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by Mandi  Holtshausen, entrepreneur, passionate homeschooling mom to 2 precious girls, visit her blog for a personal insight into their homeschooling  journey.  Follow her on twitter@HomeschoolingSA.   Click here for more information about homeschooling.

The internet is a wonderful source of education and entertainment for our children.  Learning can be fun with interactive games and puzzles covering mathematics, science, spelling and topics on the fascinating world around us.  Although, just like we need to protect our children from bad elements on TV, we need to be cautious and protect our children from the bad side of the Internet.  This can be achieved by installing a good family friendly filter like K9 Web Protection , which is free, on our computers.

Furthermore, we need to educate our children about how to use the internet in a safe manner; explaining the dangers that exist.   I heard of a situation where a young boy wanted to check his new email account and typed in the wrong address.  He typed “male” instead of “mail” and the images that popped up on the screen were of a pornographic nature. Now these images are embedded in his mind forever, there is no erasing it and what has been done is irreversible.  Children are naturally curious about the world around them and we need to focus that curiosity in the right direction.

Here is a brief list of websites that my children and I have found to be fun and educational at the same time:

www.kids.discovery.com Fun games, puzzles and activities about animals, myths, space etc.  Follow the link on this site called YUCKY and play whack-a-roach and find out gross and amazing info about your body.Big-Space-Quiz

www.worldmathsday.com A fantastic site where your child can play math related games.  On World Mathematics Day they can compete against children around the world. At the end of the event they receive a certificate for all their hard work of each year trying to break the world record.

www.worldspellingday.com This works on the same concept but with spelling games.  Speakers or headphones are needed.

www.kidshealth.com This site is friendly to kids, teens and parents.  It has information about how the body works with helpful advice.  A great homework helper.  They also have a newsletter to subscribe to.

www.nationalgeographic.com Fun facts and interactive games like “African Adventures” and “Plan it Green”.  They also have a section for much younger kids, puzzles, coloring book and interactive “Plant a Garden” and “Learn to Share”.

www.dltk-kids.com Fun printable children’s crafts, coloring pages and holiday projects.

Too much time on the Internet is not recommended. I believe that only an hour of television or computer time should be allowed every day. Children should play and the development of gross motor skills are just as important.

Please share fun educational sites you have found for your kids with us.

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