Ask Jeeves lets kids search the Web for answers to questions phrased in plain English (“Why are diamonds hard?”). Results are presented in a kid-friendly format, so children will probably find this site easier to use than general-purpose search engines. ”
Kids Language Arts
This site has resources for kids learning English as a first or second language, from vocabulary building exercises to guides to children’s literature. Also included are links to online dictionaries for children of all ages.”
Not sure if you should use its or it’s in a sentence? Can’t tell when your participle is dangling? This free site is dedicated to answering your questions about English grammar, composition, research, and formatting. Responses arrive by e-mail.
National Museum of American Art
Teaching children to appreciate and understand art is challenging for most parents. At this Smithsonian Institution Web site, experts at the National Museum of American Art respond to questions about American art.
At the CyberPlayGround, you’ll find links to online articles and other educational resources, with an emphasis on language, the arts, and music.
Children’s Literature Web Guide
The Children’s Literature Web Guide is a comprehensive guide to books for children and young adults. It includes lists of the best children’s books, music, and videos, and links to Web-based reading resources for teachers and parents.
Stories to Grow By
Stories to Grow By is a compendium of short stories for children. You can choose by type (adventure, fairy tales, riddles); theme (courage, honesty, restraint); or age level. The stories are nondenominational, and they’re beautifully illustrated with children’s drawings. To make sure you won’t read past your child’s bedtime, each story includes an estimated reading time.
The Distance Learning Resource Network
This Web site is run by the U.S. Department of Education Star Schools Program. It offers resources for anyone interested in finding out about distance education. Includes an annotated list of distance learning courses for grade levels K through college.
Free-ed.net is a clearinghouse for free courses and tutorials on the Internet, covering topics from business to the sciences. Most of the courses are designed for adults, but the site also includes links for homeschoolers.
Yahoo has an extensive directory of distance learning resources on the Net, for K through university and beyond.
Many of the resources at Homeschool.com are free, and the site has everything for the home schooler, including how to get started, message boards, and online education.
Educating.net is an extensive index of free and commercial distance learning resources for all ages, including continuing education and professional retraining.
Geography and History
National Geographic Xpeditions
Xpeditions is a National Geographic Web site that lets kids participate in interactive geography adventures based on strict educational standards developed by geography educators. This stunning site also includes links to helpful geography resources on and off the Web. (Requires QuickTime VR.)
This is where to go for historical facts, exhibits, books, and links for history lovers at or above high-school level.
The World Fact Book
Get the lowdown on every country in the world, courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency. If you need to know how much Belize spends on its military each year, this is the place to be.
3D Atlas Online
3D Atlas Online has Facts about everything geographic, from Afganistan to Zimbabwe. It also includes an educator’s area with links to other geography Web sites.
The History Channel
The History Channel has a Web site packed with interactive exhibits, lesson plans, and other resources to help kids and adults learn about world history. You can search for historical facts by decade or by keyword.
The History Net
The History Net is a frequently-updated Web site with articles and links about U.S. and World history. Interviews, profiles, and eyewitness accounts add a personal perspective that make historical events come alive.
BBC Online History
This site has Anglo-centric resources for teaching history, including games and timelines. BBC Online also includes a comprehensive guide to historical education sources on the Web. (Some resources require Macromedia Flash plug-in.)
General Education Resources
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM) is an extensive online database of free and commercial educational Web sites, with well over 10,000 entries. You can search for resources by subject or grade level, pre-K through adult, or you can browse by subject or keyword (see “Polished GEM”).
The U.S. Department of Education Internet Safety
This Department of Education-sponsored site shows how to use the Internet safely using free online resources from the Department of Justice and other agencies. The children’s section includes an Interactive guide that uses concrete examples to show kids how to behave on the Net. It’s an excellent stop for adults and children venturing online for the first time.
Educational games for kids in grade levels pre-K through 6. The free, basic service includes advertisements — a subscription to an ad-free premium service costs $49.95 per year. (Requires Java and Macromedia Flash.)
Skewl Sites has links to hundreds of educational Web destinations, with capsule summaries of each site. The search function hasn’t yet been implemented, but the catalog is logically organized according to subject and grade level.
This Discovery Channel uber-site has links to educational games and adventures, history and geography articles, and lesson plans for teachers and home schooling parents.
Big Chalk has educational resources for parents, teachers, and kids. It includes HomeworkCentral, a database of online reference materials that you can search by subject or grade level.
Minneapolis-based wwwrrr (pronounced “whir”) produces
wwwrrr@myschool, an interactive online tool that lets schools develop their own Web sites. The company also sells “InternetBasics: Fundamentals for Teachers,” an online training course for teachers, and is developing Web-based educational software for children.
School Discovery Lesson Plans
If you’re a teacher or you’re educating your child at home, this site offers hundreds of lesson plans on a variety of subjects for grade levels K through 12. Many of the lessons are based on video tapes that you can order online.
Syndicated columnist Barbara Feldman serves up mini reviews and ratings for hundreds of kid-friendly Web sites covering topics from the arts to science.
School Discovery Homework Help
One of the more unusual educational Web sites, B.J. Pinchbeck’s Homework Helper is run by 14-year-old Bruce Pinchbeck, Jr. and hosted by Discoveryschool.com. Although the site has little educational content of its own, there are more than 500 links to education resources around the Net.
FamilyEducation.com is a general education Web site for school-age kids and their parents. Although many of the downloadable programs are PC-only, the other educational resources make the site well worth a visit.
Education World has an extensive database that lists over 100,000 educational Web sites, organized by subject area, with a built-in search engine. The site also provides valuable resources for parents and educators, including links to helpful articles on distance learning.
Brittanica.com is a free online version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica that includes links to articles from such magazines as Newsweek and Discover as well as current news and sports. For $50, a yearly subscription to Encyclopaedia Britannica Online gets you extra articles and search features.
Encarta is the free version of Microsoft’s well-known reference site, which includes an encyclopedia, dictionary, and world atlas. You can search for specific information or browse topics by subject. (Microsoft also offers subscriptions to Encarta Online Deluxe for owners of Encarta reference CDs and DVDs.)
World Book is a subscription-based ($49.95/year) online encyclopedia with extensive search functions. A 30-day free trial is available. (Some content requires special plug-ins.)
The California Instructional Technology Clearinghouse catalogs educational resources with the help of trained evaluators from the California school system. You can search the index by specific academic standards or by entering descriptive terms.
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)
Another U.S. government site that includes links to hundreds of federally supported educational resources on the Internet is Federal Resources for Educational Excellence. The site is searchable by subject.
Education Index is an annotated index of thousands of educational Web sites. You can browse by subject area — there are more than 50 — or by grade level, pre-K through college. Also provides links to parenting, distance learning, and continuing education online resources.
Nova Online ia an index to all the companion Web sites for the award-winning PBS documentary series. The site includes topics in science, history, and geography.
FunBrain offers interactive games for kids pre-K through high school, which are organized by age and by subject. The site also includes helpful hints and links for parents and teachers.
What better way to teach kids how to navigate the Net than a surfing contest? At CyberSurfari, kids and adults compete for prizes by searching the Internet for clues.
GirlTech is devoted to encouraging girls to use technology, on and off the Web. The site includes links to other sites, a section on girl’s sports, and monitored chat areas.
Math, Science, and Technology
This site showcases the current issue of Scientific American and includes an archive of articles from previous issues. “Ask the Experts” lets you browse answers to common questions like “Why do we sneeze?”
KidScience has online articles that cover a wide range of science and technology topics, along with educational interactive games and puzzles for kids.
Are your children stymied by math? This site offers educational games, exercises, and articles to help kids of all ages get up to speed.
This is the home page of Bill Nye, the Science Guy, from the popular PBS television program of the same name. Although the interactive episode guide comes in handy, kids will love trying over 40 different home science experiments.
This site is a virtual version of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, and has special areas for earth, marine, and space science. It’s the next best thing to actually going to Washington, D.C.
School Discovery Science Fair
Are you not sure what to do for your child’s next science fair project? This site offers a handbook and topic ideas for kids, and helpful hints and guidelines for their parents.
Encyberpedia has links to mathematical Web sites for kids and their teachers.
Although NASA is best known for space exploration, this Web site for kids focuses on earthbound topics like the weather and the oceans.
KidsHealth is a wonderful resource for kids interested in learning about health. The site includes answers to common health questions (“Help! A bee bit me!”) and an interactive guide to the human body. (Requires Macromedia ShockWave plug-in.)