Facebook Twitter

Ask an Expert: Online learning resources for kids

Q. What are some good websites for K – 2 students that promote learning outside the school day – not just games, but actual learning?

This question seems fairly straight forward, yet there are a few important things to consider when selecting digital resources that will most effectively enhance your child’s learning. The process of learning occurs when a student is presented with a skill/information, practices that skill/information then develops the ability to process that specific skill or information in a meaningful way. For K-2 grade children, the development of their recall function, plain old rote memorization, is key in their learning development.

Children, who don’t develop these core skills, are unable to process and understand the higher functioning skills necessary for more complex tasks and information.

Each child is a unique learner. As a parent, it is very important to be aware of your own child’s learning style when choosing the type of supplementary digital resources for your child. Don’t assume that your child has the same learning style as you. Often they don’t.

Learning styles can be auditory, visual, tactile, and sensory.  A good rule of thumb when creating learning environments is using the old marketing technique of “presenting the information six times” but through different delivery channels (styles).  This will allow your child the opportunity to use his or her own learning style strength while working on the underdeveloped learning styles.

Ask your child’s teacher about the ways your child seems to best retain information and those classes where your child could use the additional help before deciding what resources you want to use.  Motivation is an important key to the learning process. The most effective methods of learning occur when a child WANTS to learn about a specific event, person or thing.

So, try to spark your child’s curiosity by using websites, which present the information in an engaging manner.  Whether it is a video presentation, story, timed worksheet, app or even online game, make sure you know this will motivate your child and thus enable your child to effectively learn outside the classroom.

Getting started

  • Booker T. Washington Academy, of Lexington,  Ky., has a directory of resources for K-2nd grade that offers a variety of different activities focused on language arts, math, science, and social studies.  http://www.btw.fcps.net/technology/k-2
  • BrainPop Jr. has great resources for K-3rd grade that offers animated presentation of information on language arts, math, science, social studies, health and arts/technology. Most of these resources do cost, although there are some free resources available. Check out the site http://www.brainpopjr.com/
  • Math4Children is an online resource of worksheets, games, videos, and quizzes. Most of these resources do cost, although there are some free resources available. Find it here, http://math4children.com/
  • Kindertown is a free directory app of quality education apps for parents. The app is organized by subject/disciplines for ages 3-6 years old and is available through iTunes.  Check it out here, http://www.kindertown.com/


About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.