While doing research for the Family Literacy Circle series, I found several sites on Pinterest and Google, using the keywords reading, family literacy and early childhood language development.
As an educator of early childhood and elementary school children as well as a parent, I was curious to see what the sites offered to parents, teachers and children. Many of the sites had engaging literacy activities and followed my format of teaching, which is “synchronizing work with play”.
I explored each of these sites, keeping several things in mind as a parent and teacher of young children. Most of them:
- contain lots of creative, hands-on activities
- suggest multiple ways to teach each concept
- offer parenting and teaching tips
- sequence simple & developmental steps
- use everyday materials
- have enrichment and/or remedial ideas/plans
- intertwine language with reading & writing
THESE WEBSITES ARE (in no particular order):
- www.howweelearn.com is a website created by a part-time classroom teacher and stay-at-home mom of 3. She offers literacy, math, art, and science with some “quiet time” activities for children of all ages. There are, also, outdoor, “farm life”, and crafting projects to explore.
- www.pre-kpages.com is created by Vanessa Levin, an early childhood teacher and author of many topic-specific books. She shares her tip, ideas, and resources to help teachers and parents create a positive learning environment for children ages 3-5.
- www.iheartcraftythings.com shares lots of simple crafting and learning ideas for families with young(ish) children. Using easy-to-find-at-home materials, Rachel, its founder, also, offers many ho;iday and seasonal activities to keep your children engaged all year long.
- www.b-inspiredmama.com is created by Krissy, a former art teacher, who is the parent of 3. Her site collection includes simple crafting and “school” learning activities with resources for children as well as family recipes and parenting tips. Her “17 Tips for Your First Weeks with Your Newborn” is worth the read, especially if you are a “rookie” parent.
- www.notsowimpyteacher.com is a teaching-resource site started by a 3rd grade teacher and parent. Her belief that learning should be fun comes through with all the games, tips and ideas she offers for older children. Use this site to enrich learning and literacy with your children at home.
- www.growingbookbybook.com is “a guide to nurturing young readers” founded by Jodie Rodriguez-an early literacy specialist. Her site provides parents with lots of book lists as well as writing activities and other literacy projects for your young reader.
- www.interventioncentral.org has multiple resources for RTI-Resources To Intervention when your child needs assistance with reading, writing,math, and study skills, as well as behavior management.
- www.thisreadingmama.com is a preschool and elementary literacy and math site created by Becky Spence, a classroom teacher and reading tutor. She has a section on teaching reading using multi-sensory activities as well as a section for strategies with resources to assist struggling readers.
- www.playdoughtoplato.com is a pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade literacy, math, and science website created by a classroom teacher and mother of 3. There are lots of fun, hands-on activities to promote learning through discovery.
- www.readingrockets.org was launched in 2001 by WETA, a public broadcasting network. It is a “national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.”
- www.notimeforflashcards.com has Read & Make Letter of the Week-upper & lower case and fun alphabet books with hands-on learning activities. It has projects for infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, kindergartners, and elementary-aged learners as well as a teacher section.
- www.edutopia.org, funded by George Lucas Educational Foundation, has help-topics for all grades and all subjects as well as videos to show learning practices in action.
- www.walkingbytheway.com offers ways to teach through hands-on learning activities and experiences for pre-schoolers and elementary-age children. Curriculum-based lesson plans are, also, available.
- www.creeksidelearning.com addresses curriculum-based learning for pre-schoolers, kindergartners, elementary and middle schoolers. The toolbox assists parents with engaging in their children’s education.
- www.kidsactivitiesblog.com has lots of learning and fun activities for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, kindergartners, elementary-aged children, and “beyond”. Holly Homer, the website’s founder, also, has family and home tips as well as holiday celebrations.
- www.getepic.com is a must-see website for parents and teachers who want access to a GIGANTIC, 25,000 book library of great children’s books. Register as a parent or teacher account and select from topics. They even have Spanish and Chinese sections. It does require a monthly or yearly subscription fee for parent accounts, but teachers have free access.
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