Computer Learning & Little Kids - whats best?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by lisa333, May 15, 2005.

  1. lisa333

    lisa333 Rookie

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    May 15, 2005

    I've had my little one on some computer games which were supposedly learning games. I'm a little disappointed at their educational component.

    I've searched online and found a service called Time4Learning.com.
    Does anybody have experience with them? They seem to have both real educational materials (assessment, placement, lessons, activities, tracking, scope & sequence, reports etc) and then a playground for fun after the day's lessons are done. It comes with a built-in timer. I'v emailed them and they recommend setting the timer at 15 minutes of lessontime and 15 minutes of playground time per day. It seems to move them thru and then sign them off at the end.

    Anybody have experience with their system? Online Learning and Games - Time4Learning - www.time4learning.com
     
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  3. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    May 15, 2005

    Nope, but my son LOVES the Reader Rabbit games and JumpStart Preschool and Kindergarten. Both have great learning components. He also likes his Blues Clues Preschool, but it isn't as challenging.
     
  4. lisa333

    lisa333 Rookie

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    May 15, 2005

    Frogs

    I've now signed up my son with http://www.time4learning.com and we start tomorrow. We did all those "educational games". My son liked them but they did not have the meaty educational substance that I was looking for. Time4Learning seems to have a very substantative curriculum with an array of prereading and math foundation skills. I've asked them alot of questions (they even answer their emails on the weekend) and I'm very impressed at how earnest they seem.

    You see, I'm not looking for games: I'm looking for solid curriculum since I want to keep him home (well, put him in some arts and sports programs) but also give him a full kindergarten curriculum, at least the cognitive part.

    I'll post something at the end of the week about how it goes.
     
  5. sandimreyes

    sandimreyes Comrade

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    May 16, 2005

    Have you tried www.HeadSprout.com? It is a fantastic program of 80 systematic lessons that all FEEL like games, but are really specificly designed curriculum. My students love it.

    Also...keep in mind that playing games CAN be good curriculum. There is nothing wrong with children learning through exploration and by choosing learning experiences that are suited to the individual's tastes and allow him or her to practice appropriate skills. If you are truly not comfortable with this concept, there are other ways to incorporate games. It is a good plan to teach lessons and then find games that support your lesson concept and have your child play those specific games. This requires that you play the games first to learn where different concepts can be found, but in the end can be a very rewarding way to cement the skill within your child.
     
  6. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2005

    My son is only 2.5 so we don't know much about that stuff yet. I didn't know your son was that old, sorry. I am interested in knowing how it goes and what it all is about. I have never heard of it before. Is it primarily for home-schooled children? Do they have a preschool curriculum?
     
  7. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 16, 2005

    Some great computer games to build language arts, thinking, and problem solving skills are the I SPY games for CD-ROM. I've been using these in my classroom this 9 weeks, and I've seen improvement in all three areas. If I do a game with the students, they are required to vocalize where the object we're looking for is. Not over there, or pointing to it, but "It's to the left of the red fish" (or something like this). This has really improved my ESL students language skills. It's not just a find and go game. You're solving a mystery or finding a treasure. I bought two of the games off of Scholastic Software Clubs.
     
  8. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I couldn't agree with you more. I have found A LOT of success with Reader Rabbit and LeapFrog. My son and his friends that come over during the week are glued to the computer half the day because they love it so much AND they have learned a lot from them so far. It also depends on the child. Everything isn't meant for everyone.
     
  9. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2005

    Frogs, my son is younger than yours and likes the nickjr website with Blue & Dora...we play the games with counting, colors

    He also likes noggin (the play with me sesame) & sesamestreet workshop games (there's one where he just pushes a key & a character pops out from hiding!!!)
     
  10. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    We have those bookmarked!!! He LOVES the Dora games and the whole Nick Jr site, along with Sesame Workshop and Noggin. He also likes Playhouse Disney and PBS Kids as well. We also go on www.hitentertainment.com and play Thomas and Bob the Builder. Even though many of the sites have "characters", many of them have great educational components for children of his age range. We recently got a Dora (Backpack Adventures) game and were really dissapointed in it. The on-line ones are much better. I wouldn't recommend the one we bought at all. It's not challenging and it's rather repetitive. We recently found www.starfall.com through someones post here. He likes that one as well. Challenging enough for him and educational :)
     
  11. Filefolderqueen

    Filefolderqueen Rookie

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    May 22, 2005

    The CD by Edmark are great. Baleys Book HOuse, Sammies ScienceHOuse, Millies Math HOuse ae all greatand we use those inour Heqad Start Classroom. I also like A to Zap and I am not sure who makes that one. Interactioce game sare best for the children I think. NAEYC and HIgh/Scope have some info on their web sites I believe adn they can be a resource for you.

    Thinking Things is also good for children as well.
     
  12. lisa333

    lisa333 Rookie

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    May 22, 2005

    Hi, its me again. Reporting back.

    WOW, from all your posts, it seems like theres alot out there, CDs, free web sites, learning games, & curriculum. My experience with http://www.time4learning.com has been fantastic. The learning exercises are really clever and funny. They systematically cover curriculum although to the child, it just feels like exploration. Its easily worth the $19.95 monthly since it comes with reports and the curriculum is so much better than anythign else that I've seen. I'll probably use it for the three months this summer and then decide about the fall.

    The headspot program is the same idea but they seem to start everyone at the same place and while their animation is fancier, the exercises seeem very repetitive.
     
  13. sandimreyes

    sandimreyes Comrade

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    May 23, 2005

    You're right about Headsprout being repetitive. There is actually researched based reasoning behind the repetitiveness. They are taking each skill to complete mastery when they teach it, so the child must be exposed to that skill a certain number of times in order for it to be completely solidified within him/her and mastered. It is this concept that drives the program.

    But, understand, I am not saying that other programs that teach differently aren't good as well. I believe in a well-rounded curriculum that invites as many different techniques as possible. The beauty of life is that we are all different and can learn in different ways. I like to offer a lot of variety to my students in their computer learning. Some exploration, some drill-like, some research, some games, etc.
     

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