Advertising
Advertising

The Only Learning Resources Your Children Will Ever Need To Be Smarter

The Only Learning Resources Your Children Will Ever Need To Be Smarter

“Work smarter, not harder” is an annoying cliché that works for obvious reasons. In the same respect, it’s crucial for us to make sure we’re learning smarter too, especially when it comes to our kids.

Luckily, the Internet exists. And using online resources for learning is considered to be one of the best ways to prepare your kids for college, but picking the right websites that help children learn can be a real challenge.

After all, there are countless tools, platforms and websites that are being marketed to parents with the promise of turning your child into the next Sheldon Cooper (though some of us will settle for a functioning adult).

So if what you’re looking for includes top-notch websites that will make your kids smart enough to win college scholarships, then consider these awesome resources.

1. Wonderopolis

A word of caution: this website is addictive no matter what age you are. Learning is basically pointless when you don’t care about the material being fed to you, especially if you’re not being graded. Wonderopolis makes you forget learning was ever an ordeal by providing daily “wonders” through videos and easy-to-read stories. These wonders are real questions asked by real kids around the world, and they include interesting thoughts such as, “What Brings a Tear to Your Eye?” and, “How Do Mirrors Work?”

    2. Miss Spell’s Class

    In some ways, learning how to spell better doesn’t make sense. You’re really just learning how to remember correct spelling, and it’s more about memorization and luck than acquiring a tangible skill. That’s why most websites that are geared toward spelling fall short. The kids aren’t really learning anything—they’re just memorizing. That’s why people love Miss Spell’s class, a facet of Dictionary.com. It’s a simple spelling test, but it doesn’t require you to actually spell anything. You go down a list of words and determine when something is spelled incorrectly. This allows children to learn better reading comprehension skills on top of basic spelling. There’s even an iPhone app you can download.

      3. Starfall

      Since 2002, Starfall has been helping kids learn how to read and become better readers through fun and interactive exercises. You can choose which level of reading you’re at (basic alphabet, starting to read, having fun with reading, etc.) and even pick categories that match your interest. Like magic? You can select the magician category and play exercises that help you learn words and pronunciations that revolve around a magic show. It’s simple, targeted and effective at helping kids cultivate reading skills.

      Advertising

        4. National Geographic Kids

        One of my fondest school memories is when we would watch National Geographic videos for what felt like hours. Even though I now realize that my teachers did this in order to take a break from dealing with insane children, I can’t help but hold National Geographic in a high regard for providing relevant and inspirational information via a kid-friendly format, and their website does this in spades. Nat Geo Kids uses tons of fun games, interesting videos, puzzles and cool photos to make the world feel like a smaller, exciting place.

          5. Funbrain

          If you’re just looking for a large collection and variety of fun games, then introduce your kids to Funbrain. This website is packed with games, comics, reading tools and more that are all geared toward being just as entertaining as they are useful for learning.

             6. Pottermore

            Not just a shopping cart for reading the Harry Potter ebooks, Pottermore evolves the Hogwarts universe by providing educational games and features that make the stories come alive. For the same reason that Harry Potter has created avid readers out of countless kids, Pottermore provides an online approach that makes reading fun for a new generation.

            Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 3.49.24 PM

              7. Spatulatta

              Sure, academics and schoolwork are important, but kids also need to learn how to cook properly and feed themselves too! Spatulatta is one of the best resources for teaching anyone to cook, not just kids, thanks to their ample guides and recipes geared toward beginners. In other words, it’s better than letting Pinterest teach your kids how to prepare a meal.

                Advertising

                8. Help My Kid Learn

                It may not have the most creative name in the world, but Help My Kid Learn is one of the best resources—period—for targeted learning according to age and skill level. The simplicity of its design makes it a breeze to navigate, and its large variety of lessons, topics and exercises makes this a one-stop site that will suit most of your child’s needs.

                  9. Make Me Genius

                  A lot of the websites we’ve talked about so far have been rooted in the basics of reading, math, spelling, etc. But kids also need to learn more of the advanced material they’re bound to struggle with as they get older, especially when it comes to science and even traffic rules. Make Me Genius is a great platform for this, providing multiple types of teaching exercises that range from videos and PowerPoints, to tests and easy-to-read articles.

                    10. Google Lit Trips

                    Virtual field trips are great ways to capture the visual and experiential minds of our kids, and you have a lot of great trips to pick from if you search online. One of the best I have ever come across is Google Lit Trips, a completely free service that allows you to walk the shoes of famous literature characters in a virtual world. You’ll see what they saw in these awesome “trips,” ensuring a learning experience that actually sticks with your child.

                      11. BrainPOP

                      One of the most visually arresting websites on this list, BrainPOP is a fantastic website for kids who learn at a fast pace. It’s rich with content that is image and video based, and pretty much every essential subject is covered. BrainPOP’s best feature is that it makes the experience very fun for kids, and the site is updated frequently, making sure that they come back for more.

                        12. Scholastic

                        What better way to help your child fall in love with learning websites than showing them one with all of their favorite characters? Scholastic books come alive on this website, where kids can play educational games based on Magic School Bus, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and other classic characters they already love.

                        Advertising

                          13. Pora Ora

                          Pora Ora is a free, 3D, virtual world that allows your child to build their own character and embark on an educational adventure (though they probably won’t realize they’re learning). Like a video game, children will be motivated to keep playing (and learning) as they explore this fun and engaging world.

                            14. ReadWriteThink

                            Some of you have kids who are just waiting to let their creativity explode, as you can see from their love of coloring books and other art activities. But it’s also important to help kids harness the creativity of writing and design, which they can do on ReadWriteThink. Kids are encouraged to design their own newspapers, flyers, or even brochures with tools for writing and image placement. They’re not just learning how to write; they’re learning design and layout skills that can actually translate into a real career, making this a fantastic resource for future publishers.

                              15. Magic Tree House

                              Like Pottermore, Magic Tree House captures the fun of the famous books in an interactive and engaging website. Kids will play games that introduce them to new cultures and stories that actually make history and social studies a blast to learn.

                                16. Tagxedo

                                Tagxedo is another great resource for helping kids learn both writing and design skills, as it allows them to create and save word clouds like the one below. If they have to memorize a speech or quote, they can also design a word cloud that will help them recall every single word, and there are tons of design options to make every cloud unique!

                                  Advertising

                                  17. Learn Your Tables

                                  I don’t look back fondly on having to memorize multiplication tables, no matter how catchy the songs were. That’s why Learn Your Tables was created to provide a visual resource for helping kids learn even the trickiest equations. It also tests them on their tables to make sure they’ve got it down, thanks to an interactive “drag” system that they control.

                                    18. Science Bob

                                    One of the most unique features of Science Bob is how it helps kids tackle science fair projects. It teaches kids how to pick a great topic and use the scientific method to develop a project that will make sense and benefit their chances at winning big. The website also provides fun experiments and exercises that will teach kids how to research and think scientifically, even if their name isn’t Bob.

                                      19. Rhymes

                                      Useful for poetry and writing classes, Rhymes helps kids find new words that match even the trickiest phrases, introducing them to the advanced mechanics of creative writing. The website also generates citations based on its ample nursery rhymes, teaching kids how to use the internet without plagiarizing!

                                        20. Sweet Search

                                        I saved the most relevant for last. The fact is that everyone (including children) uses search engines to gather information and answer questions these days. Sweet Search tackles the problem of unreliable (and countless) results by providing answers to your search query that are educational and geared toward students. There are over 35,000 websites on this search engine, and every single one has been approved to provide the most informational and accurate data that will truly benefit your kids.

                                          Did I miss anything? Be sure to provide your own awesome recommendations for websites that help children learn in the comments below.

                                          More by this author

                                          Jon Negroni

                                          An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

                                          How to Memorize More and Faster Than Other People 7 Ways To Deal With Negative People 24 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer 15 Must-Have Apps For Your iPhone 20 Books That Are Guaranteed To Make You Cry

                                          Trending in Technology

                                          1 20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020 2 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020 3 7 Best Outdoor Security Cameras For Better Home Security 4 10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely 5 10 Best Monitors for Your PC Under $100

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Last Updated on November 3, 2020

                                          20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                                          20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                                          Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

                                          There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

                                          This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day.

                                          What Makes For the Best Productivity Apps?

                                          Beyond productivity tips, there are dozens of productivity apps to choose from too. With that in mind, here are some of the core aspects of ideal productivity apps that have formed this list.

                                          • Non-intrusive – you want a productivity app to weave seamlessly into your workflow and not cause disruptions. From using the app to the overall display, it shouldn’t cause any interruptions.
                                          • Good interface – Again, you want to be able to use these apps easily and have them benefit you. The easier you can navigate around these apps, the better.
                                          • Fair pricing – Many of these have free trials that allow you a good chance to test before you buy. If you do decide to pay for it, the monthly pricing plans should be reasonable for what you are getting.

                                          1. Todoist

                                            Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

                                            Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

                                            If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

                                            Download: Todoist

                                            2. 1Password

                                              You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                                              1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                                              You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                                              Download: 1Password

                                              3. Bear

                                                Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                                                It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

                                                Advertising

                                                Download: Bear

                                                4. Hazel

                                                  Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                                                  For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                                                  Download: noodlesoft

                                                  5. Alfred

                                                    Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                                                    For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                                                    It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                                                    Download: Alfred

                                                    6. TextExpander

                                                      TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                                                      For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                                                      An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                                                      Download: TextExpander

                                                      7. Backblaze

                                                        If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                                                        Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

                                                        Advertising

                                                        Download: Backblaze

                                                        8. Keyboard Maestro

                                                          Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                                                          Download: Keyboard Maestro

                                                          9. Snagit

                                                            There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                                                            Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                                                            10. Bartender

                                                              Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                                              If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                                              Download: Bartender

                                                              11. Otter

                                                              Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                                              Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                                              Download: Otter

                                                              12. Flux

                                                                Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                                                Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

                                                                Download: Flux

                                                                Advertising

                                                                13. PDFpen

                                                                If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                                                PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                                                Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                                                14. OmniFocus

                                                                  OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                                                  It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                                                  A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                                                  Download: OmniFocus

                                                                  15. Franz

                                                                    It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                                                    Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                                                    Download: Franz

                                                                    16. MindNode

                                                                      If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                                                      The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                                                      Download: MindNode

                                                                      17. Focus

                                                                        The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

                                                                        Advertising

                                                                        This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                                                        Download: Focus

                                                                        18. CleanMyMac

                                                                          Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                                                          Download: CleanMyMac

                                                                          19. Grammarly

                                                                            A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                                                            This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                                                            A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                                                            Download: Grammarly

                                                                            Focus To Do

                                                                              Focus to-do is one of the top productivity apps for your iPhone around. It even has a desktop client that you can connect to effortlessly. The app is built around two things: the Pomodoro technique and task management. It achieves these things with amazing balance. All that you have to do is create a task and then set the timer right within the app itself.

                                                                              There is also great flexibility with the Pomodoro technique as well. You can choose whether to take a 5 minute break, take a longer one, or even skip it. On the task management side, you can also create reoccurring tasks, reminders, and place a priority on tasks too.

                                                                              Download: Focus To Do

                                                                              The Bottom Line

                                                                              These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                                              Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                                                              More to Boost Productivity

                                                                              Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

                                                                              Read Next