Learning Fun for Kids Online

Home school and after school, kids online can access some great sites and games that are both educational and fun. This site reviews and links to the best, and also discusses some parenting articles and homework sites of interest to parents.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Record a Bedtime Story

This site is not free (although there are a few books that you can record for free) -- but it's something you may wish to take a look at anyway.

At A Story Before Bed, you read a bedtime story (using your webcam) that you've selected from the hundreds available in the site library. The child you're reading to gets to hear your voice and see you read the book.

The FAQs say you can record any book for free and you pay only when you're satisfied with the recording. There are a few books that are totally free, but the average cost is $6.99 per book (unless you're a member at a cost of $10/month, when you can record an unlimited number).

It looks like this:

Your child can watch on his or her computer, iPhone or iPad, as many times as s/he wants.

This is a great way for families to stay close and connected. There are pre-recorded books (one I saw was read by the author), and although it's interesting, I think that rather defeats the purpose of the idea behind the site's creation of bringing families together.

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posted by Stephanie @ Sunday, December 30, 2012   0 comments

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

History and Science for Kids

The tag line for this childen's encyclopedia site is: What Do You Want to Know Today? Isn't that great?

Kidipede - History and Science for Kids covers mainly history and science topics. Originally a learning project for university students, the site has been owned and published by Professor Karen Carr since 2000. The original emphasis of Kidipede was on ancient Greece and Rome, although it's been expanded to include sections on North America, China, India, West Asia, Egypt, Africa and Germany as well as on Islam and the Middle Ages.

It seems that middle school (grades 7-9) students--and up--would be able to make best use of the information provided on this site, although a parent could paraphrase and/or simplify for younger learners.

I randomly chose a page called Gunpowder in Ancient China, just to see how the information was presented. It's quite fascinating, actually, the first sentence being: "Like the idea of zero, gunpowder developed gradually over time." The word "zero" is linked to a page called Indian Mathematics where the invention of zero as a placeholder is explained.

You might get lost exploring Kidipede, but you'll come out knowing a lot more than when you went in!

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posted by Stephanie @ Wednesday, December 19, 2012   0 comments

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Head of the Class

I just learned about a curriculum-based supplemental learning site called Head of the Class. It's free and runs from preschool to fifth grade, providing worksheets, games, activities and videos on subjects that include:
  • Art 
  • Geography
  • History
  • Math
  • Music
  • Science
  • Spelling
  • Writing
  • Spanish
  • Reading 
The site's FAQ page says that they were planning to release sixth grade through eighth grades in 2011, but I don't see evidence of that yet.

Register for free and you can track your child's progress, which includes promoting him or her to the next grade level. On average, each grade level takes 180 days to complete, although that's obviously determined by you and your child.

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posted by Stephanie @ Tuesday, December 18, 2012   0 comments