Seymour Simon

Common Sense Media says

Author's site, blog promote love of science and nature.

Age(i)

2
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5
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Science is fun and interesting, and kids can get involved in many ways, including learning about and helping animals.

Violence & scariness

Some of the stories on the blog may talk about an animal being injured. Some nature photos and information about animals like sharks may be scary to younger kids.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There's a large rotating ad at the center of this site's main page advertising various Seymour Simon books. Other portions of the site list his other books, but you cannot buy books directly from this site. There are links that connect readers to the publishers' sites, where the books can be purchased.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

To register, kids need to provide gender, date of birth, state, zip code, and a username/password. The site says it complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, and reminds kids not to post their last name on blog comments if they are under 13. On at least one announcement about a contest, however, the site lists the first name, state, and elementary school that the winner attends.

Parents are sent a confirmation email when their child registers with the site. Temporary access is given, but permanent access is granted only if the parent responds to the email confirmation.

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

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Science

  • astronomy
  • biology
  • ecosystems

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • collecting data

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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.

Learning Approach

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.

Support

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Science

  • astronomy
  • biology
  • ecosystems

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • collecting data

Kids can learn that science is more than just a collection of facts; they'll discover that they can tackle scientific subjects ranging from astronomy to ecology just like the scientists they read about. If you're using Seymour Simon’s books, this site can certainly help get kids excited about non-fiction science reading.

This Learning Rating review was written by Emily Pohlonski

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QUALITY
 

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. 

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Seymour Simon was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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