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7 Educational Sites That Inspire Family Learning at Home

We know that we’re our child’s first teacher, but if you’re feeling a little guilty or unsure of where to start in creating great educational experiences for your children, there’s no shortage of great educational sites that inspire family learning at home. These seven sites are personal favorites, because they don’t make me feel guilty about the things I should or shouldn’t be doing. Instead, they provide helpful suggestions on how I can make the most of even the smallest amounts of time I have to spend with my kids.

  • 7 Sites That Inspire Family Learning At Home 1 of 8
    7-Educational-Sites-That-Inspire-Family-Learning-At-Home

    Engage in learning together with these educational sites that inspire family learning at home.

  • Wonderopolis 2 of 8
    Wonderopolis

    Goal: Wonderopolis is about finding learning moments in everyday life.

    How many questions do your kids ask you every day that you may or may not know the answer to? Wonderopolis makes learning together fun and easy, while encouraging critical thinking skills in kids as they get their questions answered. Using the site is as easy as sitting down, finding a question you have, and clicking on it to read the answer. Answers are written simple enough for an elementary kid to understand, and is a great tool to let them sit down on their own and explore all their budding questions. Parents can get a "Wonder of the Day" texted or emailed to them each day, and curious kids can also have mom and dad help them submit a question they have to Wonderopolis to be answered via the site.

    Teachers will love that Wonderoplis aligns to common core state standards, STEM educational quality framework, and Bloom's digital taxonomy.

    Great activities to start with include:

    Image courtesy of Wonderopolis

  • Family Time Machine 3 of 8
    Family Time Machine

    Goal: Family Time Machine helps you make the most of any moment by inspiring you to learn together in the present.

    With a visual layout, reminiscent of Pinterest, Family Time Machine is designed to inspire families to learn together by providing activity suggestions categorized according to a time of the day. A brief description accompanied by some thoughtful questions make for easy activities that can be done during bath, bed, dinner, drive, outdoor or wake up time, that sparks learning in kids of all ages.

    Great activities to start with include:

    • Bath Tissue Binoculars for a lesson in recycled materials that serve as tools to hone learning with a fun prop that can be made with everyday materials
    • Talking Family Map to make car rides a little more interactive as you learn navigational skills and geography.

    Image courtesy of Family Time Machine

  • New York Times Word of the Day 4 of 8
    New York Times Word of the Day

    Goal: Extend your vocabulary thanks to the Learning Network, who provides teaching and learning materials based on New York Times content.

    Build the family's vocabulary by introducing a new word each day courtesy of New York Times Word of the Day. This no-frills site features a dictionary-type entry for each word with the pronunciation, definitions, and ways it has been used in recent New York Times articles. NYT Word of the Day features the day's word at the top with previous words below it, so it's easy to catch up if you miss a day. The only thing that would make New York Times Word of the Day better, would be a text or email feature where the day's new word could be sent directly to your smartphone or inbox.

    Great activities to start with include:

    • At a family meal, sit down and share the word of the day. Talk about what it means, and brainstorm ways it can be used in a sentence to give even the youngest learners in your house a chance to integrate it into their vocabulary.
    • If you're a NYT subscriber, look for the word in a new story to read it in context.

    Image courtesy of http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com

  • TeachMama 5 of 8
    TeachMama

    Goal: A parent of three little ones and former teacher Amy Mascott, shares tools and resources to empower parents to be the best teachers for their children.

    TeachMama is designed to make learning easy for busy parents of toddlers through elementary ages. What is most admirable about this app is the incredible wealth of activities available on the site that are easy to find by using a subject area (early literacy, reading, writing, math, science, digital literacy) or activity tabs in the top navigation. Close up photos provide the practical how-to for at home learning fun with your own kids.  

    Great activities to start with include:

    Image courtesy of teachmama.com

  • National Gallery of Art Kid Art Zone 6 of 8
    National Gallery of Art Kids Art Zone

    Goal: The National Gallery of Art Kid Art Zone offers an entertaining, interactive, and informative introduction to art and art history.

    There's nothing like getting out the paints, glitter glue and collage supplies to create art — but, let's be honest — there's not always time every day to get out or clean up the day's art projects. The National Gallery of Art Kid Art Zone is a beautiful site that features interactive art that can be made online. Artists of all ages can explore among 15 different art making tools that encourage exploration and creativity.

    Great activities to start with include:

     

    • Mobile that allows young Alexander Calders to create virtual mobiles
    • Collage Machine that involves dragging and dropping photos, words, numbers, background colors, and textured shapes into a collage of your own
    • Swatchbox for endless color mixing

    Image courtesy of The National Gallery of Art Kid Art Zone

  • My Kids Adventures 7 of 8
    My Kids Adventures

    Goal: My Kids' Adventures is an online magazine designed to make it easy for busy parents to create adventures with their children anywhere.

    If you hate hearing the words, "I'm bored. I have nothing to do" from your kids, My Kids' Adventures is worth taking a look at because of their free articles that provide step-by-step instructions of ways to create fun activities at home, in your backyard, or in the great outdoors. The parent-friendly activities are written in an easy to follow format that is standard for each idea and feature photos, multimedia elements, and a wealth of links to facilitate learning.

    Great activities to start with include:

    • 5 Ideas for Dates with Your Kids that provide the reasons why you should take your child on a solo date with mom or dad, and the how to make the most of your time together
    • Global Scavenger Hunt that can be done without leaving home to infuse world geography into learning.

     Image courtesy of My Kids' Adventures

     

  • My American Farm 8 of 8
    My American Farm

    Goal: "Working together, we can further build agricultural awareness and understanding through education."

    Food brings families together, but do you know where your food comes from and how it gets to your dinner plate? This rich site features eComics, printable activities, videos, and online games. The games section features 19 different games that you can mouse over to view playing time, grade level appropriateness, curriculum area, and agriculture themes for each game that covers other subject areas for an integrated approach to learning about food. I love that the game, designed for younger learners, highlights the text that's being read to make important connections between written and spoken words. This also help's older kids  build their word vocabulary.

    Great activities to start with include: 

    • Finders Keepers incorporates math by requiring kids to sort foods into various food groups
    • That's Life involves a race against the clock to put plant, animal, and product life cycles in order while teaching science

    Image courtesy of My American Farm

     

Other posts by Leticia you might like:

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Article Posted 2 years Ago
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