Math was never my strong point in school. I eventually learned some good personal finance habits, but my math skills didn’t progress much beyond algebra. If only I had a smartphone and some math apps back then.

My daughter, who is now in 6th grade, is much better at math than I was at her age. Her teachers have done an excellent job in the classroom, and every once in awhile we go to a math app for help with homework.

I’m often on the lookout for great math apps to help make her math homework easier, and if possible, a little fun. Below are some math apps I’ve checked into, though we haven’t used all of them.

## BrainPOP

This website has come recommended by my daughter’s teachers and is also used at her school. I signed her up for a subscription this year ($ 11 per month) and I’m trying to get her to use the math app part of the site, which also offers lessons in English, social studies, science, health, engineering, and the arts.

The cartoon videos are fun and informative, featuring a guy and a robot. Some of the site’s content is free, such as this video on how to compare prices.

## Zap Zap Math app

This math app teaches math through games, most aimed at K-6 grades. The app is free to download and doesn’t contain in-app purchases or ads.

While games can be great motivators, it’s up to you as a parent to decide if the games are really helping your child learn math. My guess is that most children will become bored by them eventually, since there is only so far you can go with them and the memorization of multiplication tables, for example, may eventually becoming boring.

Still, I think the games are worth giving a shot to see if your child enjoys them.

## Tabtor Math

This site provides students with online tutors, providing a more robust math app than you’re likely to find anywhere else.

Mind-mapping and digital paper technology allow a tutor to monitor a student’s though process while solving math problems in real-time. The company claims it will produce a 97 percent increase in student math performance after three months of use. A tablet is needed to use the program.

A basic plan is $ 30 a month, though the $ 60/month plan is needed for a dedicated tutor. The site offers a one-week free trial.

At $ 60 per month, this math app is one you’ll want to have your child fully involved in and make sure they use daily if you want your child to get full use of it.

## Expii

This free website of interactive math and science lessons is full of all kinds of fun. It has interactive Q&A, video and other interesting lessons and uses crowd-sourcing to come up with answers.

A lesson on gravity uses math and science to go into how gravity works, such as what forces affect a pumpkin being dropped from a crane onto a pool.

The content is aimed at high school and late middle school students. The site was started by Po-Shen Loh, a math professor at Carnegie Melon University and U.S. coach for the International Mathematic Olympiad.

## yHomework

This is the math app I needed in high school. Called yHomework, it’s a free math app with in-app purchases that gives step-by-step instructions for pre-algebra and algebra. It’s available for IOS and Android.

For parents who no longer remember how to do algebra, this simple math app offers explanations and instructions just as a math teacher would on a chalkboard in class.

## IXL

Promising “practice that feels like play,” the math app IXL says it offers math experts for only pennies a day for K-12.

I haven’t used the app, but at $ 10 a month or $ 79 a year, the price seems low enough to give it a try.

Each topic is approached from different angles, including visual, listening and interactive exercises. To start practicing, students click on a math category. Their score is tracked after each answer, and the questions increase in difficulty as the student improves.

Those are some of the best math apps I’ve come across. If those don’t work, the best solution may be to hire a math tutor. A tutor may not be as easy to use as a math app on a smartphone, but in the long run may be more helpful.

*This article by Aaron Crowe first appeared on CashSmarter.com and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.*

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