Algebra with Apps!

Has your homeschooler reached junior high or high school age? Are you feeling a bit lost trying to provide good instruction and teach them higher level math? Or, are you looking for a way to engage a less than enthusiastic math student? Utilizing apps is a great way to enhance your curriculum. Some apps make learning a new subject into a fun, attention holding game, while others are simply instructional, without the added component of gaming. Both can be incorporated into your homeschool curriculum to help supplement instruction, and even to creatively entertain while teaching Algebraic concepts. Though there are hundreds of options to choose from, here are three great choices to get you on your way.

The first two apps recommended here are instructional in nature. The first, Wolfram Algebra, is brought to us by the creators of wolframalpha.com, a self-described “computational knowledge engine.”  The folks at Wolfram have created apps that provide instruction and assistance in a variety of subjects, including Algebra. Beyond offering explanations of concepts, this app can actually solve an algebraic problem for you, providing step by step explanations. While it doesn’t offer the same computation power of Wolfram, Khan academy is an unbeatable resource, offering an enormous selection of instructional videos. While sites such as Youtube allow anyone to upload and post “how to” videos, regardless of accuracy or qualifications, Khan academy videos are absolutely reliable, as they are created by a panel of experts in various fields. You can access Khan academy videos from any computer with internet access, but the app gives you on-the-go access without the need for wifi. It also may be a better choice for those students that learn better through an instructor rather than through self-guided reading.

The fun side of things has not been left out of the world of Algebra related apps. With games and concepts suitable for a variety of ages, the Dragonbox apps are a fantastic addition to your Algebra arsenal. Created for children as young as five years old, these educational games let your child have fun and unwind a bit from the rigors of instruction, yet still teach them algebraic concepts. As your student masters each level, they increase in difficulty, building higher order thinking as they move forward. The Dragonbox concept was created by a math teacher, and the games have undergone considerable vetting. Their creators utilize product feedback from parents, teacher, and kids, in an effort to provide the best learning experience possible. Colorful and fun, you might even find your child asking for more math time!

While this list is by no means all inclusive, each of the apps mentioned can provide unique assistance in learning and teaching Algebra. Whether your student prefers independently reading and trying new concepts, or needs occasional help with a tough problem, Wolfram is a powerful tool. Khan provides unbeatable instruction, and even parents might find themselves enjoying the fun of Dragonbox. Whatever your specific need, Algebra apps can prove an invaluable addition to your homeschool curriculum.

For 15 years Mimi Rothschild has been privileged to help hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers educate their children at home. The MorningStar Academy is a private online Christian school offering diplomas and teachers. The Jubilee Academy is an online Christian curriculum provider offering over 150 full year online Christian courses for PreK-12.