From the Kenosha News on 1-22-06

Your children will and enjoy and maybe learn from these web sites

My curiosity about educational software, web sites, and gizmos, was piqued by before-Christmas advertising. My now-teenage sons asked me how they learned the basics without all the electronic toys when they were little. I'm not necessarily convinced that electronic learning is better or necessary for youngsters, so I surveyed some of my colleagues at Carthage about web sites and software they find helpful and engaging for their children. Here are some of the results:

  • aaamath.com– "My son is 8 years old and in second grade. He loves this and I think it's great too!" The site has lessons and games for math at many levels.
  • Nabisco.com– "The games are fun and many are educational, too. Arithmetic, spelling, typing, etc. My son is 14 and enjoys the site." Who would think that a cracker manufacturer would have so many games? Flashy graphics. Prompts to install ActiveX if needed.
  • Noggin.com– "Our 2 1/2 yr old loves it. Very easy to use and interactive. Good educational games and fun activities."
  • kidsprogramminglanguage.com – "KPL is a free download and teaches C-like programming in a visual studio environment. Good for 9-12 years olds; allows kids to create their own video games." You download the KPL kit from the web site.
  • Programs from Encore Software – "They have some Dr. Seuss games/books and a Reader Rabbit game to help them learn numbers, shapes, sounds." See www.encoresoftware.com for a list of software and prices.
  • Tonka Town software – "My son (now 4 1/2) likes the Tonka Town and Rescue Hero software. More than anything, these two games help with mouse use and coordination." This software is made by Atari and available for purchase on Amazon.com.
  • pbskids.org– "My daughter enjoys games on the PBS Kids Web site. There are Sesame Street, Clifford, and more games. They are in Flash format, so nothing to download." and "Both of my children – age 4 and age 8 – love PBSKids.org."
  • Mia: the Kidnap Caper software – For learning French or Spanish. See a review at www.computingwithkids.com/column/20031121.asp
  • www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee - A new geography quiz is posted each day, appropriate for older kids and hard for some adults!
  • funbrain.com– "According to my son, this is useful for learning while having fun." A variety of educational games.
  • starfall.com– "The only site my 8 yr-old visits with some regularity – both at school and at home." Many reading exercises.
  • yahooligans.yahoo.com - "My boys are 6 and 8, and they like this (especially the games link.)" Another person commented that his sons use this as their search engine. This would make a good home page for homes with children.
  • pollypocket.everythinggirl.com– "My 4 year old daughter loves this." Fun activities for very young girls.
  • NickJr.com– There's a section for parents, printable pages to color, suggestions for parties, travel, and more.

Overall, I was impressed by the educational nature and high quality of the web sites people suggested. Whether you choose to purchase software or let your kids use the internet, they really can be learning.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 1-22-06