Good Educational CDs

October 17, 2008

Homeschool

We use books, mostly, for the kids’ schooling. But I have used some CDs (quite a lot in the past, actually) and found some of them truly helpful. I used to buy tons of them, especially “educational games” programs. I have come to the conclusion that very few games touted as “educational” are really educational. They are mostly diversions. The kids never really learned their multiplication tables or memorized the First Amendment by playing computer games that supposedly taught them so. And when given the choice, the kids would much rather play a “real” game rather than the “educational” games.

But there have been a few really great CDs that have stuck with us. Out of all the software I’ve bought (this does not include the free stuff I find online), there are six CDs that have been truly educational. Here they are!

CDs

My young son loved the Learning Center series. It has a goofy alien (he’s quite funny) telling jokes and encouraging the child to play the games. These are real educational games, where you see short slideshows and videos about constellations, solve math problems to get to higher levels in a game, answer science questions, and more. My son played these over and over. They didn’t replace textbook learning, but rather they enhanced it and made it fun.

The Story of the Constitution by Alpha Omega publications is for older children– high school age. It comes as part of a bigger AO series, as a curriculum of its own. But I have a kid who is nuts about American government, and this was a fun challenge.

Mastering New Testament Greek by Ted Hildebrandt is a great CD! It is just huge, too– there is so much to learn in so many different ways. The kids are still going through it. It teaches Greek starting with the alphabet– it has audio, too, so you can pronounce the letters and words. It also encourages writing Greek. This is a whole first-year course on the CD. An excellent program!

Learn Hebrew is by EuroTalk Interactive. They have a lot of different languages in the series. This is a basic program of learning very basic conversational Hebrew (numbers, colors, basic sentences, etc). It has a guy and a girl and acts a little bit like a video. You can play games and test your skills. It’s bright and colorful and very interactive, perfect for kids.

Quicken is a nice money/budgeting software program. It’s a little complex, but the high schoolers can use it. It’s a good program for teaching kids how to handle money, investments, banking, and budgeting. You don’t really have to manage money in it– you can make up an income and have the student work with that.

I didn’t show it in the photo but another excellent program is PaintShopPro. This is an excellent program for teaching kids about art, graphics, and computerized graphics. I think it’s essential that my kids know how to handle word processing and computer graphics, so this is a very inexpensive alternative to Photoshop (Photoshop is upwards of $100 but you can get an old version of PaintShopPro on eBay for $20).

Next, I’ll be posting about some cool educational programs I’ve found for free, online. Just about everyone is connected online now (when my kids were young, most people weren’t), so there are tons of resources we’ve found.
These are the store-bought

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3 Responses to “Good Educational CDs”

  1. Alistair Owens Says:

    The market for educational games is vast and growing and we will shortly see an onslaught by the big boys at Microsoft and Nintendo. The trick to filter the relevant from the trivial is to select games that are used in school. Not only have these been developed to cover the curriculum but they have been tried and tested by teachers.

    Playing these games means the child is having fun practising the lesson content and aiding their retention in learning ( 75% can be achieved through practice – see the learning pyramid). Another key point is the amount children can learn from each other, and this is where these ICT games have a great advantage.

    Alistair Owens http://www.keen2learn.co.uk

    My apologies I spotted a typo in the previous comment

  2. Jamie Sue Says:

    The good thing about educational CDs is that old ones (Win 3.0 even) are DIRT CHEAP and usually compatible with most new computers. The graphics are amazing but the fundamentals are great.

  3. Kgesink Says:

    Hello, and thank you for your mention of our Alpha Omega Switched on Schoolhouse Curriculum on your blog.
    We would appreciate it very much if you would please post a link from your blog to our website. http://www.aop.com
    Thanks and have a fantastic day!

    AOP