The Best Educational Websites for Elementary Age Kids
Educational websites can be a great supplement to workbooks and worksheets for homeschoolers. They can also be a great alternative to tutoring for kids who are struggling in school. Tutoring centers like Kumon are quite expensive. These websites are possible alternatives that can be done at home at a lower costs. Some of these websites are free and some require paid memberships.
Time4learning.com is a "Homeschool Curriculum, After School Learning, Summer Use" option for pre-k through High School. It can be used as a full curriculum or to supplement a homeschool, public school or private school curriculum. Subjects like Math and Language Arts are interactive animations. Much of the Science and Social Studies content is text based. It costs $19.95 a month for one student and $14.95 for each additional student. The High School option costs $30 a month. If you homeschool through a public school or charter school homeschooling program, find out if they'll pay for it. There isn't a free trial but you can pay month-to-month, so you can cancel if you don't like the program.
Overview of Time4learning
BrainPop and BrainPopJr
Brainpop.com and Brainpopjr.com offer animated education content appropriate for preschool through 8th grade. The videos are entertaining but also very educational. Subjects covered are Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Engineering & Technology, Health, and Arts & Music. Unfortunately, it's quite expensive. A subscription to BrainPopJr costs $99 a year. BrainPop is $115 a year. If you homeschool through a public school or charter school program find out if they offer these websites or if they'll pay for them. Both BrainPop and BrainPopJr provide free videos, so you can sample them before buying a subscription.
Sample BrainPop Video
IXL.com provides tests for math and Language Arts that are aligned to Common Core Content Standards. Skills are broken up by grade. Each grade is then broken up by category. IXL is useful for testing how well your child understands the material they're learning. If they get an answer wrong an explanation is provided. The free option offers a maximum of 20 questions per day for each subject. Membership is $9.95 a month for unlimited use per subject. Both subjects cost $15.95. You can pay month-to-month and cancel at any time.
Newsela.com provides news articles for students in third through 12th grade. Articles include comprehension questions. You can assign articles through the parent account and see how well your kids scored on the comprehension tests. This is a great way to improve reading comprehension while also exposing your kids to current events.
This video explains how to set up Newsela. The video is focused on teachers but the steps are similar when you choose the I'm a Parent option.
How to set up Newsela
Readinga-z.com provides leveled reading material covering multiple topics for kindergarten through 6th grade. They provide 2,500 books (including English, Spanish, and French versions) that can either be read online or downloaded. It's a great way to provide homeschoolers with lots of fiction and nonfiction books. It's also a great way to provide a struggling reader with additional material to supplement their school's curriculum. A subscription costs $99.95 for a year. There's a 14 day free trial available.
Reading A-Z Intro
Starfall and Reading Bear
Starfall.com and Readingbear.org are two free websites focused on teaching children to read. Starfall.com is more colorful and interactive with games and animated stories. Readingbear.org is great for showing kids how to phonetically sound out words. Both websites are free.
MathMovesU.com is provided by Raytheon. The purpose of the site is to prepare students for careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. They provide games and worksheets aimed at middle school students.
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