Summer Sanity: 10 Sites with Educational Games and Programs

summer_sanity

Like many Moms I find myself with mixed emotions about summer. On one hand I was “limping across the finish line” (if you don’t get my reference you missed the hysterical “Worst End of the Year Mom” post), just barely making it through. So I am really looking forward to slowing things down a bit and spending time with my kids and new son. On the OTHER HAND, wow four kids all day, every day… well it just requires a lot of patience and lowering my standards for a clean house. Truth be told they weren’t that high to begin with.

So where am I going with all this?

Well only two out of my four kids nap. I knew I could not make it through this summer without some built in break time during the day. Everyday we have quiet time. My only requirements is that you are sleeping or doing something educational, you stay in your designated area and under no circumstances do you wake up someone else that is asleep. Is this a lot to ask for? I don’t think so, but they would argue differently.

My kids spend their quiet time doing something educational. I am a big fan of doing some continued learning over the summer. I want my kids to learn how to explore and investigate things they are interested in. I also want them to understand their job of being a student doesn’t end on the last day of school.

Below is a list of 10 online sites that offer online learning for kids of all ages. These sites are all educational, as opposed to just games. I did not put any educational apps on this list because frankly there are about 10 bajillion of them and I just don’t know where to start.

Depending on the age of your kids most of these are pretty easy for them to navigate and work through on their own. Now not all of them are free, however the cost is pretty minimal. A few have free trials and the monthly fee is between $10-20. Just check to make sure you can cancel at any time. I don’t know about you, but I will happily pay $20 a month for hours of peace and quiet. Ask yourself, how much is your sanity worth?

Younger Kids
ABCMouse: (focused on preschool and Kindergarden)
There is a 30 day free trial and you can cancel at anytime.
http://www.abcmouse.com/

Fisher Price Games:
Very simple baby/preschool aged games.
http://www.fisher-price.com/en_US/gamesandactivities/onlinegames/index.html (little kids)

Mathblaster:
This site is part of www.jumpstart.com. Lots of games geared at teaching math.
https://www.mathblaster.com ($)

IXL:
IXL is another program focused on math. This is site is more of a flash card style site. This site is used for both homeschooling and in the classroom. It offers reporting for parents so you can see how your child is improving.
http://www.ixl.com/ ($ 9.95/month)

Time For Learning:
This online learning program is a full online homeschool program, however you can still use it for summer learning. There is a cost, but for the amount of information, the built in cirriculum structure and the parent tracking it is worth the hours of learning you receive.
www.timeforlearning.com

Sheppards Software:
Tons of free educational games. Everything from basic math to chemistry, history and more.
http://www.sheppardsoftware.com

Turtle Diary:
Turtle Diary has games sorted by grade, subject and topic. You can create an account so you can track your child’s progress.
http://www.turtlediary.com/

Cookie.com:
Cookie is full of games, stories, videos and worksheets. There is even a whole preschool section. Best of all it is free!
http://www.cookie.com

IKnowThat.com:
This site gives both parents and teachers a companion website. You can explore by grade or by subject.
http://www.iknowthat.com/

Learning for Kids and Adults
Khan Academy:
Khan Academy features videos from basic addition to keeping a cash balance sheet. There is so much good information on here adults and kids have almost an endless supply of new knowledge to attain.
www.khanacademy.com

iTunesU (university):
iTunes academy offers courses from many top university and a number of other places. You have access to information that normally costs thousands of dollars in tuition. Just go to iTunes and look for the iTunesU tab.

Just a quick reminder, the internet is dangerous. While I completely understand setting your kids up with an online project, be sure to check in and make sure they are exploring outside the site you put them on.

What sites or educational apps do you use for learning with your kids at home?

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