Is your student struggling with a certain subject, or maybe so far ahead in class that he’s bored? Parents of children with a broad range of learning needs can find resources online and in the community. Here are a list of ten amazing tools that Adrian Rubin thinks you should definitely check out.
1. Reading A-Z
This online reading program is a wonderful resource for parents who want to encourage reading. It has free tools as well as a paid option and can benefit children from ages four to eleven or twelve. The offerings include printable books for different levels of readers, as well as lesson plans to go along with the books.
2. Khan Academy
Khan Academy can be helpful to students in kindergarten all the way through college. It offers free online courses in a range of subjects, from learning how to add all the way up to GMAT prep courses. The online lessons are in video format, and often include interactive elements so that students can participate as they learn.
Scratch is a platform which is hosted by MIT. It teaches computer programming to children in innovative, exciting ways. Students can design games, stories, and animations while gaining an understanding of the language of computing. It also teaches kids about logic and reasoning, and how to problem solve.
4. Math Games
If your child loves to play video games, consider using a free online resource like Math Playground to weave math into his play time. The games on this site incorporate math concepts like fractions and decimals into fun, video-game like experiences.
5. Local Tutors
Local tutors are a powerful resource for parents who want to support their child’s academic growth. A tutor can provide encouragement, a new perspective, and patient attention. Consider working with a tutor at a learning center or asking your child’s school for recommendations.
6. The Library
In today’s digital society, the role of library’s has changed significantly compared to what it was in the past. Today, libraries function as more than just a place to house books. Librarians are mediators between the public and a vast amount of digital information.
One study found that almost half of America’s adult population is “reluctant” or “under-prepared” regarding digital readiness. These findings indicate that librarians serve a vital role for students, connecting them to data in a way that parents may be unable to.
7. After School Programs
A resource that shouldn’t be over-looked is the school system. Parents can reach out to teachers, coaches, or other parents to find out about what kind of programs are offered after school hours. Programs like a debate club, soccer team, or after-school math tutoring may be available.
8. ACT Tests
Parents of sophomores, juniors, and seniors should be able to point their student to test prep resources. One valuable website is act.org which provides students with ACT prep tips, practice tests, and information about test dates and sign-up. A helpful step may be to print out an entire test, as well as answers, to give to the student. Encourage your student to take the test from start to finish with the appropriate time-cut offs, and then score the test. This will be great information that can help your child move forward with test preparation.
9. SAT Tests
Likewise, another great resource is collegereadiness.collegeboard.com, which contains full SAT practice tests. In addition, this site has information about a daily practice app, how to form study groups, and the PSAT.
10. Information About AP Programs
Eighty-five percent of the selective colleges in the US report that a student’s Advanced Placement (AP) experiences influence the admissions decision. AP courses are college-level classes that can (depending on the grade of the final exam) count as credit toward an undergraduate degree. Parents who want to learn more about AP programs can go to the College Board website to learn all about the program and its financial benefits.
We live in the information age, and resources are plentiful. If you are a parent, consider checking out some of the digital and community-based programs mentioned above. Each tool is designed for a specific age range and learning style. You can explore the resources that look appropriate or involve your student in deciding what method of support will work the best.