24 January 2006

Look it up!

In: 6+ Years

Here's how Stu helps his kids find their own answers:

When my kids ask, "How do you spell...?" I reply, to whatever word they ask, "d-i-c-t-i-o-n-a-r-y"... Pretty mean, right? [No, pretty smart. If you use Firefox you can add a Websters.com widget to your Firefox Search. -- Ed.]

Also, if they ask for the story behind something, I grab one of the laptops do a search for it on Answers.com and then we read the answer together. Lots of fun to be had there (at least it's fast, which the kids appreciate).


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FYI. There are also some nice answers.com plugins on their site (http://www.answers.com/main/product_info.jsp)


My father always did this to me. He also sometimes would ask me other words if I asked him.

I do know that this did help me in the workplace, while some co-workers I have had will easily be roadblocked by information they don't have spoon fed to them, I was trained from an early age to look for other ways to get the info myself.

Thanks for the answers.com tip. I have been using the internet to do goose hunt searches forever and never thought to look for a wesite like this one! I blame it all on mommybrain!

Answers.com has a stand-alone application that allows you to select/highlight a word and then press a command key(s) and it automatically brings up a window that displays the info from answers.com - which is super-handy.

Erik, thanks for the pointer to the plug-ins. I am so in love with the app that I didn't think to check for plugins. Very cool.

I also highly recommend wikipedia.org. It was quite handy the other day when my 6-year-old demanded to know how pickles were made...

Answers.com incorporates Wikipedia, as well as The American Heritage Dictionary, WordNet from Princeton University, The Columbia University Press Encyclopedia, and others. Awesome!


Fantastic. You wouldn't believe how many kids can't or won't think for themselves and try to figure things out. My teacher friends are frustrated by it all the time. Meanwhile, you are not only teaching self-reliance, but early research skills. This will stand them in such good stead as they move through school and life beyond. As a librarian, I applaud loudly! I always figured I'd do the look-it-up business with mine too, once she gets old enough to form a full question...

If this is a hack, then my dad sure hacked me and my sisters! I always figured it was because he didn't know the answers, although he told us differently. ;)

Still, I use this with my kids. We homeschool, but it's a good tip for every parent. We use dictionary.com and the related thesaurus.com on a daily basis!

And I love the internet! It makes the term "look it up" apply to the whole world now, not just the dictionary or encyclopedia. :D

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