Making Education Fun Through the Web

Watch Miss. Heather discuss this topic on The Rhode Show here!

There is no question that kids today live in an electronic world.  Children are able to use electronic devices at an early age, navigate the internet to research just about anything they want, and communicate with others through any electronic means you can possibly think of.  

Computer time for kids should be limited, but when they are allowed to surf, make it an educational experience and the benefits will be numerous! There are plenty of educational websites for kids that on one hand some can be really good, and then some that don’t really have much educational benefit. When choosing one of these websites, the educational content should be high, but something that kids will enjoy. When looking for a good website, look for variety such as reading practice, things to listen to, printable coloring pages, videos to watch and of course, games. The best educational websites for kids are free and this works really good for parents who are homeschooling.

Not sure where to start when it comes to educational websites for your kids?  Here are some rules to follow when considering websites for your little ones:

  • Always check out the website and it’s features first!  Does the website work?  Are there pop up ads that your child could click on and become distracted with?  Is there SPAM?  
  • Can your child navigate this site?  Will your child really be able to utilize the site and gain something out of the experience, or, will your child become easily frustrated and upset?
  • Is the website skills based?  Many great educational websites for kids will often have a “for parents” section, or indicators explaining the purpose, scope, and sequence of all activities.  Many sites will reference state learning standards, or the Common Core Standards.  Others will also indicate what specific skills children can develop such as “social and emotional competencies” or “logical thinking” or “phonemic awareness.”  Always be sure your child is actually learning skills!!!
  • “Popular” isn’t always what’s best – just because a website is named “most popular” doesn’t necessarily mean it is high quality.  Always do your research first!

What CAN my child actually learn from a website?

Nowadays there is really a website for anything and anything.  Here are some examples:

  •    – Homework help websites and apps
  •    – Websites that are designed to teach and encourage children to do good!  (Anti-Bullying)
  •    – News websites for kids!  It’s important for kids to stay up to date on today’s news
  •    – Websites and apps that teach children how to learn a new language
  •    – Apps and websites for any learning domain – science, maths, reading, etc.
  •    – Graphic design games and apps for kids
  •  

Keep your kids off YouTube!

-YouTube is great, but can lead kids into places their eyes and ears shouldn’t necessarily be.  Here are some great, safe alternatives for your kids:

            PBS Kids Videos (Age 3 and up)

            YouTubeKids (Age 7 and up)

            NBC Learn (age 7 and up)

            Discovery Kids (Age 10 and up)

Other great sites for kids:

            Ready to learn reading (URL: http://pbskids.org/read/ )

            SesameStreet.org 

            National Geographic Kids

            Jump Start 

            Highlights Kids

            NGA Kids (art appreciation)

            Whyville (older kids)

            TIME for kids

            CoolMath

            FunBrain

            BBC History for Kids

            Scholastic

            Exploratorium

 

Heather is the Director of The Children’s Workshop in Lincoln, RI.  She first started her journey with the TCW family in 2007 in our Smithfield location as a Kindergarten teacher.  She then entered the company’s Management in Training Program, working in several of our locations while also training staff in various areas of early childhood education. She holds a BA from Providence College in Elementary and Special Education as well as a Master’s Degree from Rhode Island College in Early Childhood Education.  Her true passion is not only working with children, but sharing knowledge with families and teachers in order to provide the best early learning experience for all young learners. She is also a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Rhode Island Childcare Director’s Association, as well as the Rhode Island College Early Childhood Advisory Board.