The corona crisis has been intense for everybody – but for parents, it’s definitely taken on an extra dimension. With children of all ages out of school and staying at-home, parents have had to juggle their jobs together with 24/7 parenting. Not an easy feat!
According to this Education Week report, 55 million students in the US alone have been learning from home due to school closures in the last year. Which means parents are much more involved in their children’s education than they had been beforehand. And that’s before you factor in finding ways to entertain children when they can’t meet up with their friends and are spending more time cooped up indoors than they likely ever have.
In comes the ever innovative and problem-solving startup world. On the one end, the market for e-learning resources is on the up, tripling in market value from $107 billion in 2015 to $325 billion in 2025 (Research and Markets, 2018). Then there’s a whole ecosystem of other apps and products, covering entertainment, health and even a friendship app! The world of startups for parents is truly booming.
It’s true a bit of tech can help out, but finding your way through the internet to find the right service is tough. That’s why we got together some of the parents at DCMN and found out about some of the e-resources they’ve been using to help them get through the pandemic, whether it’s to help their children learn or just for a bit of fun. Here’s our top five startups for parents to watch.
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My Magic Story
Books have existed for eons – but here’s a one of the many startups for parents taking them to higher heights. With My Magic Story, your child could be the star of an epic adventure. My Magic Story offers personalised books for kids – and ones that will look great on your bookshelf to boot. Made locally, the books all are high quality in the visual department, from the illustrations to the covers. Plus, there are books around various topics, from football to the bestselling ‘the magic of my name’ series. And with the books available in 20 different languages and for all ages from 0-10, they are a good fit for all children, regardless of gender or interests.
Teaching a kid to read is undeniably a challenge. Over to Norway, where tech startup Poio has developed an immersive game that helps toddlers between three and eight develop their reading skills. Set in a magical universe inhabited by a troll named, you guessed it, Poio, the app utilises gamification, phonics and pure immersion to get kids curious about and eager to learn how to read. And parents can keep tabs on how it’s going with frequent email reports showing their child’s progress!
Ever heard of Kahoot!, who have a number of games for language learners? Well, Poio is part of the Kahoot Family! subscription, meaning it isn’t the only game you have access to. Also worth checking out if you take the plunge: DragonBox, which is for those focusing on mathematics.
Two mums, Katie and Sarah, met one day on maternity leave in a playground. And lo and behold, Mush was born. None other than the number one social app for mums!
On Mush, it’s possible for mums to find new friends, with the algorithm filtering for distance and the age of children in other families. A new friend with a kid in the same area, check! And away from organising meetups, Mush is also a place to get advice from live experts and to join chat groups covering both parent topics (due dates, breastfeeding etc) and the more frivolous (what are you watching on Netflix right now?).
If your child isn’t sleeping well, there’s a startup aiming to help. Meet Huckleberry, which pairs paediatric sleep experts with AI to create custom sleep plans for kids. These sleep plans cover everything, with daily charts and stats so you can track how your child is sleeping. Plus, there’s trackers also for feeding, diaper changing and breastfeeding.
Huckleberry was created by a team of sleep experts, data scientists and crucially, experienced parents, making it truly a useful tool for sleep issues with your child and one of the top startups for parents around.
This is the future of spelling (and potentially the starting ground for many future spelling bee champions!). Sir Linkalot’s award-winning app improves spelling for students of all ages utilising mnemonics, a learning technique that helps with information retention and memory.
Each of these so-called bundles (which contain up to 20 words each) help children to remember the spelling of the words with multiple choice questions and crosswords. And humour is a big part of it too: each bundle is based on a renowned literary figure given a humorous twist, including the likes of Spaghetti Shakespeare, Diarrhoea Dickens, Broccoli Bronte, Weird Wordsworth and Patient Potter. And with more and more bundles to come – the dictionary isn’t a small book, after all – you can expect the Linkalot experience to get more hilarious and diverse.
And it’s not just pure spelling: please note the app also teaches homophones, rules and patterns, punctuation and grammar, as well as etymology. Your child will be a famous author any day now!
Whether you’re a parent or not, the corona crisis is tough for everybody. Stay up-to-date on the current status with the WHO here.