Help your child avoid the summer brain drain

Partners Post, June 2014

School’s out, but that doesn’t mean that your child should stop learning.

There are plenty of online resources to help students focus on learning while still enjoying summer break. Check out these educational websites that offer fun and free learning opportunities. They are grouped by grade levels.

Elementary School: Grades K-5
These websites are helpful across most grade levels. Of course, younger students will need some help from you navigating and reading instructions.

  • Game Goo – Find an interactive set of games designed to build upon each other. Start at the bottom for younger students and move up through the games.
  • FunBrain.com – There is something for every student here. Educational games have different levels so the practice can be customized. The site has areas dedicated to math and reading.
  • Smithsonian Institution for Kids – Take a closer look at these engaging online exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution covering art, science & nature, history & culture, and people & places.
  • Houghton-Mifflin Math – A fun place to play games to strengthen math skills, with games arranged by grade level.

Lower Elementary: Grades K-2

  • Fishing with Phonics – Kids can help Garfield catch the most fish and, in the process, practice their beginning and ending sounds.
  • Reading Eggs – Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids of all ages, with 512 interactive games and activities. A paid subscription is required, but parents can sign up for a 14-day free trial. For younger children, you can download Eggy Alphabet to your iPad, iPhone, or Android device. This fun and motivational educational app helps children ages 3 and up learn each letter’s name, sound, and shape.
  • PBSKids.org – Your kids can check out all of their favorite PBSKids shows like Word Girl, The Electric Company, Super Why, Sid the Science Kid, Wild Kratts, and more. Many activities don't require reading abilities, but some do.
  • PictureMatch – Kids can sort the pictures into the correct box based on the beginning-letter sounds, short-vowel sounds, or long-vowel sounds.
  • Starfall Phonics – Perfect for pre-readers and beginning readers, this site takes a systematic phonics approach and combines it with phonemic awareness practice.
  • UpToTen – This is a fun site for kids “up to 10.” Solve jigsaw puzzles, color online, improve coordination, and more.

Upper Elementary: Grades 3-5

  • America's Story – Presented by the Library of Congress, students will get caught up in the interactivity of the site as they Meet Amazing Americans, Jump Back in Time, Explore the States, Join America at Play, and See, Hear and Sing. Check it out.
  • FactMonster – Discover this well-organized, kid-friendly resource for fun facts and outstanding games and quizzes.
  • KidsReads – Looking for a few good books this summer? Check out this site with reviews and recommendations as well as sections devoted to popular book series.
  • MathPlayground – Created by a math teacher, this site offers games that require specific and complex skills, logic puzzles, and an amazing supply of word problems. The games help make even the most abstract math concepts clear.
  • National Park Service WebRangers – Complete more than four dozen activities — puzzles, mysteries, quizzes, etc. — to earn “WebRanger” status. The activities vary in difficulty level and topic (parks, animals, nature, people, history, science, and puzzles).

Middle School: Grades 6-8

  • CoolMath.com – Don't let your kids lose those hard-earned math skills this summer. Check out Cool Math to practice pre-algebra and algebra.
  • MathPlayground – Created by a math teacher, this site offers games that require specific and complex skills, logic puzzles, and an amazing supply of word problems. The games help make even the most abstract math concepts clear. Topics include fractions, multiplication, percentages, and more.
  • National Park Service WebRangers – Complete more than four dozen activities — puzzles, mysteries, quizzes, etc. — to earn “WebRanger” status. The activities vary in difficulty level and topic (parks, animals, nature, people, history, science, and puzzles).
  • Smithsonian Institution for Kids – Take a closer look at these engaging online exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution covering art, science & nature, history & culture, and people & places.
  • TeenReads – Check out this site for hundreds of book reviews, information on the most popular series, lists of the best graphic novels, and the Ultimate Reading List. Everyone can find a good summer book on this site.
 

 

 

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