Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Help Me 2 Teach

If you are tired of doing searches and ending up with way too many pages of results to sift through, Help Me 2 Teach is an internet directory you may want to consider.
Elaine Taylor, a teacher for more than 40 years, developed this resource for parents, teachers, students and anyone else that may need to research educational content.
Her goal was to help you find more time for teaching, not wasting it searching through useless sites. The site is set up in an easy to use format with two different ways to perform a search. The first is a table of contents where you can just click on a topic and it will bring up the results.
The second is a standard search bar where you type in the topic you want to research. Both methods will bring up your results with color coded symbols to quickly help you determine if it is the right age range or if it is intended for a teacher/parent. The symbols are categorized for Primary, Elementary, Secondary, and Teacher. I found this a nice tool to quickly rule out any results I didn't need.
There are lots of different subjects you will find on this site and many hours of research have gone into finding them. Some of the free resources I found included printable worksheets, online games, maps, lesson plans, and activities. The one thing I found disappointing was that this was not an all encompassing search engine.
There were times where I did a search and no results were found. I then had to go to other search engines to find what I was looking for. Something worth mentioning though is the fact that Elaine is always updating this directory and very willing to add any sites or subject matter that you would like to see on there. In fact, while the TOS Crew was reviewing this, many people noticed there weren't any Christian sites and it was strictly secular. This is now changing as a result of this feedback. She has now added some sites on creation. This is a work in progress and it is constantly expanding.
With that said, I do see several benefits to using this service.
A big one is part of all homeschool families is time!
You don't have to sift through pages of results where a lot of them have nothing to do with what you are looking for. The results target the topic you are searching for. This is a great time saver when creating unit studies or finding information for lapbooks. Another added benefit is there are not a ton of ads all over the page.
The biggest advantage I see to using this service is the sites that appear in the results are safe.
On busy days, children can surf these sites and you can walk away for a few minutes and feel confident that inappropriate material is not going to pop up on the screen. Older children can even work independently.
A great way to use this directory is for teaching your children how to use the internet.
What a great way to let them research on their won and know they aren't going to accidentally open any inappropriate sites. The price of the subscription is worth it for that alone!

There are several options for a subscription:

3 day subscription for $4.95

1 month subscription for $9.95

3 months for $15. 95

12 months for $29.95

And until December 1st, she is running a special where you can purchase two years for the price of one!

Please use the Coupon Code: TOS

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