A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site is a comprehensive, fun, and educational online hub where kids can spend hours learning something new. A lot of the information is separated by age, making the site's content really targeted and age-appropriate. The site does push its products, but most of them are books or educational materials. Kids might get a little annoyed by all the content geared toward teachers and parents, but what they do find for them will be interesting and engaging. To be a member, users only have to submit their first name and first letter of their last name. The boards are mostly about books and although there doesn't seem to be a filter, users stay nice and on topic.
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What's it about?
Scholastic may be known for its educational materials for teachers and parents or as the publishers of the Harry Potter series, but SCHOLASTIC.COM offers those things -- and a whole lot more. There are games, a news section, book blogs, election information, printables, lesson plans, message boards, and videos. The site is nicely divided into four sections: Teaching Resources, Student Activities, Books & Authors, and Connect (message boards and such). Within those sections, the content is broken down into ages and subject. A personalized page option is coming soon.
Is it any good?
It's so refreshing to go to a site that's organized, thorough, and full of useful information. Scholastic.com does a great job of talking and appealing to such a large age range, from kids pre-K to 18 to teachers and parents. The one downfall of covering too much ground is that users can get a little overwhelmed on where to go first. Scholastic.com's clear navigation will definitely help, although younger kids (and even adults) might be blurry eyed trying to sift though everything. Users will appreciate the fact that even though site still pushes its stuff through ads, contests, and content, most of the stuff they're pushing is books and their beloved characters -- and they're doing it in a way that makes learning fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about finding appropriate information online for kids. How can you tell that a site is reliable? What are some signs that a site is OK for kids? Also, families can discuss time limits for computer use. Even though a site is educational, why is it a good idea to have some time away from the screen? How long is too long to play online?
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