Back to school season means the return of homework, projects and research that many kids must conduct online. The Internet is an inexhaustible resource for research and education, and there are plenty of resources for kids to search safely and effectively online. Whether your kids have been assigned a school project or they are looking for better ways to find sources and information for their classes this year, here are some extensive (and safe) resources that they can access from home.
Finding a topic
When kids are assigned general research projects for class, choosing a topic is the first step and can be half the battle. It may be challenging to find topics that will interest and engage your child, so we’ve listed a few resources that can help. You can encourage your child to explore online using these safe sites to find topics that interest them.
A science fair or project can provide many opportunities to get your child engaged with a project they find interesting. The challenge can be finding an interesting topic and understanding how to put together a report or presentation that captures it. These sites can help!
If your child is looking for a topic for a general science research, National Geographic and Nova can be great places to start. For science fair topic ideas and tips, have your child check out Science Buddies. This site segments science fair projects by suggested grade levels and gives tips on how to conduct experiments making it easy to find the right project for your student.
Other Research Projects:
For research projects not involving science, such as English, History, or Art, there are several sites that can help kids to find topics they love in the assigned categories. Cyber Sleuth kids, KidsClick.org and DKFindout! are examples of these category search sites that can help your kids easily find the topics they need. If the project is history-specific, your child can search Info Please to find historical events by year.
Conducting Research on a topic
Once your child has selected a topic, - how do you let them research their projects while still ensuring their online safety? You can help give your kids the independence they need while keeping them safe by guiding them to these safe search sites.
Google SafeSearch Offshoots:
Google is constantly updating its privacy and safety settings to protect its youngest users, but searching on the platform can be time consuming and overwhelming for kids. KidRex solves these usability issues by providing a simple and easy way to search results that is always safe. Kids Search is another platform that helps kids search safely using Google’s safety settings. The site is also ad free, so nothing will distract your child from the research to be done. If your child is older, but wants a more direct way to research projects, Sweet Search provides only cultivated results evaluated by research experts and librarians.
Used by Librarians and Teachers:
To find librarian-level help from home, have your child conduct research on Library Spot or Kidtopia. Both websites were developed by school librarians with the goal of creating a better, safer way to research online and linking children to free educational resources.
These sites help families in two ways. First, they allow kids to safely research online while maintaining their academic independence. Second, they help young students identify valuable sources and their distinguishing characteristics for future research projects.