The Guiltless Pleasure of Educational Computer Games

Online computer games are so prolific now they are getting harder and harder to avoid, especially with the cult status of Club Penguin for elementary school students. If allowed, children seem able to spend countless hours zoned out in front of the computer. At first, you may think that it's better than watching tv, computers being the future and all, but the games can be so mindless and their glazed-over looks tell a different tale.

There are, however, some really great educational games online that are just as fun. Kids can learn math skills, reading and writing, science, history...pretty much anything.

Mommy Poppins has dug up the following sites as some of the best educational games online, so parents can have a couple minutes of peace without feeling too guilty.

Hunter Curriculum Gathered

The whole school thing can be so mysterious. We read all we can, we go on tours, we listen to other parents, but in the end what do we really know about the different school choices we have for our children? We have a vague sense. Is that really how we want to make such a vital decision? It's frustrating and a little bit scary that we can't find out more specific information and have something a little bit more concrete to choose a school in NYC.

What do they really do at Hunter anyway? Is it really that different? Is it worth all the torture to get in? How about private schools? What do they do there that's worth $30,000 a year? Does a G&T class do anything different that an average class? Mommy Poppins is going to try to get to the heart of the matter.

We're starting out with Hunter. Below we have, described by a Hunter parent with the help of her child, exactly what they are doing this year in the second grade. We will be following up with curricula from some other schools too. Hopefully this will give parents some concrete information to make informed decisions. If you would like to submit information about your school please email Mommy Poppins.

Are Their Privates Still Top Tier If They Have VD?

For parents who are clawing to get their children admitted to NYC Top Tier private school Horace Mann, $300,000 (a conservative approximation of 12 years of tuition) is nothing compared to the value of providing their children with an elite education, safe from the baser elements they might face in NYC public schools. While these parents are imagining their children ensconced in the crГѓВЁme de la crГѓВЁme of New York, noses buried in Chaucer, happily dreaming of their Ivy League careers, they are blissfully unaware of the nightmare the parents of Horace Mann seniors are currently facing.

Useful links for school hunts

In NYC we suffer a wealth of choices when it comes to schools. Whether you're looking for a preschool or a high school for your kid, there are so many schools to choose from, just thinking about it will make your head spin. And where do you begin? How do you find that one school out there that is the perfect one for your child? Mommy Poppins has put together a list of useful resources to help you navigate the twisting and turning road of New York schools. We hope it's helpful. If you have one you'd like to add, leave a comment or let us know.

Are Parents Opting Out of Preschool?

The NY Sun illuminates a new twist to preschool admissions madness (via daddytypes) by pointing out the apparent trend to supply resumes and custom DVDs of your toddler with their preschool application. They then go on to destroy the tactic with several preschool personnel weighing in on how this would essentially get your application disqualified.

The article doesn't hold any big surprises. Any sane human being should be able to figure out that preschools are not looking for toddlers to have media kits and that this is precisely the type of showing off that turns people off. (see Are First Choice Letters Nuts?)

What was interesting was the proclamation that parents are skipping preschool all together just to avoid the madness of the application process:

Day Tripping: Explore Northern Central Park

Just in time for the weather to warm up a little this weekend, we're taking a recess from posting about schools just long enough to send you out on an exciting field trip to Central Park.

You and the kids have trammeled every inch of Manhattan's Central Park, or so you think. Bored of the zoo, outgrown the carousel. If you've never ventured to the northern extremes of Central Park, you are in for a surprise. Four trains (the B,D and 2/3) stop right on the border of the park making access easy, just exit the train and walk right in to the park. Inside you'll find rustic woods, rock formations, streams and ponds, formal gardens, historic military ruins, seasonal swimming, fishing or ice skating, plus ball fields and playgrounds - more than enough activities to keep you busy for a full day. It's like a cross between the Catskills and Chelsea Piers.


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