Wednesday, April 06, 2011

E is for Education

No matter how old we get, we never stop learning.  So for this "E" post, I'm going to share some educational sites that I've come across that either I've enjoyed or my nephew has.


Starfall:  Great for beginning readers.  This site was designed with grades k-2 in mind.  For the newest of readers, they have a section that will walk you through the alphabet.  You can then move on to phonics with short stories and then onto more advanced stories. Well...advanced up to 2nd grade : )  The nice thing is that each word has the option of  being read to the user, so if you're not sure what the word is or how to pronounce it, click on it and it will be sounded out for you.  The site also has some holiday activities and it looks like they're beginning to branch out into math as well.

International Children's Digital Library:  This site has children's books from around the world.  Granted most of them are rather old, but it's interesting to see how far children's literature has come over the years. 


Math Fact Cafe:  A good source for practice math sheets.  Gives basic math along with time and money.  You can chose from premade work sheets or set your own parameters to create your own.  They also let you change the font size used along with how much work space is for the problem.

Social Studies:  An interesting site dealing mostly in U.S. currency, past, present, and future.  There are quite a few things to chose from on here, but here are two that we enjoyed:  Design your own bill lets you try your hand at designing paper currency.  The time machine lets you learn about the history of all those different designs on the backs of your coins.


Celestia:  This is a must for anyone interested in space.  The controls take a bit of getting use to, and be sure to check out the add-ons section to even further enhance the experience.  Celestia is an interactive map to the universe.  It allows you to track planets in orbit, watch their rotations, and see the night sky like you never have before.  Some interesting features include turning on a night view of earth.  This allows you to see the city lights from space and makes it an interesting way to spot some of the more populated places on the planet.

Edheads:  An interesting mix of virtual activities.  Kids can design virtual cell phones, learn about predicting weather, how simple machines work, and perform hip replacement surgery.  There are a few different virtual surgeries, and they allow for the view of actual surgery photos, so preview this to make sure it's okay for your kids!  A good way of showing what a family member will go through if a child is upset about their upcoming surgery.

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