Friday, November 19, 2010

KB Teachers website resource

KB Teachers a division of Knowledge Bears, Inc., is a website dedicated to providing worksheets and other printable materials for parents and teachers. For $29.00 a year, or $49.00 for a two year subscription, homeschool families can have unlimited access to hundreds of resource materials located on the site. Similar in scope to other subscription based worksheet sites, KB Teachers offers a FREE 10 day unlimited trial subscription to those wondering if it is worth the investment. I received a FREE one year subscription to the site in exchange for this review.
I have test driven quite a few of these worksheet sites over the years, but for some reason KB Teachers felt a bit different to me. To begin with there is no search button to use. While some might think this problematic, KB Teachers is convinced that a well designed website does not require a search tool. According to the website, "We believe that on a well designed website you should easily find your way around and find what you need in three clicks or less. Gone are the days of searching endlessly." Is that right?! Hmmmm..... I was not so sure at first.

I spent my first visit to KB Teachers website testing the "three clicks or less" theory. Within minutes (perhaps even seconds) I had found seasonal educational games and worksheets to print out for my daughter to use with my six year old son and his friend during her weekly babysitting sessions with the boys. But were the very cute pumpkin/ghost maze/shapes game worksheets I found a true crowd pleaser?

"I think they were cool. I really liked the maze with the ghosts and haunted houses", said Aidan, age 6.

"I thought the games were really fun and interactive, yet simple for the boys to use. I liked that I could pack them easily to go because they didn't have a lot of pieces and easily fit inside a file folder", said Sammi, 19 year old babysitter extraordinaire.

KB Teachers offers a FREE weekly newsletter subscription distributed through email with every membership. The newsletter is filled with tips for using the site, highlights of educational moments for that week or month and links to other educational resources. For example, for the week of November 1st, I received a newsletter highlighting National Sandwich day, November 3rd and National Saxophone Day, November 6th plus other valuable tips and links. If I chose to take a few moments on the 3rd to celebrate sandwiches I only needed to clink on the live link in the newsletter and be directed to a printable worksheet at KB Teachers. Once on the site I could choose other links to enable further research for the topic of sandwiches. I found this feature very creative and relatively effortless to use; a great aspect for any parent.

KB Teachers definitely was a hit with the younger set as a supplementary/ educational play option, but I was a bit disappointed with the lack of depth the site provides for older students. There are geography, science, language and math worksheets, but no foreign language, history/ social studies ones like I've seen on other sites. Some of the text was difficult to read on the site perhaps due to my internet browser choice.

For the most part, however, I think KB Teachers is a great resource for anyone needing a little extra help with their homeschool lessons or simply something new to do with the kids while waiting for a sibling at dance or during lengthy visits to waiting rooms.

No comments: