Top 5 FREE Educational Android & iPhone Apps

I’ve had occasion to find myself both in the iPhone camp and the Android one. Both have their strong points, and each have their weaknesses. Always an appreciative user and {mostly} proficient smartphone proponent, I decided to share with you my favorite free Android and iPhone apps. Hopefully someone will find a new tool they hadn’t yet heard about!

My Top 5 Android Apps.


How to Make Origami & How to Make Paper Airplanes – Our curriculum this year was heavily focused on Geography and world cultures. Origami was introduced to us because of our studies but now we all enjoy seeing what we can create from a simple sheet of paper. We found How to Make Paper Airplanes at the same time and, let’s face it, I have three boys….it was a hit! Both apps are from the same developer, Mobilicos, and are very similar in look and feel. Each offers a variety of options giving you step-by-step animated instructions varying from simple to more complex creations….we like the origami one a bit better though as there are actual written instructions along with the animations and there are more options for beginners!

How to Draw – Easy Art Lessons – This one has been great for my oldest–my 10-year-old budding artist. I tend to find it difficult to find educational apps that keep him engaged, and this one plays right to his strengths and interests. I like that it gives step-by-step instructions, but the goal is to have you make your own drawing, not just trace along on the screen. My boy loves this one!

Remember Me Bible Verse Memory System – There are a few different activities my kids are involved with that encourage them to memorize scripture. There are also verses we learn as a part of our studies at home. This app has been a great tool in keeping all the kids’ verses in one place, working through flashcards, allowing them to click a box once they’ve memorized the verse and still testing them from time to time to make sure the scripture has stuck. There’s nothing really flashy about this one, but it has been a wonderful help to them!

Talking Kids Math & Talking Kids Math Level 2 – These are better-than-average math drill apps that all three of my kids enjoy. The penguin is cute and the app is more interactive than a lot of the dry, boring math drill apps…especially for Android. It’s not perfect, but we’ve tried lots and lots of basically similar apps and this is the only one they don’t groan about!!

Countries of the World – Again, because we’ve been doing so much Geography this year, this one was a MUST! This developer, Socratica, has a bunch of great educational apps (50 states, US Presidents, Periodic Table, etc.) They’re simple, user friendly and packed with the kind of information I’d like for my kids to know but have a hard time making exciting enough to make them want to learn. This takes the fight out of them, which makes mom happy!

My Top 5 iPhone Apps


BrainPOP Featured Movie – This is so much fun! With the free app you are given access to a new video and interactive quiz. The animated videos span 7 categories and are packed with information and easy to follow. I’m always amazed by how much information my kids pick up from these videos!

Motion Math: Wings – Hands down, my favorite app for mastering multiplication facts!! This app shows the problems with visuals, not just numbers….and this helps my 10 year old who still really struggles with his multiplication skills. This isn’t just for multiplication either, it’s just where I’ve noticed it making the most difference for us!

BRAIN QUEST – What’s NOT to love about BRAIN QUEST?? The traditional flip-card sets are a road trip/rainy day staple in our family, so we jumped all over a BRAIN QUEST app! The free app gives you access to the first 100 questions of each of the 5 grade levels (1-5). You have to pay a fee (9.99) to unlock all 600 questions for each of the 5 grade levels. You can also pay to unlock just one level individually (2.99). Each grade level takes your kids on a different sort of voyage….an absolute hit at our house!

SkyView Free – Explore the Universe – This is a truly fantastic app, and my best example of the powerful educational tools that are readily available to us thanks to smartphones and super-smart app developers! SkyView lets you locate points of interest in the sky, identifies constellations, integrates with the sky right where you are and gives you great facts and information along the way. This isn’t just one of the kids’ most-loved apps it’s one of their parent’s favorites as well!

Scholastic Reading Timer – I don’t know why something so simple has been such a hit at our house, but it is! This is a straightforward stopwatch-type timer that allows the kids to start, stop, and take a break as they need to and keeps a weekly log for each of my boys. Since homeschoolers are allowed to participate in Pizza Hut’s Book It program, this app has been a great way to keep track of the independent reading goals I set for each of the boys. It’s just a timer, but we’ve used it a ton and we’re thankful to have it!!

Do you have any family-friendly favorite apps you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them so we can try them out!

About the author


Danielle is a big-city Southern California girl who, after a number of years spent enjoying the majesty of small-town Montana, moved back home to be near family and make a go of her backyard homesteading dreams. She’s married to her stud of a high school sweetheart and together they’re raising three handsome, rough-and-tumble young men. Their family loves the Lord and homeschooling is just one of the many ways they have endeavored to give their whole lives to Christ. Danielle and her family are having a blast working to turn their healthy DIY spirit into a more self-sufficient lifestyle.


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