Our Most Used iPad Apps

These apps help us learn better and enjoy it more. Not to mention they’re huge time and money savers!  There’re no games in this list, that’d be fodder for another post.  I listed only those apps that support or enhance our learning.

So here they are in no particular order, the most used iPad apps in our homeschool:



jot whiteboard app

Super Hero loves to use Jot! to jot down his words or sentences, especially when we’re doing Spelling. He writes, draws, scribbles, erases and scribbles or writes again changing colors, line thickness and styles.


Real Chalk HD

real chalkboard app

We love this little app. Super Hero used the free version for a long while.  He loved the board and chalk colors, and the realistic sounds and feeling of writing on a chalkboard. Eventually, he asked me to pay the $2.99 to get all the colored chalk choices (and get rid of the ads!). He loves to erase and pick a different color for each of his sentences.



tinyscan app

Don’t you just dread having to scan papers sometimes?   I don’t know about your scanner, but mine takes forever to fire up, and then to actually scan each page. Well, not anymore!  Just snap a picture and scan away. It will convert the image into a PDF that you can email to yourself to store in the appropriate folder. Much, much faster for small jobs, I say.



goodreads app

We no longer write down our lists of books read. With GoodReads’ iPad/iPhone app, we just scan their bar codes and the list’s updated instantaneously!  It adds the book’s essential details, and the date scanned is posted as the date read.  So simple!

You do have to have an account already set up with GoodReads.com in order for all this to work. GoodReads is essentially a Facebook for book lovers, you can do much more than just keep lists of books read. If you’re not too keen about having another facebook-type website to handle, no worries, just don’t “socialize” in GoodReads. You can have no GoodReads friends if you wish 😉


 BrainPOP & BrainPOP Es

brainpop app

We do use both, the English BrainPOP Featured Movie and Spanish BrainPOP: Película del Día apps.  If you aren’t subscribed to BrainPOP then all you get is one free movie per day through the apps. If you are subscribed, be prepared for your child to spend inordinate stretches of time laughing with Tim and Moby, as he learns Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Engineering & Technology, Health, and Art & Music.

Gotta love BrainPOP –Super Hero certainly does!

Wow! I just learned they have a French version too … Cool!



skyview app

Just point your iPad or iPhone in any direction and the app will tell you which stars and constellations are that field of view. Point to the sky you’ll see stars and planets. Point to the floor, there are stars, planets and constellations there too of course –I never thought of that till I used SkyView.  If it’s nighttime, point to the floor and you’ll see the sun!  How fun!  Anywhere you point you’ll see what’s in there, including man-made stuff like satellites and the International Space Station.

You really gotta see this to appreciate how awesome this app is!



overdrive app

We used OverDrive to read or listen to books and audiobooks from the library. The nice thing about OverDrive is that you never need to worry about due dates and fines. Books will disappear from the panel once elapsed.  And, you need not even step in the library to bring the books home, so you can use it anywhere in the world.  How very convenient!




blio app

Exactly like OverDrive above. You need a library account to use Blio, so everything I said for OverDrive applies here too.  Though not an immense supply, there’s a very decent collection of more recent children’s books, that are usually not found in OverDrive.



notability app

Printing worksheets or other PDFs may not be a thing of the past just yet, but with the Notability app, it’s the closets it gets.

Super Hero and I *love* this app .  Not only do you get to write right on the PDF through the iPad. You can also highlight text, draw shapes (built-in), free-hand draw,  record your own audio notes, and even attach photos or portions from websites.  And Super Hero’s favorite feature: It will transcribe what you dictate, although you must speak v-e-r-y  c-l-e-a-r-l-y.   I put some screenshots about how we use Notability for my Moving Beyond the Page and Visual Latin reviews, if you’d like to take a peek.

There’s no other way to say it: this app just rocks!



kindle app

You surely know the Kindle app for being, you know, Amazon’s book reader. That alone makes it a valuable app in our homeschool.  But did you know you can also use it to send and keep all sorts of PDFs?   I’ve been sending stuff away to my iPad’s kindle app right from my MAC, through the “Send to Kindle” feature of my desktop version. Then when I grab my iPad, everything’s there waiting for me. I put lesson plans, curriculum guides, ebooks, and any other PDF that doesn’t need annotation (there’s notability for that).  I just delete when I’m done reading. The PDF will still be in my Amazon account (there’s a limit there of course).



ibooks app

Aside from ebooks, I use iBooks in much the same way as the kindle app above.  Unlike the kindle app, though, with iBooks, I actually need to plug my iPad into my MAC to transfer the PDFs and ebooks.  However, the kindle app does have a limit of 50MB per item, so iBooks saves the day when the document to transfer is bigger than that.


Which Apps Do You Like?

Are there any apps you love? Please let us all know, leave a comment below 🙂




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