Smart Tips For Using the Internet

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There is an amazing wealth of free information on the internet. From craft suggestions to party ideas to activity suggestions to medical advice, the internet has it all.

But, first you need to know how to find it!

Because there is so much information on the internet, it can be hard to find an answer to the specific question you have.

Here are tips for smart Internet surfing:

For example, try searching for “gross motor activity” and you will get back thousands and thousands of results including an article on the age at which a baby should walk, an article with the dictionary definition of gross motor skills, and an advertisement for a soccer club that promotes gross motor skill development in teenagers.

The secret is to search on the internet in very specific ways!

1) Start by typing out your full question into the search engine. So instead of “gross motor activity,” try searching for “gross motor activity for elementary school children to promote balance.”

This highly detailed search contains a lot of what are called “keywords.” These keywords (including “gross motor,” “elementary school,” and “balance”) help the search engine to locate the most relevant topics for your specific search.

2) Don't be afraid to revise your search.

Once you get your initial search results, scan the first page of results. Before clicking ahead to see what is on the second page of search results, consider whether the first page had what you were looking for. If it did, chances are your search was narrow enough that the results will be relevant for you. But if the results on the first page are only partially relevant, revise your search and try again.

For example, if your first search was for “gross motor activity for elementary school children to promote balance” and the results had too many articles on playground equipment with balance beams for elementary schools, revise the search and try “at-home gross motor activity for young child to improve balancing.” By changing some of the keywords you used, you will get more relevant results.

3) Read both the article and the comments.

Many websites have comment fields that allow readers to leave comments about the particular article. These comments are written by other visitors to the website who are also interested in the topic addressed in the article.

For example, a particular website may have a list of activities to try with your child to help him improve his balance. While this list is valuable in and of itself, comments can be a great source of extra guidance.

For example, “We tried this activity and I used masking tape to create a straight line on the floor for my son to practice walking on. At first he fell off nearly each time he took a step. Then I taped a picture to the wall at his eye line directly in front of the tape. That way he had something to look at as he walked on the straight line and it really helped him keep his focus and his balance.”

The author is a retired kindergarten and preschool teacher who recently launched School Sparks.

School Sparks is a totally free resource of information and tools to help parents prepare their children to start preschool and kindergarten ready to succeed.

On the site you will find kindergarten readiness test for parents and kindergarten worksheets that are printable and totally free.

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