So was that title total link bait? Maybe. Because I’m not going to talk about Minecraft. I’m going to talk about things other than Minecraft. Because if you’re a mom like me, to a little boy like Evan, you totally need a break from talking about that game.
And trust me, I feel your pain. If your family is anything like ours (and if it is, God help you), your mornings (or afternoons or evenings) might looks something like this:
Awww, isn’t that sweet? My little boy in his pajamas sitting down in front of his very own laptop at the tender age of 6 years old. He’s learning about the world around him and gaining valuable skills like typing and using a mouse. He’s going to be so far ahead of the curve!!
Or not. Because he plays Minecraft. And when he’s not playing, he’s watching videos about Minecraft or learning about mods and skins and other things about a guy named Nosh.
I tried to steer him towards his school games. He was actually excited at the beginning of the summer to use his resources at home. He tapped into programs like Raz Kids and Brain Pop and was excited to be able to do school things at home!
But that was quickly overtaken by the cooler world of MC (I just refuse to type that word anymore). I kind of chilled about it over the summer because, you know, it’s summer. We practiced some reading together and some writing. And we’re always learning about science cuz that’s how we roll.
Now the school year is approaching. Fast approaching. I just met his teachers yesterday and learned about the Common Core curriculum that his school is following and after about an hour at open house, my eyes were slowly closing. The yawns were in full force. I was just not made to sit and listen all day. In fact, I think most kids aren’t.
This year, I’m going to try to keep doing what I do best: help reinforce what he learns at school and try to find ways to make learning more interesting. And many times, for that, I turn to the computer.
I was approached last week about checking out a site called PowerMyLearning, a free website with everything K- 12th grade students need to get ahead for the upcoming school year! The site provides educational online games that incorporate things your child already loves such as trains, animals and even fashion.
(I added the speech bubble, FYI)
Now, let me break that down in real mom speak.
You know how you scour the internet looking for “games” that might be educational and age appropriate for your kids? I know I’ve gone to sites like Fisher Price and PBS and National Geographic spending time digging to find what they have. And then trying to remember where they were next time we want to play them again.
Think about PowerMyLearning as a portal to all of these games out there. Not only have they been vetted for age (or grade) appropriateness but they are also organized by topics that align to this Common Core curriculum. This is my first year with the curriculum so it was a total bonus when I came home from the open house last night and saw familiar terms!
Cool things about it:
- Organized by grade clusters
- Organized by curriculum topics and sub topics
- All programs open with the PowerMyLearning site so you’re not jumping all over the internet
Not so cool:
- I’m focused on the K-2 games and some areas just don’t have anything available (note to game developers – here’s your chance!)
- The site is a touch slow on loading some of the external sites (but that could simply be the external sites)
And then the final cool thing? This site can only improve. I know they are undergoing a redesign that will probably improve anything that might feel a tad awkward. And as content is added to the internet (because, yes, there is room for more content on the internet), this portal site will only become more robust.
If you’re a parent trying to help your kids at home, a teacher looking for additional resources for school, or a homeschooling parent looking for FREE resources to supplement your teaching, I think this is a site that is long overdue.
Here are a few of the games that Evan and I have enjoyed (all at the K-2 level):
I actually took this quiz and I made two mistakes. I forgot bears are omnivores and not carnivores, and honestly, I had no idea what pigs ate other than “slop.”
Ben Franklin AND geography! While most of these states weren’t state when good old Ben was around, it’s a fun little online puzzle that tells you the state name and capital as you try to find it’s place in this great nation.
Disclosure: I encourage you to check out PowerMyLearning. While this was a sponsored post, I signed on to write about it because I think it really is a great resource for me, personally, and I see it helping me a lot throughout the school year as Evan enters 1st grade and we deal with… HOMEWORK!