We've been working on and off with Parker trying to teach him how to recognize words; he has flashcards, his own mini computer my sister bought him for Christmas, we test his memory while reading his books, or we just use his Magna Doodle or pen and paper to write out letters/words. My Dad (a teacher) recently referred me to some websites that help children learn to read. Whoa! They are so much fun for him (and easier, too)! He loves his little kid computer, but he still has a hard time manipulating through the games without our help. The websites my Dad sent me are not just teaching him how to read, but also boosting his computer skills. I usually let him type on the computer once a day or so; he chats on Facebook (my poor friend John usually gets chosen for this), he writes emails, or I'll just open WordPad and let him go for it. The mouse skills; however, have been a little more difficult to teach. Until now!
I've been so excited watching Parker using these websites that I thought it would be nice to share them with my fellow mom bloggers:
Starfall is our favorite site so far because it builds up the skills slowly, it's very interactive, and it's the best one for his age (not quite 2.5). Within just a couple of play sessions, Parker is now able to move the mouse and click on items all by himself! It makes him feel more independent and he is as proud of himself as we are of him. The bright colors are fun and help to keep his attention. I haven't tried to see how long he would sit and play, but I imagine it would be a LONG time. I usually limit it to about a half an hour though.
Cbeebies is geared toward slightly older children, I think, and isn't really helpful for beginner readers. It's also a bit more confusing to manuever through the website. It does have lots of games/activities, but again, probably will be better for Parker in another 6 months to a year.
E-Learning For Kids is neat because it's more than just reading, but we'll try utilizing it more when Parker is older. We've tried playing some of the games and he does OK with counting, but adding and other math is too tricky for him just yet. The worst part is the annoying little robot dog that takes FOREVER to go through his speeches. Parker gets a little restless and I usually want to reach through the screen and put a muzzle on the ugly little yapper. Haha!
A fellow named Mike McQueen who found me on Mom Bloggers Club also sent me his website: Getting Boys to Read. It's not geared toward teaching kids skills so much as it is full of articles and tips for parents to help them understand boys and what gets them excited (or not so excited) about reading.
Do any of you folks know of more websites out there like these? Please leave me a comment or send me an email. I'd love to check them out!
"Teach your children right from wrong, and when they are grown they will still do right." Proverbs 22:6