summer learning

5 Apps to Keep Kids Learning in Summer

Originally published on the NY Metro Parents Website
ny metro parents

Kids will love these fun educational apps that will keep them learning even during the summer months. Dr. Levy’s 5 picks include apps for kids ages 4-16 that help build reading and math skills.

During the sunny months away from school, reading, writing, and math frequently take a back seat to summer fun. Students can lose important skills they gained during the school year without continuous instruction over the summer. In fact, research tells us that students score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer than at the start of the season.

Help your child avoid losing critical academic skills over the summer with these five apps:

Starfall Learn to Read
Ages 4+
Download for Apple or Android

With this multi-sensory app, students can listen, read, and touch letters and words to practice basic reading and spelling skills. The app includes 15 short books for kids to read, each emphasizing a different sound pattern, along with animated videos, songs, and funny characters. At the end of each book, students can play reading-related activities, including matching and fill-in-the-blank exercises. The app is fun, engaging, and interactive.

Sentence Builder
Ages 6+
Download for iPad

Students have fun developing their grammar and sentence-writing abilities with this app. To play, they create sentences describing various pictures using slot machine-style wheels for selecting words. The game format is simple, starting with basic sentences and moving into more complex ones. The images and animations are colorful, and students build critical written expression and sentence-structure skills.

Hungry Fish
Ages 4-8
Download for Apple or Android

This app is an engaging tool for reinforcing basic addition and subtraction as well as mental math. To play, kids drag and combine numbers in bubbles and feed them to a floating fish. The fish expands when it receives “food” (correct answer combinations) and shrinks when it does not receive food. As players complete and “win” each level they move on to more advanced ones, while receiving immediate feedback along the way. It’s a valuable learning tool disguised as an arcade game!

Montessori Crosswords
Ages 3-10
Download for Apple or Android

This app is a great one for helping students develop basic phonics skills. For each exercise, the player is given a picture and is asked to drag letters from the bottom of the screen to spell the item depicted. The app starts with basic three-letter (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and moves into more complex words with blends, digraphs, and multi-syllabic words. Children can create single words and, later, multiple words using a crossword-style format. The exercises are helpful for both reading and spelling.

Learning Fundamentals: Reading Comprehension at the Paragraph Level
Ages 9-16
Download for Apple

This app builds a myriad of skills, including attention, memory, and reading comprehension. It’s also useful for developing processing and higher-order thinking skills. Students can choose from 37 stories about various topics, including adventures, nature, and history, among others. After reading each passage, they answer main idea, important details, and inference questions in multiple-choice format, along with an opened-ended question that can be used for discussion.

Dear Dr. Levy, My son received an excellent report card. I can’t say enough good things about his EBL tutor. She has done a tremendous job helping him improve his reading and writing skills. Most importantly, she is wise and kind. She is always patient with him. Because of his tutor, my son writes with much more ease.
– Parent