How does a parent answer all of the How’s and Why’s a child can come up with? In ways, the Internet has made our lives so much easier for this; but than parents and kids begin to question how much on the Internet we should trust. On top of this we want our children to ask questions we want to bring them material that will make them more curious – help them to want to learn more. It is rare we find a resource that offers them answers, entertains them and educates them. Www.How Stuff Works.com is a website that does all of this and more.
How stuff works was begun by a professor at North Carolina State University, Marshall Brain, who still maintains a blog on the website, Brainstuff. The company has been acquired by multiple companies and is currently owned by Blucora, a company that focuses on metasearches and education. The most recent owner before that was the discovery channel.
Education World, a highly awarded website for teachers, give How Stuff Works an A+. Common Sense Media also has positive reviews from both parents and children. Both my sons found all types of information on it fascinating. My older son uses it to gain more knowledge about subjects he is studying in school and my younger son has been using it to answer questions. Why is American Football called football?
The information is also provided in all different ways, podcasts, videos and blogs, responding to all different learning styles. The categories are also designed to entice students. Stuff to blow your mind is all about science and what 10-15 year old does not want their mind blown. Stuff Mom Never Told You is clearly enticing and is focused on information about women. Each of the channels has different hosts, which your kids (or you) can surf through to figure out which appeals most.
There are also quizzes not necessarily on specific lessons but just on overall knowledge on specific subjects. They are not easy but then again no one is getting graded on these. The answer is lit up and explained whether right or wrong.
Generally I think the site is great and plan to use it a lot in the future. It is a great , entertaining way to answer questions and I could also download some of the podcasts as conversation starters in the car with the kids. I tried to see how to apply it to travel. Think it would be great to look up destinations for kids to learn quirky facts about them. I actually found some funny information about Hong Kong; it is noted on the website for:
Disclaimer: This website requires parental supervision, some of the videos and quizzes are aimed at adults, and there is advertising on the site. I did not find anything offensive but I would want to be sitting with my 7 and 10 year old while they were looking at stuff. The site is interesting for adults too, so I don’t think I’ll mind!