Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Websites that teach kids

I often wonder how "Technology Savvy" my kids will be when they're my age. It's still puzzling to me when my four-year-old says, "Mamma, why don't you just send dad an email if he won't answer the phone?" (My husband is known for never answering, very frustrating!) And today my son asked me for an iPod.

I used my first computer in high school. It was basically an overgrown word processor. We never had a computer with Internet access in my house growing up. We certainly didn't have a laptop that sat on the kitchen table! That would have been crazy!

I know there are some downsides to kids using the Interenet, but there are so many educational tools available, I can't dreprive my kids of that. And seriously, wouldn't you be hurting your child's reputation if he didn't know how to use the computer? It's just not cool to neglect them of this great tool! So, here are some education websites recommended by Sylan Learning Center.

Feel free to comment with your favorite sites!

Sylvan Learning Centers recommends these sites for parents to use as tools to teach kids:

  • Fun offers games and activities to make learning math, reading and grammar skills fun for students from kindergarten through high school.

  •, the Internet Public Library, created by the University of Michigan, has a wealth of information in the arts and humanities, business, health and science as well as reference materials and news sources.

  • shows parents how to motivate children. It is part of Sylvan's website that also gives tips on how to help with homework and projects, how to communicate to teachers and others about school performance.

  • Book is free online reading motivational program for children in grades kindergarten through eighth. In the "kids zone" characters help readers choose from more than 7,000 books to read. There are also quizzes to earn points for fun prizes.
    There are educational games, printable rewards, an online encyclopedia, dictionary, and links to web sites with additional information and activities for young readers.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Diane Vespa said...

My kids love, and of course They love to print out their own coloring pages of their fav characters. I just google coloring pages + "their fav character" and print away!

Jane Harper Reneau said...

Let's see, Sylvan services how many children everyday? I have been cheerleading technology to my public school students for 22 years here in central Illinois. It might have been more statistically prudent to ask a teacher who sees hundreds of students each week to get a grasp on appropriate Web sites. We search every day to find stimulating, level appropriate interactive technology activities. Next, time ask a professional educator. They are alive and well right here in Peoria. said...

Jane, We would love your opinion on websites. Which ones do you use? Do you think the ones mentioned by Sylvan are bad sites? Do you have a list of sites for different age groups? I would be more than happy to add that info to the post. Thanks!

Laura Gardner said...

Well since my children are 5 and 1 we like the younger sites. My eldest goes to and Of course there is always webkinz, but that one costs money since you need to buy a pet to access the site....thanks to her Grandma she has a pet :)

Shannon said...

My homeschooling friends recommended to me a long time ago and Ethan loved it immediately.

Now his first grade teacher directs them there when they have free time to use on the computer. It's a really good site, developmentally/age appropriate and has been a tremendous boost to his reading!

Richard E. Bavaria said...

Hi Jane – I think it’s wonderful that you have been a teacher for 22 years. Congratulations and thank you! Sylvan has been around for almost 30 years and we have helped more than 2 million students achieve academic success and reach their full potential. Currently, Sylvan's 15,000 - 20,000 certified teachers serve about 79,000 students monthly in North America.

As a fellow educator, I wanted to offer a few more fun and educational websites for parents to use:,, - Super Why (includes episode-by-episode free lesson plans for parents), offers free worksheets for children who are young readers, and

What websites do you recommend? The more, the merrier in my opinion! As long as we achieve our ultimate goal of teaching the children, I feel we can all have an opinion when it comes to education.

– Richard E. Bavaria, senior vice president of education outreach, Sylvan Learning

Debbie Beginski said...

Thank you so much, Dr. Rick! I was just about to respond in kind to Jane, but you saved me the trouble! By the way, so proud to shake your hand in Orlando! Keep up the FABULOUS work!

How about this link for parents?

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