By Ryan Crawley for Dadspadblog.com – There is a misnomer that it is bad to have young children spending consistent time on the internet. Just like a lot of things in life, if it is done in moderation, it can actually be a good thing. The amount of quality educational websites grow by the day. The key is to eliminate much of the fluff, and have your children spend their time on websites that will assist them in gaining important skills.
The ability of reading fluently and with expression as a young child is the number one indicator of future success in school achievement. What does this mean as a parent? It means that teaching your child to read should be the number one priority in preparing them for kindergarten. (Of course, there should be a focus on proper manners as well, but we are talking about academic success.)
Besides working with them one-on-one at home, technology can step in and provide you with a breather. Placing your child on a tablet, chromebook, or laptop on these following sites should give you peace of mind in knowing that they are learning something valuable.
Separated into sections for kindergarten through fifth grade, ABCYa is a website that is sure to entertain and educate your child. It will help your child with letter identification and recognition, spelling practice, phonics, storybooks, and many other educational skills that they will need. But it does not only focus on literacy, but there are also numerous math skills they will be learning as well.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) created an award winning children’s literacy website. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation offers famous actors and actresses reading children’s books as the colorful illustrations are displayed on the screen. There are dozens of talented actors such as Kevin Costner, Lily Tomlin, James Earl Jones, and Betty White that have contributed their services to this site.
Storyline Online is an extremely popular website that is constantly viewed by children across the globe. They receive over 100 million views annually. Supplemental curriculum is included for each book that they offer. The curriculum has been created by a certified educator with the goal of strengthening comprehension, verbal, and written skills in children.
For over a decade, Starfall has been helping children read with exploring a systematic approach to phonics skills on their website. Preschool to second grade students will have a great time using the free content of animated songs, colorful graphics, and mathematics and reading activities. These educational resources can be used at home or in the classroom.
This site is one that requires a subscription. With that said, it is well worth the cost. It is a treasure for readers of all ages. Thousands of actual popular books are on this website for students to read or listen to as the words are displayed on the screen. If you were to buy all of these books that the website contains, you would be having to spend a small fortune.
Many children will be able to eventually read the words on the screen just through sight and repetition. The books are read aloud and involve active animation to help retain a child’s attention. Most of the books have a quiz or two to go along with each story. This will ensure your child’s comprehension skills are on point. Tumblebooks can be used virtually anywhere. Placing one of these stories up on a Smartboard in the classroom will definitely entertain the class, but this can just as easily be used in the comfort of your own home.
Children love to hear classic fairytales over and over again. Even as an adult, it is something that we really don’t outgrow. Storynory offers a collection of these stories read aloud to your child. The text is also available on the site, so children can follow along as it is being read. There are also great features available that give you the option of downloading the audio directly to your computer to always have on file.
DOGOnews is sort of a current events website for your children. They constantly are updating and adding new articles daily. But a child can also search back in the archives for any topic that they are interested in. Plus, there is usually a short video that accompanies each article. There are fun topics such as LEGO news, ugliest dog contests, school projects, and many other subjects suitable for children.