Tonight is the open house for the public magnet school where Jon and I are really hoping 4 year old C is able to get a spot in the upcoming fall 2012 kindergarten class. He and I will be there at the open house after we both get off work this evening – checking out the classrooms, as well as meeting teachers and other prospective parents.
And crossing our fingers…
I’ve blogged before about the options Jon and I have available when it comes to choosing where C will start school in the fall. Now, however, now we’ve totally ruled out private school of any kind because we really have to save every penny to pay for daughter J starting college the year C starts first grade. Thus, our options have shrunk. At this point, the public magnet school we plan to visit tonight seems like it will be the top contender. But no matter how much we may hope our soon-to-be kindergartener ends up at this particular school, it’s definitely not a given.
The application process for the single public magnet elementary school in our city is based on one part luck (a lottery drawing for spaces among transfer applications), and one part kindergarten readiness (if C gets one of the lottery-drawing spaces, she will then take an entrance test). And since I hope that she will get a chance to take this entrance test, I’ve been thinking more about her kindergarten readiness lately. As it happens, she herself has also been showing a great deal of interest lately in learning to read and do simple math. Now, when I read to her, she often asks me to instead teach HER to read, so she can do it herself.
When C’s three older siblings were her age, we had various get-ready-for-kindergarten CD-Roms for them to play with (yes, they are that much older than she is. In fact, we ordered up these educational CD-Roms by covered wagon delivery, and I paid in eggs and butter when they arrived…). Obviously, however, that’s not how little kids access technology now. My preschooler – like many – is all about the iPad. She looooooves playing games and watching movies on my iPad.
Because we are trying to help her get ready for maybe taking the magnet school entrance exam test, and just ready for kindergarten in general, and also because she’s actively requesting to learn new k-garten skills, I’ve spent some time in recent weeks researching and trying out some iPad apps designed specifically for kindergarten readiness skill-building.
I was pleasantly surprised by how many really great and relatively affordable (compared to what those CD-Roms cost back in the day) iPad apps there are for pre-k and kindergarten age kids to work on reading and math skills. In fact, there are so many that it was hard to sort through the clutter and find a few really good ones. But now I think I have found a selection of the best of the best, and I thought I’d share with those of you who may also have an iPad in the household, along with a 3-to-6 year kid who likes using it.
So here’s my list of recommended apps….
A C-Tested, Katie-Approved Round-Up of 6 Awesome iPad Apps for Boosting
Kindergarten Readiness Skills (Below)
Bob Books Reading Magic #1 1 of 6I've been a fan of the paper-and-ink Bob Books for learning to read ever since my oldest child, Henry was only four years old. They are a sequential, phonics-based approach to learning to read that even a non-teacher parent like me can effectively use to teach a four or five year old child to read. This iPad app version faithfully adheres to the proven Bob books formula, even using the familiar Bob stick drawings of Bob characters, like "Dot" and "Mitt" (yes, there really is a recurring character named ""Mitt"). In one afternoon playing with this app, C was sounding out simple three letter words with no help. $1.99 in the iTunes app store.
Montessori Hundred Board 2 of 6This simple but super iPad app is the digital version of the classic Montessori number sequencing board, which helps young children conceptualize numbers and how they fit together. Created by Rankin, a lite version is available for free in the iTunes app store, while the full version is available for $2.99
Montessori Intro to Letters 3 of 6Another great Montessori-based iPad app, Intro to Letters allows kids to work directly with letters by tracing them with their fingers and recording their own voices making the letter sounds and hearing the recording played back to them. Produced by Montessorium, the Intro to Letters app is available for $4.99 in the iTunes app store.
Piggy HD Math 4 of 6This app offers several different numers-based learning activities in one package. Kids can match their own hand written numerals with the printed number, and they can learn simple math concepts with easy to master, sight based activities. Produced by Krycel, Piggy HD Math is available for $3.99 in the iTunes app store.
Super Why! 5 of 6Based on the popular PBS Kids TV cartoon, this app offers a collection of fun spelling games scaled just right for pre-readers. Once again, this app scores with me becaue it allows kids to work WITH the letters by moving ot tracing them rather than simply viewing them. Available for $2.99 in the iTunes app store.
Space Aliens Alphabet Sequencing 6 of 6Much like the Montessori Hundred Board does with numbers, this app allows kids to learn how letters of the alphabet fit together in sequence, and also what happens to the sounds when they are separated out and put together in non sequential combos. It also offers a number sequencing option. The app's characters are my favorite of any I've tried out for C; they're awesomely weird little space creatures resembling the Yo Gabba Gabba characters as imagined by a robot designer from 1962....in technicolor. Love them. Anyway, the app is from KidSpring Studio, and is available for $1.99 in the iTunes app store.
READ MORE FROM KATIE OVER AT MAMAPUNDIT (HER PERSONAL BLOG)