Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Love Our Techie World!

I wanted to share a couple of links that I am thrilled to have found, as maybe they would help someone else out.

We were trying to find an encyclopedia on disk to use at home, as the kids are doing their first research project on world religions.  I quickly discovered that there were few options on disk these days, and that most of the encyclopedias are now online.  After checking Target and Walmart, as well as Amazon, I stumbled upon the World Book Encyclopedia online.  You can find it at http://www.worldbook.com/ . This is an incredible resource!  It is not free, and there is an annual fee of $50, but it gives you access to 4 different versions.  Each one uses a progressively higher level of vocabulary, but it starts with a lower elementary version which still provides great information. 

The version that is terrific for language learners is the "Discover" version.  You can click anywhere in the text and it will start reading it out loud to you!  Also, with all versions, if you come across a word you are not familiar with, a mere click of the mouse on the word itself causes a dictionary listing to pop up.  On the student edition there is even a timeline creator which Joshua has already really enjoyed using.  The built in tools and ability to use whichever of the four versions works for you or your multiple children makes this a great investment.  When I think of what it costs to purchase a full published set, $50 is minimal even over the course of a childhood.

I loved the World Book set that my parents sacrificed to buy us.  We had that and the Childcraft set as well, and geek that I was, I used to grab a book and take it into the bathtub with me every night :-)  I must have read both sets two or three times.  It is such fun to see all 5 kids enjoying reading about everything under the sun, even if in a much more high tech way than I ever did. 

Also, I found a terrific math app for our Android phones.  For Olesya, in particular, this will be an outstanding tool to help her work daily on her math facts which are such a struggle for her.  I have to admit, ti is fun too and I even enjoy playing it!  Check it out at:  http://www.appbrain.com/app/math-workout-lite/com.akbur.mathsworkout  .  It is sort of timed flash cards and other fun games, and you can track your progress.  The "lite" version allows 2 users and is 2 games shorter than the full version which allows 6 users and has 2 additional games.  Olesya really loves this and so do all the other kids. 

Hope this helps someone else!


Anonymous said...

While we're on the topic of good resources, I wanted to point out a great blog for ESL teachers. I think you might find some good activities here for your kids, as they encounter different challenges in learning English.


Keep up the good work!
-from an ESL teacher

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the resources. I'm passing them on to my daughter for use with my grandson.