Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Stack the States iPad Application

In my search for quality educational iPad applications to supplement our homeschool curriculum I stumbled upon Stack the States. I am so impressed with this application that I just had to share my thoughts and opinions with you my fellow homeschooler.

I was initially drawn to this app because we are studying the United States in our geography studies this year. My oldest, who is in 5th grade is notebooking his way through the states. My younger two school age children are learning about the 50 states through observation and "osmosis". When I came upon Stack the States I immediately thought that this was an educational tool that my younger children could use for a more interactive learning experience about the 50 states. I have never, and I truly mean never, paid for an application. All of the apps on my Ipad are ones that have been offered for free. I was pleasantly surprised that Apple offered a "lite" version of Stack the States as a preview to the full version.

My 7 year old son started playing the lite version and loved it. Within 20 minutes or so however, he had reached the limits of the lite version and could no longer earn any more states, which is the objective of this application. I sat next to my son while he played and was so impressed with the variety of questions asked about each of the 50 states that I looked into purchasing the full version, which I normally would never do. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I realized that the full version of this app is only 99 cents. From a homeschool perspective, where else can you get a fully interactive geography curriculum for only 99 cents? After downloading the full version my 7 year old set off on his own to "play" (translation; learn) with our new geography application. Everyday he has played for at least 30 minutes or more and is learning more about geography than I could have ever imagined. I have to admit, I am learning a bit myself.

Stack the States asks questions about landmarks, state capitals, bordering states, mountain ranges, cities, and much more with regards to each of the 50 states. There are also questions that ask to identify the states based solely on their shape. I am highly impressed with the amount of United States geography my 7 year old has learned in just a few days. This was the best 99 cents I have spent in a very long time.

I plan to also use this application as a quiz tool for my oldest son. Theoretically, he should already know much of the information asked in this application but I think it will be a fun tool for him to use to test the knowledge he has acquired through notebooking.

Basics about the application:
For each correct question answered the child earns that state. The state is then stacked on a platform and when enough questions have been answered correctly and enough states earned and stacked on top of one another to reach a checkered line then the child earns a random state for their map. The goal is to earn enough states to fill up their map. Additionally, supplement games are earned after a set number of states have been earned. For example, after earning 10 states on the state map a game called "pile up" is unlocked. There are a total of 3 supplementary games that can be unlocked for additional geography learning enjoyment.

Stack the States Lite; free (maximum of 10 states)
Stack the States full version; 99 cents at the time of this posting

Disclaimer: I was not paid, reimbursed, or otherwise compensated in anyway for this review. My opinions are my own.

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