As homeschooling parents, we all want to be more organized and productive during our daily routines. But, when we are balancing kids, creating lesson plans, and (of course!) the occasional curveball life throws at us, being organized is easier said than done! The struggle to balance leaves us searching for that sure-fire way to keep our homeschool routine organized in the most efficient way possible, ensuring we aren’t taken off track.
Thankfully, we live in a digital age where new technology is constantly being introduced. So, why not take advantage of the many resources available to you at the touch of a finger? By implementing a few handy applications for your tablet and smartphone, you can easily increase your family’s homeschool productivity and organization each day. There are countless homeschooling apps to help you better organize and be more productive. But what you need, as homeschooling parents, is to know where to start!
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Below are our picks for the 10 best homeschooling organization apps to help you manage your busy schedules. And best of all, most of these apps are affordable, if not free to download via the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
- Homeschool Helper. Homeschooling requires so much balance between teaching and time management. But with Homeschool Helper, you can focus more on teaching and let the app take care of the rest. Features include the ability to track and manage an unlimited number of students including their grades, progress, subjects, and lesson plans. At just $4.99, this app is compatible with iPads, Kindle Fire, Nook, and Android tablets, essentially serving as a universal homeschool tool to help keep your students on track.
- DUE. Do you even use the calendar or alarm clock that comes with your phone or tablet’s default settings? If you’re a hands-on person — and prefer a calendar or to-do list you can actually physically see in front of you at all times — then DUE is the perfect app to keep you on schedule. DUE lets you organize tasks by categories like: “Overdue,” “Today,” “Tomorrow,” and “Next 7 Days.” And, don’t forget the app’s easy-to-customize, reusable timers and recurring reminders!
- iPlan Lessons. From state to state, homeschooling requirements vary. iPlan Lessons make recordkeeping simple for homeschoolers to meet those requirements without any trouble. Apple product users can enjoy this useful app for free, or up to $4.99. If you find this app helpful, explore additional apps included in the iHomeEducator series at http://www.ihomeeducator.com/.
- Cozi. Does it feel like your family never seems to be on the same page? This family calendar app is great for keeping everyone organized aside from just homeschooling. Cozi includes to-do lists, meal planning, shopping lists, and much more. Plus, each family member’s device can sync with Cozi, cutting down on current miscommunication issues.
- Epic Win. Are your kids gamers? Is asking them to do their chores a chore in itself for you? Try bringing the game to them instead. Reward them for their work while making tasks fun and motivating all through this awesome app. Epic Win adds adventure and excitement to completing tasks, with features like rewarding sounds, level-ups, experience points, secret treasures, a quest map, and social sharing with friends on Facebook and Twitter.
- Evernote. File saving and storage can be confusing for anyone still adapting to the digital age. With this app, saving files, notes, and images is made easy so that you stay organized both at home and on-the-go. You can even store lesson plans, to-do lists, research, or student portfolios. Evernote is free for both Android and iOS users, and is also available in web-based and desktop versions. Check out how one mom is using this app: https://evernote.com/ http://bit.ly/1w7XTNJ.
- Chore Pad. This is the perfect app for parents who value household duties and motivation for their kids. Keep track of which tasks are assigned to whom, so that your day flows smoothly on all cylinders. You can even reward your kids with stars after they finish their chores! Either use this app on the web, or download it to your iPhone or iPad for a low price: http://www.nannek.com/.
- Kindle, iBooks, or Nook. You can’t go wrong with an e-reader app for the family. By simply loading up your favorite books or selected material, your kids can read anywhere they want. These devices may be on the more expensive side, however the features and capabilities are definitely worth the money. Resources like Project Gutenberg offer over 45,000 free classic books for all ages.
- Screen Time. Thinking back to our past blog post about eliminating screen time, this app is perfect for that motive. This app doesn’t simply monitor how much time your kids spend consuming media, rather it encourages and motivates them to learn positive habits and choose other activities to replace their devices. You as the parent, can set media allowances and reward them with screen time through completed chores or good behavior. The kids can even trade their screen time for other activities or rewards.
- Life Topix. If there’s an app for just about everything in life, this is it. Life Topix includes tools for managing events, appointments, tasks, lists, health, shopping, finances, education, — and believe it or not– much more. This app is perfect for homeschooling families who don’t want to be using multiple apps every day. Life Topix allows you to keep everything condensed, and is even compatible with Evernote and Dropbox.
Life can get crazy at times. And as a homeschooling parent, your job is tough enough as it is! Maintain a smooth-running homeschool day for your family with the technology we’ve found. Hopefully this list of apps will serve your family well moving forward! Let us know if this post was helpful by sharing a comment below!
EduTech is a new 9to5Mac weekly series that will focus on technology’s application in education, lower and higher level, both for productivity and enjoyment. If you have suggestions for topics or specific questions you’d like to see answered, feel free to let me know. Catch up on past installments here.
In this week’s installment of EduTech, we’re going to break down the best apps on iOS stay organized, keep track of assignments, and more. Some of these apps are specifically made with education in mind, while others were developed with a broader focus yet still offer benefits to educators and students alike.
This is arguably one of the best applications of technology in education. Keeping track of things like assignments, due dates, and tests used to be a tedious task that required the use of a physical planner to truly stay on top of things. With iOS, however, there are many apps that make it easy to stay on top of your work. Read on for my full list…
The Homework App
One of the most popular scheduling apps on iOS is simply called “The Homework App.” Available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, this app features a minimalistic design that offers support for your class schedule, homework schedule, and more.
On the main screen of the app, you see a broad overview of what you have going on, including the number of classes you have that day, the assignments you have due, your schedule, and more. From there, you can dive deeper into the specifics of what you have going on with sub details for assignments, color coding, and more.
The Homework App also offers a widget in Notification Center, as well as an Apple Watch app for on-the-go tracking. There’s also notification support to ensure you never forget a due date.
The Homework App is free on the App Store.
myHomework Student Planner
This app, while still simplistic, offers a few more customization options than The Homework App. On the home screen of the app is a basic overview of all of the homework you have due, while you can filter it by class, priority, and type.
One thing that sets myHomework apart is its support for classes that occur every other day, like in a college environment. While The Homework App does support this, you have to set up each day individually as opposed to telling the app the alternation schedule. myHomework, however, allows you to choose which days a class occurs rather than assuming it occurs every week day.
myHomework Student Planner offers iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch support. It’s available for free on the App Store.
Returning to the simplicity over features theme, Class Timetable is an incredibly simple app that allows you to keep track of classes and assignments. The home screen of this app is a simple list of your classes for that day, while a separate Tasks window shows your assignments and when they are do.
Class Timetable is color coded and supports a color coded week view when you rotate your device to landscape view.
While Class Timetable is free, there’s a “Pro” update available via in-app purchase for $0.99. With that upgrade, you get class notifications, timetable export, task reminders, and more.
Class Timetable is available on the App Store and supports iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
My Study Life
My personal favorite planning app is My Study Life. In my testing, I’ve found this one to be the most feature-rich apps available, while also offering a simplistic and easy to navigate design.
One of my favorite features is the “Tomorrow” preview at the bottom of the app’s home screen. This preview shows how many classes you have on the next day, the tasks you have due, and if you have any exams. My Study Life is also smart about handling exam and class interferences, alerting you of the conflict and allowing you to add revision tasks.
You can view your upcoming tasks and classes with month and week views, as well as detailed daily views with building numbers, times, and more.
My Study Life is available on the App Store for free, but there’s no iPad or Apple Watch app at this point.
While this app wasn’t developed with education specifically in mind, it’s still one of the best planning apps available. Available on both iOS and macOS, Fantastical is a beautiful calendar app with cross-platform syncing, Apple Watch support, and iMessage integration.
We’ve covered Fantastical extensively in the past and I continue to recommend it. You can import from other calendar services, sync between your various devices, and much more.
As for education-specific purposes, you can enter assignment due dates, exam dates, meetings, and more.
Fantastical 2 is available for $2.99 on iOS and $49.99 on macOS.
Another app that wasn’t developed with education specifically in mind, but yet still is one of the best apps for assignment tracking and remembering test dates. OmniFocus is task management app that allows you to enter in a task, assign a due date, and receive notification reminders to complete that task.
The app centers around being easy to use and allowing you to get things done as efficiently as possible. For each day, you’ll see a number that represents the number of tasks that you have due that day.
The app is also location-aware, meaning you can assign a location to specific task and be reminded of it when you approach that location.
OmniFocus is available for iOS, Apple Watch, and iPad on the App Store, while there’s also a macOS app.
Other to-do apps
To-do apps are a great way to remember tasks you have to complete. While OmniFocus is my personal favorite, there are a variety of other options, some of which are free, available on the App Store.
For education, to-do apps are relatively simple and work best for remembering assignments and exam dates rather than class meeting times. For many students, however, assignment and date tracking is the central need.
Below are some additional recommendations for to-do list applications:
Those are just some of the apps that make it incredibly easy to keep track of assignments, classes, tests, and more. Everyone has their own methodology for tracking such dates and it’s really up to you to find the best app that fits your needs.
If you have any additional recommendations for organizing your school work and schedule, let us know down in the comments.
Check out previous installments of EduTech: