Here’s an interesting fact: if you tell your kids that you’re bad at math, it could create anxiety in them about math and lead them to also be bad at math. So here’s a better idea: play a few math games with your kids and banish all thoughts of “bad at math”. And besides, it doesn’t hurt to practice math skills over the summer.
The app: Quick Math.
Ages: 6 – 12
Quick Math is all about developing quick mental math. Your child will race to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems in their head while a clock runs down. The emphasis is on learning pre-algebra skills and the app will offer greater challenges the better your child does. Also, just putting it out there: we found it pretty useful for brushing up on the ol’ times tables ourselves.
The app: Number Line.
Ages: 4 – 12
If your child is more of a visual learner, then Number Line can help them learn to add, subtract, multiply, and divide by imagining the problem visually. The number line itself is a horizontal line with tick marks representing numbers, and the app can show your child what their math problems look like graphically. Don’t know exactly what we mean? Check out their website.
The app: Montessori Math.
Ages: 6 – 9
Montessori Math teaches your child to add and subtract large numbers, from 0 to 9,999. It offers three games to practice addition and subtraction, and three more games to practice operations. There’s also a “note to parents” tab that explains the theory behind each game to parents.
The app: MyScript Calculator.
Platforms: iOS & Android.
Cost: free (with in-app purchases)
Let’s say your child is comfortable writing down equations but not with transcribing them into a calculator. Well, with MyScript Calculator, they can write down their equation on paper, take a picture, load it into the app, and have they app do the calculation. It supports basic arithmetic as well as square roots, percentages, trigonometric functions, logarithms, and constants.
The app: Wolfram Alpha.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, Kindle.
Cost: $3.99 14+
If your child is taking advanced math in high school (or chemistry, or physics, or data analytics . . . or lots of things), they need Wolfram Alpha. This app will help your student understand the solution and approach when they are struggling do their problems—literally any math problems taught in high school—as well as give a graphical representation of the problem, details of the formula, and explain how it got the answer.
The app: DragonBox Algebra.
Platforms: iOS, Android.
Want to be a little sneaky and teach your kids algebra while making them think they’re playing a game? Then this is an app you want. It presents as a simple card game with cartoons and colours—no numbers to be found. But it teaches algebraic concepts so smoothly that even a five-year-old can follow along.
The Bottom Line
These apps are a lot more fun than the flashcards of our youth. Hopefully they’re a little more painless too.