What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this science website is mostly a blog and advertising website for the renowned children's science author, Seymour Simon. In addition to a lot of information about his books, there are contests, a science dictionary, one game, and some jokes and riddles for kids. Everything else here tracks more toward adults such as teachers who are looking for classroom information or seeking Mr. Simon for speaking engagements. There are no clearly posted submission guidelines for kids who want to upload photos or videos for use on the site (the rules are buried in the Terms and Conditions), so you may want to discuss with your child what sort of images would be appropriate to send to a science site.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
Thinking & Reasoning
- analyzing evidence
- collecting data
Engagement, Approach, Support
Experiments and blog posts are intriguing and student-centered. However, sometimes you have to really dig on the site to find what you are looking for.
Kids are encouraged to explore and collect their own observations in the real world. Tools are provided to help Seymour Simon’s books come to life.
Kids can submit questions to the author themselves. Even though some of his books are available in Spanish, the site itself is only in English.
Is it any good?
For kids who are into science -- especially wildlife and outer space -- the blog on the Seymour Simon site will likely be a fun place to stop by many times a week to find out what's new, as well as post their own comments about the stories. There are some wildlife videos on the blog, as well as stories about kids helping animals, nature stories, and science or nature events that are happening that day, such as planetary sightings. The blog is regularly updated, but the contest information is not, so watch the dates on those. The one game is not educational, just for entertainment, and won't impress most computer-savvy kids. The alphabetical science dictionary (an online version of one of Mr. Simon's books) has a tremendous amount of science-related words, from "Abacus" to "Zenith."
Online interaction: Fans of Mr. Simon's books feel like they're interacting with the author, thanks to the website's blog -- which allows kids to post comments -- as well as the ability to upload photos and videos and to participate in contests.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how this site encourages kids to buy Mr. Simon's books, even though he's not selling them directly here. Read Common Sense Media's Parent Advice: Selling to Kids Tips.
- Discuss what sort of photos and videos your child may want to send into this site, and what would not be appropriate to send.