Parenting and School Websites/Blogs
Useful website for advice on helping your child with school issues and child behavior in general. It has a whole host of school related articles written by knowledgeable professionals. Subjects include things like helping with homework, getting them motivated, communicating effectively, setting consequences and interacting with teachers. Article comments can be extensive and juicy. Example of a good, practical article: Motivating Underachievers Part I: When Your Child Says “I Don’t Care.”
Around for 16 years now, WETA’s LD Online is a terrific resource for learning about learning disabilities and ADHD. The contributors to the web content are expert and the breadth of the information is impressive. The site gears its support, insights and products (via WETA’s Learning Store) towards parents, educators, and children and adults with LD alike. Their extensive archive of articles ranges from topics like classroom management and technology to college prep and parenting skills.
ADELE FABER & ELAINE MAZLISH
Site for two top notch parenting experts. Their work has profoundly impacted how I interact with children. Favorite books of mine include How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, How To Talk So Kids Will Learn, and Liberated Parents, Liberated Children. For more info check out my post related to one of their books.
Impassioned, intelligent, and just the right blend of provocative and practical, education expert Kohn’s books and articles can help you find ways of supporting your child while working with his school. Kohn has been described in Time magazine as “perhaps the country’s most outspoken critic of education’s fixation on grades [and] test scores.” My latest read: Unconditional Parenting – Moving From Rewards and Punishment to Love and Reason.
School Skill Websites
GUIDE TO GRAMMAR AND WRITING – CT COMMUNITY COLLEGES
One dedicated English professor devoted large chunks of his time to creating this fabulous grammar and writing website. A great source for easy reference, practice quizzes and discussion about all aspects of the writing process. The information is comprehensive and easy to read. I particularly like the handy pulldown on the main page that breaks down Word and Sentence Level grammar into manageable chunks.
PURDUE UNIVERSITY ONLINE WRITING LAB (OWL)
Mother of all writing websites. Purdue University’s English Department built a site teeming with exercises, lessons, and reference lists. Topics range from things like creating a research paper and grammar practice to writing about poetry and how to avoid plagiarism. Try starting with the page designed for parents. Primarily for grades 7-college.
Wow. Let me say it again. Wow. A mind-boggling, almost entirely free site of over 3,000 video tutorials and about 300 practice exercises on all sorts of topics – math, sciences, art, history, finance, etc. They tell use that they are on a mission “to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.”
THE GREAT COURSES
Enormous, in-depth series of high school and college level courses on pretty much anything and everything. Have great professors, break down into 30-45 minute chunks and are easy to access at the library if too pricey to buy. Great way to use downloads, DVDs or CDs to help expand your kid’s knowledge, do research on a topic for school or just enjoy a long car ride. I’ve listened to over 100 of these lectures in my car over the years.
This site uses short movies, quizzes, activities, etc. to teach school subjects in an entertaining way. For grades 3 and up, BrainPOP is browsable and fun. It’s used in schools all over the world and can fit to whatever state standards you want.
THE PRINCETON REVIEW TEST PREP BOOKS
I’ve used their test prep books for the past 20 years. Generally, there are solid, accurate ways to prep for the SAT/PSAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT, AP’s, SAT II’s and tests for younger kids like the ISEE and SSAT. I particularly like The Princeton Review books because their teaching sections are readable, effective and even funny at times and the actual practice tests tend to be close to what your kid will get on the real test. Some ones I really liked: The Cracking the _____ series, Reading and Writing Workout for the SAT, Roadmap to _____ series (lower grades). You can also try their extensive selection of books in the college admission process.
KID BOOK DOCTOR
This blog is chock full of wonderful book recommendations and reviews for younger children. Public school teacher Lindsay Weiner, the Kid Book Doctor, includes discussion questions, extension activities and general advise about how “to enhance the experience of reading with your child, from developing strong reading habits to easing story comprehension for your children.”
“Madame Esme” is a passionate woman. This teacher, writer and librarian loves and knows children’s books and believes strongly in children’s literacy. Her Book a Day Blog is a particularly rich resource for kid’s books – new and classic. I discuss one of her own (fabulous) books, How To Get Your Child To Love Reading, in this post.
TED – IDEAS WORTH SPREADING
Fascinating food for your brain. You’ll find yourself asking all sorts of questions about the way you think about your child’s education. Truly. Check out my post on it for more info.