Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Educational (and Fun) Websites for Kids

     Keeping children busy with worthwhile endeavors is defintely a tiring task.  Video games, television, movies, and online games can suck up the majority of their free time.  In the end, they have nothing to show for the time spent on these activities.  Still, kids need to have fun.  A good way to keep children busy and happy is to find educational websites for them to play games, read, and learn from.
     Besides keeping them busy, educational websites are great for other reasons too.   Not only are they happy and occupied, they also increase academic skills while visiting these sites.  If you have a struggling student or one that needs a challenge, you can find educational websites to fit his needs and help him to progress.
      Educational websites can be great homework tools.  First, they are good motivators.  If your child needs encouragement to  complete homework , try giving him a few minutes on an educational website as a reward when he finishes.  Second, there are great visuail aides and videos out there that may help your child grasp a difficult concept.

       Here are a few of my favorites (and they are free too!):

Florida Center for Reading Research
      This website is not one your children can use on their own.  It is full of printable, creative literacy activities.  The activities at three levels: Grades K-1, 2-3, and  4-5.  If you click on the age group, it will bring you to a list of categories for each age group.  Choose the skill you would like your child to practice and click on it.  Follow the directions to create the activity. This usually involves a little cutting and pasting.  They don't take very long to prepare and you can choose to laminate if you'd like.  There are literally thousands of activities on this site.  If your child is struggling in Reading, this is the site for you! No log-in or sign up is required.

Khan Academy
     This website is great for Math and Science.  Parents can sign up for an account that is customized for each of their children.  If your child is doing 5th grade math, it has a list of all the skills needed for that.  You can pick and choose what is practiced or they can go through each skill one by one.  It has tons of videos and tutorials as well as a place to practice.

     Sumdog is another site that breaks down their games by skill. You can even pick and choose what skills your child can practice.  If he is working on multiplication facts, you can set it up so that is what he practices when he is on.  They even send you an e-mail that reports your child's progress.  Much of this site is free but you can get even more if you sign up for a subscription for your child.  It has Readinga and Writing games too but those are not free.

     This has games for Reading and Math.  There are lots of fun ways to practices important skills.   From letter recognition to multiplication, this site has a lot to offer.No log-in or sign up is required.

I hope your children (and you) enjoy these websites!

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