Monday, 15 October 2012

My Top 4 Educational Sites

Over the weekend I had a concerned Mum asking me where to start with her teenage son who has managed to slip through the cracks of the school system and is still struggling with his reading. His younger siblings are starting to pass him academically and his self-confidence is really low. The obvious suggestions that came to mind were private tutoring or talking to his school to see what support services can be accessed.

But being on a budget and looking for something that could be started immediately, these suggestions weren’t really suitable. So we began talking about some online options that are free or less expensive than tutoring, that could be started today and added to his daily routine. So I thought I would share them with you. There are hundreds of educational sites out there, but these are a few that I have used and think are great value.

The best thing about this site is that it’s free. But it’s great fun. The kids can sign up for an account which you can also access as a parent, they can make their own avatar and when they complete lessons they can earn points to purchase items for their avatar such as extra clothing and accessories. It’s bright and colourful and a lot of fun.  

Literacy Planet

Future School is designed around the Australian curriculum and has lessons in a variety of subjects. You pay subscription fees for each subject area for 6 & 12 month memberships and also get discounted rates when you sign up siblings. It has a great parent access point too, so you can get great progress reports.

This site uses a variety of delivery methods to really engage your kids. It is primarily aimed at children with dyslexia and related learning difficulties, but the principles and the learning style will suit lots of children, particularly those who prefer a more hands on approach. For a monthly subscription fee that is less than a 1 hour tutoring session, dedicating 10 minutes a day a few days a week will really help improve your child’s learning.

Reading Eggs is a great fun interactive game site from ABC. It’s bold and colourful and can be accessed on the web and a number of iPad / iPhone or Android apps can be downloaded for specific needs. The fees vary depending on what you want to use, but the apps give learning that hands on approach that is often lost when staring at a text book or a worksheet.

ABC Reading Eggs

So head along to some of those sites and see which one you think will suit your children best, and remember that private tutoring can be really expensive, and although some of these sites require you to pay for a membership, the money could be well worth it. And when you think about it, they really need to generate some income so they can pay professionals to continue to update their sites and design good solid content for your kids.

If the kids are using the computer and the internet, and you tell them it’s a game and they can only have X minutes per day, they will be begging for more time! What better way to get them learning than having fun?

Happy Learning! Be sure to leave a comment and tell us about any other sites your kids love to learn from!
For more ideas like this one on how to make learning fun. Check out my eBook Learning that's Fun.

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