Reading Raven 2 Phonics app review


One of my favorite Phonics apps is the Reading Raven app.  Now that my son has progressed in his reading and phonics skills I was thrilled to find the Reading Raven Vol 2 HD app.  This extends the Reading Raven path to a higher level that is a little more advanced than the first Reading Raven app.


Reading Raven Volume 2 HD continues the Reading Raven series of superbly engaging learn-to-read games. Your child is ready to move on to Volume 2, if he or she can read or sound out simple words that follow the consonant-vowel-consonant pattern.  If you are familiar with the first Reading Raven App then you will notice that the games and formats are similar but  harder then the original reading raven app.

If you are looking for an App that  is not just a games but also enforces Phonics then consider the Reading Raven apps.

Reading raven app review


As a firm believer in phonics for reading I am always looking for good phonics Apps.  The Reading Raven HD iPad app is one of the few apps that start with a phonics based approach to reading.  20140314-221822.jpg

Reading Raven Features

  • Step-by-step curriculum lets kids learn at their own pace.
  • Multi-sensory reading games that children find engaging.
  • Based on proven phonics-based approach.
  • Customizable for children ages 3 to 7.

Reasons why I recommend the Reading Raven App

What I appreciate most about the app is that in the beginning lessons, Reading Raven introduces very few sight words.   I also like  that Reading Raven has an emphasis on the letter sounds not the letter names.  In the early lessons most of the games are based on sounds.  Sounds are introduced a few at a time.



You can configure different users and different levels for each user.

Ages 3 and Up
– Letter matching
– Letter tracing
– Letter recognition
– Word matching

Ages 4 and Up
– Vocabulary
– Word beginnings
– Word building (spelling)
– Word spotting

Ages 5 and Up
– Reading aloud using voice recording
– Word tracing
– Word groups (rhyming and beginning sounds)



Be sure to check out Reading Raven.

Early Jamestown history app review


I was thrilled to discover this app about Jamestown since we are studying American history this year. The app appears to come from Colonial Williamsburg because there are several videos that look like something that you would see at a museum. There are only a handful of History apps that are available so it was a welcome surprise to come across a free history app! The Early Jamestown app is a good quality free History app! There are pictures and videos throughout the app. The app is similar to an interactive iBook. The app goes through the history of Jamestown in chronological order.

Apparently the app only includes chapter 3 and Chapter 4. Maybe more will be added later as paid content but the app appears to cover most of the important stages of the early Jamestown history. There is discussion about the conflict with the Indians and other issues that early Jamestown colony encountered. The pictures are good and the videos are professional. The only issue I had was with the videos. The video window is so small that you always need to expand while playing. It would be nice if they automatically expand when you watch them.

On my iPad the Early Jamestown app is one the the best apps for homeschooling especially since its Free!

How to pick apps for your homeschool?


How to pick apps for Homeschooling.

There are thousands of apps for the iPad and iPhone. It is easy to get app crazy with all the free or cheap apps. How do you know what app to buy? How do you know if an app is worth the cost? How do you sort through all the thousands of apps to find good apps for homeschooling? Here is what I recommend for finding and choosing good homeschool education apps:

  1. Search the iTunes Education category. Remember that if you are searching on the iPad it does not sort based on popularity. The iPad defaults to listing the newest app first.
  2. Read reviews on iTunes and on other web-pages listed below. The iTunes store will have reviews listed by those who have purchased the app. These will be people who purchased the app without a promo code. Many web site reviewers are given free promo codes to review the app. This is OK but sometimes it it good to know that they did not purchase the App.
Here is a list of recommended app review sites with helpful information.
Before you buy an expensive app I would recommend you also:
  1. Try the free or light version of the app. Many apps have a free version that has limited features that you can try out before you buy. Search the Apple store using the word light with the app title.
  2. Wait for the app to go on sale. Apps frequently go on sale. Several websites list apps for sale. If there is an app you like but you are hesitant to buy because of the price you can try waiting for the app to go on sale. Many apps go on sale around Christmas or around the company’s anniversary.
  3. Buy a couple of .99 apps to get a feel for the value of apps and how much you are willing to spend on an App that may not live up to your expectations.
  4. Look at the number of stars. Each app in the iTunes store usually has a rating. Some apps may not have enough reviews to have a rating. This is OK if the app had a recent update but the older version of the app had good rating. Some websites will sort the app list by its star rating and then by category.
  5. App finding apps:There are also apps you can download that filter out apps. You can try the app Kinder Town to search for good kids apps.
For more helpful advice on picking apps go to moms with apps site and view the article here. I’d love to hear from you about how you find and select good apps for your homeschool. How do you find good apps for homeschooling?

Teachers list 20 iPad apps for education teachers

There are a number of schools that have started using the iPad.  Have you ever wondered what apps they use?  The video below shows some of the apps educators are using.

20 Apps in 20 Minutes Ipad Edition from TJ Houston on Vimeo.

In this webinar @tjhouston and @llacrosse will overview 20 apps in 20 minutes. These are the apps that were used in the classroom and found to be effective supplements to the curriculum. They were used with 5th grade science students while working with ipads for an entire school year.

While there is no perfect list of apps that will be guaranteed to work with all students in all classrooms, this list may be a good starting point for seeing the variety of apps available for the classroom. The types of apps available to teachers and students range from basic consumption of information apps to creation apps that allow teachers to provide a platform for students to showcase growth and learning. Each teacher and group of students will benefit from working to individualize their class with app usage. The best apps are those that work for YOUR content, YOUR class structure, and YOUR needs.