Jan 9, 2012

Educational and Child-Safe Computer Sites

Source: Ian Britton FreeFoto.com
If you're reading this post, you must have a computer at home. And if you're like me, your kids probably know how to use it. And you probably worry sometimes too (in my case, I worried often) that your kids may be getting into sites that are not exactly safe for kids.

So when I got this list of child-friendly, educational Web sites from my friend Abby Sasscer, who runs the Sacred Heart Home School, I immediately put the links in the kids' browser white list and blocked everything else! Now I know that even when my kids go online, they're not viewing anything violent, pornographic, obscene, materialistic, hate-filled, etc., etc.

What's more, the sites are educational! Just this afternoon, my son Josh learned all about compound words, contractions, living and non-living things, thunderstorms, ants, and armadillos in his two-hour session at Time4Learning.com.

If you want the same peace of mind that I've recently gained, you might want to check these links out too:

Starfall.com: I use this site for my five-year-old. It contains free activities beginning reading and early literacy.

EWTNKids: Since my family is Catholic, I especially liked this educational Web site by the EWTN Global Catholic Network. It contains all sorts of free activities teaching Catholic kids about their Church and their faith. There are also dot-to-dot puzzles, dress up games, music activities, etc.

Sheppard Software: Has free fun games for all sorts of subjects and grade levels. There was a game where an equation was displayed and you had to shoot the fruit that displayed the correct answer. (The kids were supposed to play it but I couldn't resist and had to "borrow" the mouse just this one time!)

Fact Monster: This site, I found myself when I was looking for arithmetic flash cards for Josh. The flash cards are great for motivating my son to practice math. The rest of the site is filled with activities and materials on other subjects such as sports, science, vocabulary, etc.

Time4Learning: We use this for our homeschooling because it provides U.S. state-standard curriculum (i.e. K-12) and activities for our kids. It's our first day to use it and, as mentioned above, Josh learned a whole bunch of stuff in a two-hour session. There is a free demo, but you have to pay to access the rest of the materials. Cost is $20 per month for the first kid and $15 for all other kids that follow. If you're not homeschooling, you might still consider the program as it is cheaper than getting a tutor -- and more fun.

SpellingCity: This is a sister company of Time4Learning. This site focuses on teaching your kids spelling, parts of speech, and vocabulary. A lot of materials are free. Paid membership, which allows you to register up to five kids in one payment, is just $25 per year.

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