|| for Parents
Being a compendium of links to sites and pages in the World Wide Web that
are likely to be of interest or of use to parents. This is an Award-winning site.
(New links added frequently. Additional pointers welcome.)
This is an Award-winning site. The
icons and descriptions were moved to awards.html to make this page load faster.
This is an ongoing compilation of pointers to things that might be of use to
parents with access to the Web. You should also take a look at Interesting Places for Kids, but please read the
- Parents differ in the degree to which they try to protect their kids
from various aspects of reality, including strong language, violence,
beliefs and opinions contrary to their own, and so on. I am not
particularly protective. Thus, since I maintain
Interesting Places for Kids primarily for the benefit of my
daughter Katy (age 12), parents should keep in mind that the pointers it
contains are used by a child who asks her mother to cook rabbit stew on
Easter, and whose idea of fun video fare includes both Power Rangers
and Hamlet. (Which is more violent is left as an exercise for the
In general, parents should be aware that there are effectively no
state or national boundaries on the Internet. Depending on where you
are, it may or may not be legal for you to import chewing gum, export
cryptography software, smoke cigarettes in public, or make comments
opposing the policies of your local government.
Once you give your children access to the World Wide Web, there is no
way to prevent them from seeing things that may upset or confuse them,
offend you, be forbidden by your local government, or contradict their
or your cherished beliefs. Even looking over their shoulders may not
work. Don't say I didn't warn you. (Some filtering services are
becoming available, so this is changing.)
In general, kids are mostly inclined to be sensible. If they see
something uninteresting, they'll say ``Yuck!'' and click the
back button. In any case they are unlikely to run into
anything on the Web that's nearly as disturbing as what they can see on
TV network news.
I do provide a page of Notes, Advice and Warnings,
with links where I think they are appropriate. Several other sites
have started making links to it, and I welcome comments and suggestions on the
subject. Additional pointers to net safety- and censorship- related
sites is here.
C. Steel says it best:
- The only long term answer is to educate your children about
pornography, hate-literature, etc. so that when they come across
it, they'll know how to react. The only software you can be
sure they'll be running is the stuff you install between their
- Additional safety information:
- Yahoo is probably the largest and
easiest-to-use categorized list of Web resources.
- EOS: Educational Online
- (They very sensibly let you select pages with or without
pictures.) This is a very extensive list.
- Educational Launch Pad
- A pretty extensive collection of links. ``Has Reference & Resource
Links For Teachers'' at the end.
- at NASA's High
Performance Computing and Communications program
- appears to be a franchise operation specializing in computer training
for kids, but they don't have much info on the Web yet except for a
list of locations.
- Classroom Connect
at Webworld by
- Some good pointers, including lists for
- Harcourt Brace School Publishers
- has a few activities
for kids as well as stuff for parents and teachers, and will
probably add more; as of 1996/7 it's still under construction.
- KIDLINK: Global
Networking for Youth 10-15
- ``is a grassroots project aiming at getting as many children in the
age group 10-15 as possible involved in a GLOBAL dialog.'' Includes
mailing lists and IRC; designed to be done as a classroom
activity. Requires registration.
- National Public Radio
- the PathFinder
Integrated Holistic Learning Center
- New-Age-ish; possibly interesting.
- The Piano Education
- `` bringing together information of interest to teachers, students,
parents of students, and fans of the piano.''
- the Read To Me program
- ``a program advocating reading to all children from birth for 10
minutes a day... features news about Read To Me nation wide, as well as
suggested reading lists for different ages of kids...''
- History/Social Studies
Web Site for K-12 Teachers
- Many fantastic links, many for teachers, but many others of interest to kids.
Instructional Development Services--UC IRVINE
- contains links to several education resources
- The Science Television World Wide
- the Empire Internet Schoolhouse
- at NYSERNet, which has pointers
to other resources as well.
- The National Parenting Center
- ...mostly wants you to subscribe to their magazine, but they reprint
some bits from their advice columns, updated weekly.
- `` is a non-profit group dedicated to bringing the educational
opportunities created by new technologies to children and families from
low-income communities. [Their] offices are in East Palo Alto,
- the Scholastic Internet Center
- from the well-known publisher of children's books, etc.
- The BBC Networking Club
- sponsored by BBC Education. Some good pointers, including a
guide to the Internet.
Seems to be largely for kids, but has pointers to some pretty weird
places, some of which are labeled ``adults only''.
- the <a hrefhttp:nearnet.gnn.comwicnewrescat.toc.html">
The Whole Internet Catalog the <a hrefhttp:nearnet.gnn.comwicnewrescat.toc.html">
The Whole Internet Catalog
- in the InterNIC
US Dept of Education WWW Server
- has stuff like the ``helping your child'' series and pointers to
other resources; their publications index is
- United States Department of Commerce
- With links to other US government agencies. The information from the
Census Bureau could be particularly interesting.
- United States Geological Survey
- Some educational and other material, including a pointer to what looks
like a really good list of
- Harvard University Graduate
School of Education
- has a home page that includes pointers to many other educational
resources on both WWW and Gopher.
Explorer at the University of Kansas.
- The Explorer is part of a research and development effort to
establish an on time and user friendly means of delivering a full
range of information resources to educators and students.
- Web 66
- ``Just as U.S. Highway Route 66 was a catalyst for Americana, we see
the World Wide Web as a catalyst that will integrate the Internet into
K12 school curriculums.'' Includes everything you need for setting up
a Web server at your school.
for UC Berkeley Kids
- ``contains some pointers to resources that are available for parents
and children on the UC Berkeley Campus and beyond.''
Center at Time-Warner's Pathfinder
- Including a link to Encyclopędia Britannica Online, which wants you to
register for a ``free trial''. For that matter, so does Pathfinder.
- National Parent
- The Teacher's
Desk by Judi Hardison
- Mostly interesting links for kids, rather than stuff for parents or
- Urban Education Web
- which is part of the
- The Ultimate
Children's Internet Sites
- Yet another list of links; also includes some links for parents.
- Women In Technology International
sponsored Take Your Children on
the Internet Week
- an online tutorial. I got this link from Katie Prunka, the 12-year-old
author of Winnie the
Pooh - An Expotition, so even though it's aimed at teachers there's
nothing to keep kids and parents from using it.
Reviews and Lists
- Many of these sites are run by volunteers; others are blatently
commercial. Caveat lector.
Children's Software Reviews
- Detailed descriptions and lenthy reviews. Will be very good when more
people have submitted reviews.
- by Paul
Mende--names, short descriptions, and links of software his son
has enjoyed on both Mac and PC.
- The Children's Software
- ``is pleased to announce the sponsorship a WWW page which will include
to the subject "Re:Please rate games you've purchased"...
Send responses to
and use "Ratings" as the subject.''
- The Computer Museum Guide to
the Best Software for Kids
- is actually a book, but the site has some lists, reviews, and pointers
- The Edutainment
- ``is dedicated to reviews and discussion of education and home
software.'' Includes a page of reviews written by kids. Very detailed
reviews. Prices in Australian dollars. All reviews include a
``Suitability to Australia'' rating.
- HandiWARE from
- is a line of software products for people with disabilities. It's not
specifically for kids, but if your kids (or you) have disabilities you
will definitely want to check it out.
- Headbone Interactive
- Games for kids. The site has some online games and other activities,
though they plug their own products at every opportunity.
- PEP: Resources for Parents,
Educators, and Publishers
- Will eventually have a list, and some reviews, of commercial software
for kids. Good list of ``computer recycling'' centers ``that
facilitate donations of used computer hardware for schools and
- Dallas Child Magazine
has software reviews
- Good reviews, with lots of detail and some sample pictures, but the
site itself could use some organization.
- SuperKids Educational Software
- ``provides impartial reviews of children's educational software by
parents, teachers, and kids.'' Good reviews, articles; banner ads.
Children's Shareware Page at Sylvan Associates
Software on the Net
- See also:
- my list of Sources of Free
- Almost all of these sites are commercial. Appearing here in no way
constitutes an endorsement or recommendation by the author of any
company or product mentioned. Translation: ``they're your
kids, and it's your money.''
- The Children's Software
- The Games Domain
- game software (for downloading) and documentation. Emphasis on
- (see above) also includes links.
- Unplugged Software
- have a visual programming language called ``click-n'' that runs on
Windows PC's. It's said to be suitable for use by kids. Very limited,
but maybe useable as a teaching tool.
- makes web-related software for children.
GNN Magazine: Issue Two (ISSN 1072-0413)
- topic of the month: educational uses of the Internet.
- The Attachment Parenting Group
- publishes Nurturing Magazine and ``offers FREE
support/information/advice/help via email for parents'' at
hope to persuade them to put up a Web page soon.
- Colorado Parent Information &
- ``has been created to help families and schools work better together to
ensure children succeed in school. '' They have a good set of tip sheets, among other things.
- Champion Press has a
- The Daily Parent
- An online magazine.
- Dallas Child Magazine
- As of April '95 they only had two issues on the Web, and were still
slightly disorganized, but it shows lots of promise.
- Empowering People
articles on parenting. They're the publishers of Positive
by Jane Nelsen and
related books and videos. We've used these principles with our own
kids, with moderate success.
- Family Explorer
- ``A Monthly Newsletter of Science and Nature Activities for Parents of
Children 6 to 12 Years Old'' is a printed newsletter; they post
- Steve and Ruth Bennett's Family
- Family World
- ``is a collaboration of [many] monthly parenting publications -- all
members of the national trade association, Parenting Publications of
America.'' (Formerly Family Times)
- #Forgotten_Kids Official
- For parents of kids with mental illnesses: ``#Forgotten_kids: the
children that have nearly invisible disabilities.'' (The ``#'' refers
to an IRC channel.)
- Dr. Carol Gaffney
- has an online newsletter, Coaching for Better Parents
and Stronger Kids"
Resource for Children's Writers
- includes a section for Young
- Kid's First
- ``Sponsored by Children's Hospital Oakland, Kids First is an online
resource for parents'' concentrating on health and safety issues.
They're hosted by a TV station, and have pointers to some stories that
may be a trifle sensationalistic. May improve.
- Mental Health Net
- ``the largest, most comprehensive guide to mental health online.''
- The misc.kids
FAQ's at Internet Information
- ``The FAQs are largely collections of valuable and useful previous
discussions on various topics in misc.kids. We have attempted to convert the FAQs to hypertext for
easy browsing on the Web wherever possible. However, some of this is
work in progress, so many FAQs are still in their plain text form. We
welcome volunteers to do this conversion to html.''
- Movie Mom's
Guide to Encouraging Kids to Love Classic Movies
- The Natural Child Project
- ``Articles on parenting, education, and child advocacy by
Jan Hunt, B.A. Psychology, M.Sc. Counselling Psychology.'' Includes a
- Great collection of links to parenting resources.
Also has a lot of teen, kid, and family links.
- calls itself ``The Parenting Resource Center on the Web''. It's a
- San Francisco
Bay Area Parent Magazine
- Has unfortunately gone off the Web, leaving behind a page with a number
you can call if you want to see them return.
- SPECTRUM - The Family Internet
- Articles, fiction, games, etc. Uses a password to keep younger kids
out of sections intended for mature readers.
- Stand for Children and
Stand for Children Day
98: Stand For Quality Child Care
- ``Stand For Children is a national organization that encourages
individuals to improve children's lives.'' Good resources and news
- US Space Camp / US Space & Rocket
- Send your kids to outer space for a week!
- The Dads
Kathleen B's Home Page, Teacher
Links, and MegaLinks
- Nice set of links from a grandmother and 6th-grade teacher.
Not Exactly for Parents
More and more companies are advertising stuff on the Web, and some of them
offer products aimed at kids. Here, I list a few things in this vein; these
are mostly announcements that have been sent to me via e-mail. Unless
otherwise noted, I don't use or endorse any of these items.
- the Adoption Gopher
- ...``is a grass roots organization dedicated to supporting parents one
to one after the death of an infant or young child.'' (In Phoenix,
Arizona, serving the western US.)
- SANDS (Vic)
- ``A support group for parents who experience miscarriage,stillbirth or
neonatal death.'' (In Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.)
A few of these sites have samples that you can show your kids, but the primary
purpose is to sell to parents rather than to entertain the kids.
- Construx Childrens Books
- Actually, a book; but promised to be first of a series.
- Crystal Rain Media
- are selling Hip Hop Animal Rock, an exercise video for kids.
- the CD-ROM SHOP
- has plenty of kids' titles. (Pick a CPU, then look under "Categories"
- The Doorway
- an ``alternative media bookstore'' selling books, music, videos, and
- Dragonfly Toys
- ``an international company devoted to serving children with special
- sells software
and transfer paper for T-shirts. You can download a free demo
- Jay Jay the Jet Plane
- Videos for the preschool set. The site has a short ``bedtime story''
and descriptions of the characters. Heavy on the graphics.
- ``Art education for teachers and families on painting,
drawing, sculpture, artists, art history. Free lessons by Kim Solga.
Monthly gallery of child-made art for kids to join.'' ...but mostly
they want to sell you booklets and other educational materials.
- Songs by Michael
- (The site includes an online jukebox with songs
in RealAudio format.)
This section contains information about safety and censorship on the net (and
elsewhere) for parents. Information aimed at kids can be
found in warn-kids.html.
- the Crazy Lady
- ``a woman-owned and created dayplanner company who gear organizational
skills to busy moms, working women (on the outside), entrepeneurs,
from Online Video Communications.
- Lets you watch your kid in school or daycare via the Web and a video
camera in the classroom. Cool idea.
- Black Thursday Machines here and
- show you what your page would look like under government censorship.
- PICS (Platform for Internet Content
- the proposed standard for rating systems on the Web. It is being
developed under the threat of government censorship, but it's probably
better than the alternative.
- A mailing list and archive on ``Children Accessing Controversial
- Child Safety Forum
- Publish a book, "Child Safety: A
Parent's Guide to Avoiding Hidden Household Hazards", of which
they're putting up one chapter a month. The book includes very
complete checklists to help you kid-proof your house.
- Child Safety on
the Information Highway
by Lawrence J. Magid
- is also available
here at Compuserve
- in a single page for easy printing.
here at School
District 4J in Eugene, Oregon
- in a multi-page presentation, better for browsing.
- ``A Web-based Resource Guide for Librarians and Educators Interested in
Providing Youth Access to the Net''
- National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children
- ``has developed an easy, fun, and nonfearful program that empowers
children (ages 2-12) to stay safe.'' They sell a music album, a book,
and ID kits. They appear to be sincere, but their page
``Protect Your Children From Internet Pedophiles'' seems a bit
sensationalistic. The site includes excerpts from their book.
- Specs by NewView
- has a directory for kids, and PICS compliant filtering software with
many rating categories. The software is Windows and Mac only, and is
free for one year in the US; not clear what happens after that.
- has links to censorship-related sites.
Smart on the Web and What you
should know as a parent at Yahooligans!
- For a free alternative:
- You can control your kids' access to the Internet using free software.
Here's how to set up a Family
Firewall on a Unix (or Linux) box.
- I know of no access-control method that cannot be circumvented by
someone who can reboot your machine from a floppy, unless the filtering
is done remotely by your service provider.
- Most companies that sell filtering software encrypt their ``blocked
site'' list so you can't look at it, and some block sites that you may
want your children to have access to. Many of these companies may have
a hidden agenda. For example, animal rights sites may be blocked
because of pictures of dead animals, and sites with liberal or
politically-sensitive themes (including gay rights, feminism, guns,
etc.) may be blocked. See, for example, this
Moreover, products that filter based on content (for example, by
looking for keywords) are notoriously unreliable. They cannot find
``naughty words'' in images, compressed (zipped) files, or programs.
They cannot distinguish between movie ratings, and T-shirt sizes, and a
winning move in Tic-Tac-Toe. Some products may reject an entire
top-level domain (for example,
www.aol.com) if it contains any questionable
pages, and only take a closer look if somebody at the site objects.
Netly News has a search
engine that shows whether particular sites are censored, and by
- Cyber Patrol from
- is a filter for Windows and Macintosh that includes both time and site
lockout. There's a researched block list that parents can customize; a
6-month subscription to the list is included in the $50 price. They
publish their blocking criteria,
and you can select which criteria you want to block on.
- The Internet Filter from
Turner Investigations, Research and
- $40.00 with free upgrades. A free, upgradable copy of ``version zero''
is available for download as shareware. Windows 3.1, 3.11, and 95.
Version One is user-configurable.
- Net Nanny
- Uses a user-editable dictionary and monitors all applications
on your PC. Can even spot use of your credit card numbers. Windows
- ``has developed an easy, fun, and nonfearful program that empowers
children (ages 2-12) to stay safe.'' They sell a music album, a book,
and ID kits.
- A filter to keep your kids from surfing into sites on a list of
undesirable places, which they maintain. Eventually they intend to let
you edit the list yourself.
If you are reading this, you obviously have some kind of internet
access. But if you're like most parents with net access, you are probably at
work, in which case your kids might not have the kind of
access that you do. That's fixable.
- does a kidnap-prevention program for schools, and sells a $20 video.
Good set of safety tips
and some links to other
- The Klaas Foundation for Children
- Safety tips
and some products. They are also working to keep kids off of
commercial mailing lists and databases, which seems like an excellent
The first step may be to convince your employer that you would get more
work done if you could use the Web from home. This may be tricky, since
you have to do it without giving the impression that you are now spending
altogether too much time on the Web when you ought to be working.
The second step is to get a home computer. You probably have one. If
it's a PC, you can run Linux on it. Linux
is a free(!) Unix clone; everything you need to access the Net comes
with it and works. I'm starting to put together some information on Setting up Linux for Families.
It's worth noting that Unix is not too difficult for
kids to use. My daughter Katy wrote this report
(with a little assistance), the very first time she used the Emacs editor,
at age 8. She said that she prefers it to Microsoft's Creative
If you can't or won't run Linux (e.g. if you're a Mac or Windows addict), it
is still possible to find free software that will do the job. Mosaic, for
example, has versions for each of those systems. Unfortunately, they're
significantly buggier than the Unix version.
A significant advantage of Unix is that all of the documentation is
on-line. An additional advantage is that you can give everyone in your
household their own account, with different protection and access
priviliges. Unlike Windows and the Mac, Unix hardly ever crashes (I've had
machines running continuously for months), and the protection is rock-solid.
I'm working on packaging up a set of Linux
configuration files for kids. Two sets, actually, since I need one for
my 4-year-old as well.
The third step is to get a connection to your home computer. You may be
able to do it via your workplace, if they're generous (and a local phone call
from home). Otherwise, check out these pointers to Internet Service Providers. All of the
major online services (i.e. Compuserve, Prodigy, and AOL) also provide
internet access these days, but it tends to be more expensive than a small,
local service provider (connect-time charges of $2.50/hour or more), and there
a lot of things you don't get. Like a domain name and a Web site (though you
may get a free page).
...is trivial now that most Internet service providers provide a registered
domain name and free Web space along with a shell account. The domain name
means that, for example, my household can be referred to as
theStarport.org and everyone can have their own e-mail address. It
also means that our web pages can be at
in the space I get for free with my account.
Beware of people trying to sell you web space. I recently saw an announcement
for such a place; they give you a limited number of pages that you administer
via e-mail, for about the same as I'm paying for my shell account. At that
price, you could get an account with the cheapest service provider you can
find and set up your own e-mail server to administer it. The major
online services are also starting to offer free web pages, starting with
I have a confession to make at this point--I once thought about setting up
such a service myself, and making
...is a problem not addressed in this document. If your phone bills become
astronomical or you can't use your computer anymore, don't blame me; chalk it
up to their education, buy another CPU, and consider getting a T1 line.
theStarport.org pay for my net
habit. I even wrote a flier. I may still sell
links, very cheaply, but selling space is bad economics for the
buyer unless there's a lot of value added in the service.
Copyright 1995-1997 by Stephen Savitzky. All rights reserved.
(Text enclosed in quotation marks (``...'') in descriptions of pages linked to
from this document is taken from the page in question or from an announcement
by its author. Copyright in such text is owned by its author.)
This document may be freely linked to, though I would appreciate a brief note
via e-mail so that I can thank you personally and possibly return the
Copies or excerpts of this document may be made and distributed in any
physical medium for any non-commercial purpose, provided:
- This notice, the date last modified, the author's name, and the
document's URL remain intact (or, for copies or excerpts accessible
through the World Wide Web, a link to the original document is
- Any changes to wording are clearly identified with author and date.
- I am notified of any such copying other than for the personal use of
If you wish to copy this document for commercial gain or make it part of a
shareware distribution, please contact me at the address below in order to
negotiate a license.
If you wish to make an electronic copy, please make a link instead.
Here's why linking is better than copying.
Last modified: Thu Nov 4 23:30:56 1999
Copyright © 2000, Stephen R. Savitzky.
$Id: parents.xh,v 1.11 2000/11/19 17:51:14 steve Exp $
Stephen R. Savitzky <steve@theStarport.org>
343 Leigh Ave. / San Jose, CA 95128