Parents are always looking for opportunities to broaden the minds of their children by introducing them to new and stimulating ideas and skills. One particularly amazing source of knowledge, ideas and learning, where your children can pick up new skills and hone their existing strengths, is… The internet.
However broad and impenetrable it may appear for its novice users, the internet is a melting pot of information and learning opportunities. As an internet veteran and knowledge-seeker, I am here to guide you to some of the best hidden-gems the internet has to offer for growing brains:
- Code Academy – A site that will allow your children to ‘learn to code interactively, for free’! In an increasingly cyber-based world, coding is definitely a worthy and exciting skill for your children to learn. It will allow your children to have the power to create their own tools and software, including websites and games. Coding is an empowering way for your children to become active in the creation and control of the programming that increasingly shapes their virtual and offline experiences and interactions.
- Khan Academy – Many of you might have heard of Khan Academy and we have blogged about it before, it’s possibly the most popular revision site for school children and university students alike! Khan Academy provides a wealth of step-by-step video guides for a plethora of subjects and disciplines, including (but not limited to) core school subjects such as Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and English. Registering with Khan Academy will open your children to a ‘personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom’ – a fantastic online environment to cultivate new and existing skills.
- Chandoo – ‘Become awesome in Excel’, and who doesn’t want to be an Excel wizz? Right? In all seriousness though, Excel can seem like one of the most boring pieces of software ever when you’re initially taught how to use it at school. However, if you know how to use it properly, it can be used to manipulate and create complicated formulas to create beautiful data sets and even pieces of art – amazing! Understanding Excel in its full glory is an important skill to cultivate, particularly if your children are interested in eventually enter the tech/software industry (or any profession, really!).
- Spreeder – A fantastic website that teaches you how to speed read. Speed reading is quite an underrated skill, but where children will be required to read for an increasing number of hours a day as they progress into higher education, the ability to read quickly while absorbing the maximum amount of information is critical.
- Drawspace – A fun way to enhance your creativity, observation skills and mental perception is through drawing. The belief that some people can’t draw is simply not true – art is a subjective, personal and emotive means of expression that can empower both the artist and the art-viewer. Drawspace is one of the most respected and inclusive art education websites in the world, and while not all content on the site is accessible for free, the lessons, books and tutorials are created and taught by some of the best artists and educators you can get your hands on!
- edX – An online portal that gives you access to the best courses and classes taught by renown professors from the top universities across the world. Sound too good to be true? edX is part of a movement to bring world-leading education to the masses through online interactive courses and lectures. You can take online courses from universities such as Harvard, MIT, Berkeley and other Ivy League and Red Brick institutions. Simply search the website for courses you’re interested in, register with edX for free and start studying – for free!