Reader’s Choice Educational Apps, 2011

Apps for Homeschooling Reader's Choice 2011Thanks for voting in Apps for Homeschooling’s 2011′s Reader’s Choice Awards!  You, our readers have spoken and voted for your favorite educational apps of 2011 here and here (we’re looking for a more streamlined procedure for next time!)

You can tell a lot about a review site by its readers recommendations, and I’m thrilled to see your choices for the best educational apps you used in 2011!  We own all of these apps except for one, and have reviewed many of these choices already.

Any winning apps that haven’t yet been reviewed here will have reviews added shortly, so stay tuned for those!

Here are your top 10 choices of 2011 sorted by popularity, #1 received the most votes, down to #10 in descending order.  There were a few ties so some of the placements are approximate.

1. Stack the States

Stack the States was FAR and away the most popular app of 2011!

App Description – “Stack the States makes learning about the 50 states fun! Watch the states actually come to life in this colorful and dynamic game!

As you learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations and more, you can actually touch, move and drop the animated states anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of states that reaches the checkered line to win each level.

You earn a random state for every successfully completed level. All of your states appear on your own personalized map of the United States. Try to collect all 50! As you earn more states, you begin to unlock the three free bonus games: Pile Up, Puzzler and Capital Drop. Four games in one!”

Universal (iPhone/iPod/iPad) – $0.99Mac – $1.99, Windows Phone – $0.99

A free Universal (iPhone/iPod/iPad) lite version with 5 states included is available to sample.

Watch for my review, coming soon!

2. Rocket Math

Rocket Math Homeschooling App

4/5 Apples, Universal (iPod/iPhone/iPad) – $0.99

free ad-supported version of Rocket Math is also available.

“There are few game-based math apps that you can use to practice such a wide variety of math skills as you can with Rocket Math – and for only $0.99, it’s easy to see why this app is such a fast favorite amongst homeschooling families.  If you are learning a primary level math topic, you’ll likely find one or more mission in Rocket Math to use as a fun educational supplement AND your children will have fun blasting into space while they do it.”

Read the full review here!

3. LanguageBuilder

iPhone/iPod – $5.99, iPad – $7.99 both with additional in-app purchase options

LanguageBuilder Deluxe, iPad – $14.99 includes all the in-app purchase content in the regular versions

App Description – “Language Builder is designed to help children accomplish the following educational goals: 1) Improve sentence ideation ; 2) Improve sentence formation; and 3) Improve receptive and expressive language. Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory processing disorders. Auditory playback of child’s voice offers reinforcement for language development.  Language Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the ability to create grammatically correct sentences.”

Watch for my review, coming soon!

4. Splash Math

Splash Math First Grade Math Workbook App

4/5 Apples, Splash Math Grade 1 iPhone/iPod – $4.99 , iPad – $9.99

A free lite iPhone/iPod and iPad version including the first two chapters are also available to sample.

Splash Math is also available for Grades 2-4 with full versions for both devices and free samples as well, find the full developer listing here.

“Splash Math Grade 1 is the most diverse, thorough, comprehensive math app that I’ve seen when it comes to teaching grade 1 math skills.  It seems like everything is included, the statistics, tracking, progress reports, and customization are top-rate.  With a nearly endless number of questions available in fifteen different chapter-based skill sets, this is a very complete math app for extra practice or remedial work.  Splash Math is a serious educational app, and I’m glad to see the breadth and depth of its offerings.”

Read the full grade 1 review here!

5. Frog Dissection

Frog Dissection Homeschool App

Golden App, 5/5 Apples, iPad – $3.99

“If dissecting a frog is part of the requirements for your students in high school biology – this app will save you the trouble of hunting down a stinky dead frog for a lab.  Even if your children don’t NEED to dissect a frog and just want to learn more about frog anatomy, live cycles, or anatomy, you’ll want to buy Frog Dissection.”

Read the full review here!

6. Toontastic

iPad – Free with in-app purchase options

Right now Toontastic is celebrating their 1 year anniversary and you can buy ALL their in-app packs (and any future packs) for only $9.99 (26 packs, normally $0.99 – $1.99 each) (I just bought it last night – my girls adore this app.)

“Toontastic makes exploring the world of creative storytelling a complete delight. Deeply motivating and truly a joy to use, your children will beg you for a chance to explore the basic structure of stories as they craft their own animated cartoons. This free app is incredibly rich and full of features (but don’t be surprised if your children ask you to buy some expansion sets – they are fabulous). Toontastic isn’t an app you want to miss – go get it and give it a spin!”

Read the full review here!

7. Space Boards, Language Arts

iPad – $49.99

A free sample app is available to give you an idea for how these apps operate.

A wide range of Space Board apps are available, those that cover a range of subject matter for a specific grade level (PreK, Kindergarten, Grade 1 – Grade 5), and those that focus on a subject area with many grade levels (Grade 1-6) of content included (Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Math).

We had some votes for Language Arts in particular, and others for Space Boards in general. Find the full listing here.

App Description – “NeoLithix First-Sixth Grade Language Arts Space Board iPad App contains 18 great digital workbooks (Learning Modules), plus two BONUS digital workbooks for added fun & learning. First-Sixth grade age children (+ older children remedially) can hand-write in these workbooks countless times “digitally” using a stylus, rather than just once using “write-once and throw away” conventional workbooks. A great “green” product! Students’ hand-written work is digitally recorded for later review by parent, teacher or tutor.”

Watch for my review, coming soon!

8. Scribble Press

iPad – Free

“Scribble Press for iPad makes it easy to create an ebook – either write your own or use one of over 50 story templates. How about “My Babysitter is a Zombie” or “The Dog Ate my Homework”? From serious to seriously fun, you can make a book about any topic and instantly publish to the gallery or share with friends anywhere in the world.”

You will soon be able to order printed versions of your children’s digital creations through the app as well.

Watch for my review, coming soon!

9. JANES ABCs 123s

Universal (iPhone/iPod/iPad) – $0.99

App Description – “Our app can help any child learn not only their ABCs, but 123s, Colors, and Shapes too. Prepare your pre-schooler to read with JANES ABCs 123s.

• Retina Graphics
• Interactive Words
• Pronunciation of each letter in every ABC word
• Interactive Images
• Counting from 0 to 20
• Twelve interactive Color pages
• Twelve interactive Shape pages

JANES ABCs 123s is a set of interactive flash cards, developed to teach children their ABCs and letter sounds to prepare children how to read. The program also includes Numbers, Colors, and Shapes.”

Watch for my review, coming soon!

10. Simplex Spelling Phonics 1

Golden App, 5/5 Apples, Universal (iPhone/iPod/iPad) – still on sale for $0.99, will be $4.99!

“Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 is one of the most powerful spelling apps for phonics I’ve ever used.  The arrangement of 450 high frequency words according to phonetic sounds and principles, the self-correcting, direct-instruction, statistics, multiple users – it meets ALL of my criteria.”

Read the full review here!

11. Honorable mentions to 25-in-1 Free Educational Apps.  We had a four-way tie at the end, and 25-in-1 was one of those winning apps, so we’ve added it as #11!

5/5 Apples, iPhone/iPod – FreeiPad – Free

“If you’re curious about A&R Entertainment’s line of educational apps and puzzles, this is where you should start.  This one free download will let you and your kids try out 25 of their popular educational apps.  Don’t be surprised if you find a few favorites that you want to buy full versions of for your collection!”

Read the full review here!


Thanks for reading us, and  I hope you’ll join us at the end of 2012 to decide the Reader’s Choice 2012 winners!