Epic is an online digital library for children age 4-12 years old that boasts of 40,000 high quality books, learning videos, quizzes and more. It is currently rated 4.7 stars by more than 50,000 users at Play Store and undoubtedly one of the most recommended app among homeschooling families.
When I attended one of the family meet-ups that our homeschooling coop organized early this year, a veteran homeschooling educator/parent recommended Epic app to us for legit and high quality digital books. She has been homeschooling for a decade so I took her advice and downloaded the app when I got home from that meeting on our iPad.
We were charged for the app after one month of free trial (in April this year) for a yearly subscription of around Php 3200. We decided to go for one year instead of monthly subscription because we pay less that way as monthly subscription is 7.9 USD per month or about Php 4800 for 12 months. For one year, we have unlimited access to all the books and videos on the app for up to four students across our gadgets and computers. Since I only have two kids, I assigned the other two student accounts to my nephew and niece.
For this year we decided to skip buying physical books (except for a few books we scored from a book sale) in order to maximize the digital library that Epic offers. We bought so many books during last year’s Big Bad Wolf and other book fairs so we do have a sizable collection of hard copies for our reading pleasure anytime. Epic’s digital library will just augment our current selection.
While we all bookworms agree that nothing beats holding a book, sniffing its scent while turning the pages (only book lovers understand this), and knowing how far we’ve finished it using a bookmark, we do know there are advantages to having a digital library. I’ve listed them down below:
- Having an app like Epic lets you know the reading progress of your child – it tells you how many books your child has finished at any length of time.
- Epic allows you to organize the book according to topics per subject easily with few clicks. I tried to create an inventory sheet of all the books we have in our library but it took a lot of my time. I gave up doing the inventory since I’m also busy with other things and have no assistant to help me. Epic has made life easy for me in this regard.
- Watching a video and reading a book (digital or not) about a single topic seem to work best for my kids. Epic has both these learning media for certain lessons which is a plus for me.
- You get the bang for your buck with app that offers thousands of book options. I mean, can you imagine buying tons of books to build a library even if these were bought from a fair? It’s a dream of mine, but my small condo unit offers limited space for all the books I want to buy.
- You can bring your digital library anywhere using your phone or tablet. Win!
- I like that I can assign a collection of books and videos per lesson in apps like Epic to a student at any time and see their progress. Epic also sends my child’s progress through e-mail. So I can check on their progress physically when I’m around and through the e-mail in case I am away from them for work.
What does Collection mean in Epic app? A Collection works like a folder where you add books or videos into it according to your preference. A Collection may be organized according to topic/lesson, or per subject. I prefer to group my kids’ learning materials per lesson or topic since grouping material by subject seems too broad a category for me.
How does a parent assign a Collection per lesson through the app? I admit, I had a hard time doing it on my iPad where I first installed the app so I tried doing on my PC and it became easy peasy after that. I’ve screenshot the process for all parents out there who don’t know how to do it:
- First step is to download and install the app on your tablet/phone and sign-up for an account. Once you’re done creating your account, open your browser on your PC or tablet and sign-in using your credentials. Signing in as Educator lands you to the Parent dashboard by default.
- Go to Epic’s home page by clicking the logo on the left side corner. Type in the topic keywords in the search bar. In this case, I used “rocks and minerals” as topic keywords because we’re studying about land forms and rocks.
3. Assign the age of your student when you search (in my case, Age 7) to filter for age-appropriate materials. By default, all results will be shown on the page but these may also be shown according to type: Books, Videos, Read-To-Me (best for kids who don’t know how to read yet), Audiobooks, Collections and Quizzes. For Collections, these are grouped reference materials that were shared by other users to public on the app. There are plenty of teachers and parents who made Collections for their students/kids and made public and available for viewing on Epic. If you don’t want to build a Collection yourself, you can also search through the Collections made by other Epic users and assign them to your kids. I prefer creating my own Collections.
4. Below each thumbnail, you will see a “heart” icon. When you click the heart icon you are indicating that the book will be added to “My Library” and may also be added to a particular Collection. If you don’t have existing one yet, you can click ” + Create New Collection” to create a new Collection. Since I have two kids, I always add my child’s name at the end of each collection name so I don’t get confused which Collection to assign to whom during one of those “mommy brain moments”.
5. I also recommend that you add a short description for your Collection so that you have a general idea what books the collection contains. You may also opt to share your Collection to the Epic community. Otherwise, uncheck this option.
6. Once done creating a Collection, you can add more books/videos into it by exiting this small window and going back to the search results.
7. Because I wanted to add videos to complement the books in the Collection I made, I clicked the Videos tab and “favorited” some of the videos and added each to the Collection. The Collection now has books plus videos about rocks and minerals.
8. Once done adding videos and books into the chosen Collection, you can access that Collection at your Parent dashboard under “My Libray”. Below each Collection title are active links, “Edit”, “Assign and View Progress”, and “Share”. Assuming you are already happy with your Collection’s contents, you can now assign the Collection to your student by clicking “Assign and View Progress” option.
9. A small window will appear which will show your kids’ accounts. Select the name of the student to assign the collection.
10. When your child opens his/her account, the assigned Collection will show in his/her Mailbox. As you can see in the screenshot below, the child will also be able to see how many videos and/or books are in the Collection on the right side of each Collection assigned to him/her.
11. Your child can now open the Collection and start reading/watching the assigned materials. You will know the progress of you child via e-mail which will be sent to you by Epic.
Isn’t Epic, epic (pun intended)? It has really made my life so much easier as a homeschooling parent educator. We still use physical books for our lessons but I’m just glad that I no longer have to search online for videos and lessons and spend so much time filtering for high quality resources. Epic has done this for me by providing high quality reading materials per category and type.
Don’t have Epic yet? The links to the app are provided below:
For Android users
For iPad users
If you found this article useful, I’ll bet you’ll also like to read about these free homeschooling resources that I use for my kids’ lessons.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Please take note that I don’t earn for promoting this app. 🙂