Here in no husband land, we’re still narrowly avoiding the nighttime zombies and mama’s pre-dinner meltdown. I’m down to my last quarter box o’wine with four days to go. Can’t…hold…on…much…longer…. I’m seriously considering dragging around a king-sized pillow drapped in one of his dirty t-shirts. I’m definitely not a poster child for moms that excel in the absence of a husband.
How about a quick post regarding online stuff, since I’m hanging on the computer all day hoping to catch my husband on Google chat???? Alrighty then… Here are seven of my favorite online resources.( If the thought of me carrying around a pillow has freaked you out, go ahead and skip back to Jen’s for more Seven Quick Takes. I’ll understand.)
Unless you’re a hermit, you’re probably very familiar with Wikipedia. It’s basically how I answer any strange question my kids shoot at me. But for images, including historical maps and photos, I’m all about Wikimedia Commons. With few exceptions, all the images are in the public domain. It’s a great resource for finding timeline images. Need a map of the U.S during the civil war? They’ve got it. A map detailing the path of the Oregon Trail. BOOM! It’s there. Pictures of trenches and soldiers during WWI? No problem. And it safe. A Google image search can turn up all sorts of crazy things I wouldn’t want my kids to find, but with Wikimedia, there’s less chance of surprise boobage. Plus, most pics will link to the related Wikipedia article if you have questions.
If you’re studying a certain time period and want to find saints, scientists and other historical figures outside your textbook, check out Timeline Index and search by era or person of interest.
Enter in your child’s spelling list or select one of the many ones already listed by grade level, theme or curriculum. Then walk away and let your kids play games, write sentences and take quizzes on their words. I’ve used it as a stand alone program and as a supplement.
I love, love, love this site. It’s one of the few I’ve paid for, though the free membership allows you to try lots of the games. Each of my kids has a profile and I can select games in all subject areas, even science, music and consumer math. Activities include downloadable booklets, worksheet and videos. Many subjects are aligned to Common Core Standards. Plus by completing parent selected tasks, kids earn points to outfit their online bedroom. My kids like changing their bedrooms, and avatars, on a daily basis. Currently, Byron is sporting a mustache and cowboy hat.
For children just learning to read, there is no better free program than Starfall. It’s grown considerably since I started using it with Addie four years ago. But the stories and games have engaged all of my children and helped with their reading skills. Whenever someone starts getting burnt out on reading, I let them spend a week on Starfall and inevitably they come back refreshed.
For preschool and kindergarten printables my favorite sites are:
7. First School
First School can seem overwhelming in its complexity of choices but you could create an entire preschool program using nothing but their printouts. Make Learning Fun is a new favorite of mine that I discovered when looking for road letters for Fulton to trace. If you’re the type of mom who wants to find activities for your youngster at the last-minute or ease into schooling at your child’s pace without purchasing a ton of materials, these sites will be a blessing.
Did I miss any? What sites do your elementary aged children enjoy?