Thursday, August 28, 2008

Early Learning Online


At our house, the younger kids have been able to get online since they were three. (They had way more outside time and reading-with-mom time than computer time though!) I tried to make sure that their computer time was well spent. Here are a few great educational sites to add a bit of fun and learning.

Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Games Online

Starfall
This fun and free site will help you teach your child to read! It starts with an introduction to the alphabet and basic phonics, followed by beginning phonetic stories. then vocabulary building and more reading for experience. The site is colorful and has cheery graphics, without being too overdone. It is a very useful addition to any reading program. If you're not sure how to teach your little one to read, use this site as a guide! It is also free, though they do offer various helps for sale.

Science With Me
A colorful, engaging site that uses fun animated characters to teach science to preschool-to-ten-year-olds. Fun games, worksheets, coloring sheets, experiments, and more. Requires registration, but it is free!
Building Blocks
Matching, a recording studio, discerning feelings...some very nice games!
Poisson Rouge
An adorable site with several learning games.
Sesame Street
Easy, fun learning games...even if your kids don't watch the show!
Build a Neighborhood
...with Mr. Rogers. A sweet game that teaches about the communities we live in.
Nick Jr.
A bit commercial, but there are so many resources here that it's hard to leave off. Games, coloring pages, activities, crafts...and a great search feature that lets you find things by age , subject, etc.
Alphabet Bears
Learn alphabetizing with this fun flash game.
Learn the months
...with this cute song. You'll be singing it in the car for months!
Boowa & Kwala
Cute and fun educational games
Gamequarium Jr
A Portal to many online games for small ones. The links are ain the pull-down menu at the top of the page....
Funschool Preschool
An assortment of games and fun for little ones. Some ads.

Homeschool Preschool and Kindergarten Websites for Parents

Preschool Express
A monthly activity calendar, recipes, activities, art projects.....very useful!
Preschool Printables
Need a coloring sheet for W? A finger puppet pattern? Kindergarten writing paper? Find it here!
Preschool Resources
A list of online activities from About.com Homeschooling. Really useful and creative.
Stormie's Preschool Curriculum
A month-by-month preschool/kindergarten idea list. Many activities are clever, creative, and actually educational. A great place to look for new ideas!
A to Z Kids Stuff Preschool and Kindergarten
A compendium of ideas for units on everything from bugs to rainbows to scissors....
Internet 4 Classrooms Kindergarten
A huge list of games, help sites, idea sites, etc.


Free Handwriting Worksheets!

Handwriting is a subject that tends to bring out strong opinions...either good handwriting is the hallmark of an organized mind, or it is becoming obsolete and is no longer important.
My kids opt for the latter view.
They still do a bit of handwriting practice here and there, though, or their scribbles become illegible rather quickly. I do try to keep it connected with their studies and interests, though, so that making letters is not the only thing that they learn. That's where these worksheet makers come in handy. Why write disconnected sentences and random words when you can do handwriting and learn to spell 'diplodocus' or the name of your best friend's horse at the same time? Younger children especially seem to enjoy tracing sentences about themselves and their family, and it is an excellent way to practice spelling without doing spelling lessons.
Some of the sites also have premade pages, for those days when your imagination, or your desire to type out the names of prokaryotic organisms, is flagging. HER has especially nice ones.

ESL Writing Wizard

This wonderful site lets you choose your style (Zane-Bloser or D'nealian, print or cursive), size, page layout, line setup...and then write your own text! There are many premade ones available, and you can save your own, and make them public if you wish.

TampaReads.com

Basic print, D'Nealian print and cursive are available.

FirstSchool.ws

Basic printing, and really nice sheets with days of the week, months, etc. Also some mazes, which are excellent pre-writing and warm-up activities. Blank handwriting paper also!

H.E.R. printables

Very nice premade sheets with basic printing and cursive. The sheets have coloring pictures, illustrations, and more. These are very beautifully done!!


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