you the answer, but more importantly b) provide a detailed step-by-step instruction of how to solve the problem. The app works on a variety of math problems from arithmetic and fractions to algebraic expressions, trigonometry, and derivatives. Just maybe only download this app on your personal phone. That has a passcode. That your child hopefully doesn't know.
Keep your tween or teen organized - myHomework
Have you heard the concept of executive functions? These are higher order skills that are often key for success but are often not taught directly - skills like problem solving, self-control and planning. While many schools aim to help students develop planning and organizational skills, you can help your tween, teen or college student stay organized with assignment due dates, class schedules, upcoming tests, and project reminders with the myHomework app. Winning organizational awards since 2009, the myHomework app helps students track classes, homework, tests and assignments on iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Androids, Macs or PCs. While I still have a soft spot in my heart for paper calendars and to-do lists, we are living in a digital world and giving your child the tools to practice planning and organizational skills with an app can help them develop a lifelong skill.
What are your favorite apps helping your family transition to back to school?
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