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

                                          7 Ways To Deal With Negative People How to Memorize More and Faster Than Other 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 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 4 16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity 5 Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                          Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                          Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                          Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                          So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                          Joe’s Goals

                                          Advertising

                                             

                                            Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                            Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                            Daytum

                                              Daytum

                                              is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

                                              Advertising

                                              Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                              Excel or Numbers

                                                If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                                What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                                Evernote

                                                Advertising

                                                  I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                                  Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                                  Access or Bento

                                                    If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                                    Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

                                                    Advertising

                                                    You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                                    Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                                    All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                                    Conclusion

                                                    I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                                    What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

                                                    Read Next