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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.

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        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.

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                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.

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                          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!

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                                  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.

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                                          Published on September 20, 2018

                                          11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                          11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                          In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                                          Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                                          In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                                          Minimizing Tabs

                                          Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                                          Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                                          Incognito Mode

                                          Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                                          1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                                          2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                                          3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                                          This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                                          Save Webpages as PDF Files

                                          Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                                          Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                                          Open Recently-closed Tabs

                                          Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                                          One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                                          The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                                          Solve Mathematical Problems

                                          Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                                          For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                                          Play Media Files

                                          Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                                          In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                                          Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                                          With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                                          Stay Focus(e)d

                                          Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                                          Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                                          With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                                          This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                                          Grammarly for Editing

                                          Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                                          You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                                          Loom

                                          There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                                          There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                                          With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                                          Chrome Calendar Extension

                                          No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                                          Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                                          Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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