8 Apps to Help Kids Manage Back-to-School Challenges

ByCommon Sense Media

Starting a new school year can be a difficult time for many kids. Technology like apps can help—not just with reading, writing, and math, but also with organization and social skills. Here are eight apps that can help kids manage back-to-school challenges.

Price and availability may vary but were accurate at the time of publication, on July 24, 2019. Understood does not endorse or receive financial compensation for the sale of any of these products.

Flocabulary: Educational Hip-Hop for K–12

Flocabulary: Educational Hip-Hop for K–12 uses catchy songs and rhymes to help kids learn. The app covers lots of topics, like language arts, vocabulary, and math. It also has videos on common back-to-school challenges, like managing anxiety and bullying. The videos are broken down by grade. There’s also a companion website schools can subscribe to so all students can use Flocabulary.

Price: Free to try ($1.99 per month subscription)

Available for: Android, iOS

Bear in Mind App: To-Do List, Reminder, Tasks

Bear in Mind App: To-Do List, Reminder, Tasks can help grade-schoolers get organized in the new school year. The app lets kids set reminders and make to-do lists with the help of cute animations and icons. There are icons for things like taking medication, doing homework, and remembering a lunchbox. When kids finish all their tasks for the day, a cartoon panda appears and gives them a positive message. Older kids may want to try out popular organization apps like Remember the Milk and Google Keep.

Price: $1.99

Available for: iOS


If your child is coping with back-to-school stress, meditation could help. Headspace teaches kids how to meditate. It has a sleek interface, and uses fun cartoon videos to show kids how meditation works. If Headspace isn’t right for your child, check out other meditation apps for kids.

Price: Free to try ($12.99 per month subscription)

Available for: Android, iOS


When kids start middle school or high school, they have to get used to getting homework from multiple teachers each day. myHomework is a “digital backpack” that can help kids manage assignments. It tracks classes, schedules, and due dates. Students and their families, along with teachers, can use the app to communicate. It works on multiple devices, like smartphones, Chromebooks, and computers.

Keep in mind that the school may already have a digital backpack app it wants kids to use. So check with your child’s school before using myHomework.

Price: Basic membership is free ($4.99 per year for more features)

Available for: Android, iOS

Bookly Read More

Bookly Read More (formerly called Bookout) is a reading log app that lets kids keep track of books they read. Kids who have more reading assignments this year than last may find it especially helpful. Kids enter the book name or scan its ISBN number, and the app pulls up information about the book. It lets kids take notes and save key quotes. And it keeps track of things like pages and time read.

Price: Free ($4.99 per month for more features and no ads)

Available for: Android, iOS


TinyTap helps grade-schoolers and middle-schoolers work on specific academic or social skills. Families and kids can create lessons, games, or quizzes on any topic. Kids can also access dozens of lessons and games created by other people. There are a bunch of popular ones made by teachers to help kids learn to make inferences and understand social situations. It has reading and math lessons, too.

Price: Free to try ($4.99 per month subscription)

Available for: Android, iOS

High School Story

High School Story lets kids set up a virtual high school. It can help teens who are having a tough time adjusting to high school. In the made-up high school, kids have to navigate tricky social situations, like dating, bullying, and problems related to self-image. As kids complete quests, they get positive messages about kindness and being true to themselves.

Price: Free (with some in-app purchases)

Available for: Android, iOS

GoNoodle Kids

GoNoodle Kids encourages kids to move and be mindful throughout the day. There are stretching routines to jump-start the morning, games to get kids “pumped up” for the day, and breathing exercises to help beat school stress. The app is connected to the popular GoNoodle website, which many schools use with students.

Price: Free

Available for: Android, iOS

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Common Sense Media is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of media and technology.