WikiHow

LQ: 7.9

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Brain grade: 8
Fun score: 7.7

LWK Recommended Age: 8+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used: ,

 

 

WikiHow is an online database of how-to guides that can be read, uploaded, or edited by anyone who visits the website. WikiHow can be a great guide for completing craft projects, home repairs, and many other types of challenging tasks. Users can be inspired to try something new, or contribute their own how-to guide. Topics covered range across various topics, from small-sized projects like building a birdhouse to car repairs and full-blown home improvement. The wide variety of content makes the site useful for a slew of ages and capabilities. This website has numerous categories, and projects range widely in difficulty, so parental supervision is recommended for use of WikiHow with children ages 8+.


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This Website is good for kids who need help with:

Focus

Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

WikiHow can help users learn how to accomplish a task or improve a skill, and the detailed steps make it easy to follow through with a project to completion. Users can also submit how-to guides on subjects in which they consider themselves experts, creating their own detailed walkthroughs for tasks of any size. WikiHow organizes articles and guides according to specific categories so that users can search for help with a specific task, or simply browse a category that interests them for inspiration. For children that struggle seeing tasks through to the end, WikiHow offers a reousrce that makes committing to long-tem and short-term tasks alike all the easier.

Planning

Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals. 

Learning how to accomplish a new and unfamiliar task requires careful Planning. Users will need to ensure that they have the necessary materials, understand the directions clearly, and have allotted enough time to complete their work. For example, WikiHow contains numerous articles on repairing technological devices. Before beginning work on any device, users must set aside a reasonable amount of time to complete their work, as well as ensure they have properly prepared by assembling the necessary tools and resources. Additionally, it will greatly benefit the user to be sure they understand and are familiar with the directions before beginning.

Reading

WikiHow utilizes text how-to guides for helping users accomplish specific tasks. Users must be able to accurately read and interpret directions by taking time to thoroughly read each guide. WikiHow provides a unique opportunity for users to practice applying reading to real world applications. Translating written text to results in a accomplishing a task is an excellent way for users to gauge the amount of effort and focus they applied to reading.

Writing

WikiHow allows submissions and edits from users of the website. Working on a how-to guide is an excellent way to practice clear and effective writing. Users must be sure their directions are clear, concise, and coherent. The audience does not necessarily have the same expertise or knowledge level as the writers,  which means the user must work diligently at constructing directions which are easy to follow and accurate in descriptions. Writing in a genre which requires users to construct chronological, step-by-step directions is an excellent way to improve writing skill.

WikiHow can help your child practice Self-Awareness, Planning, Reading and Writing. Try out some of the suggestions below, and let us know what works for you in the comment box at the bottom of the page. 

Focus Activity

Encourage your child to browse the different categories on WikiHow. If there is a particular subject that he finds especially interesting, he should feel free to dig more deeply into that section. Many guides provide simple improvements to tasks, chores, or even technologies that we use everyday. Your child should start with more simplistic how-to guides, searching for projects that he can accomplish without too much prior knowledge or stress and work his way toward more difficult projects. For example, if your child has a great interest in computers, WikiHow contains dozens of articles on quick improvements to computing. Many can be accomplished in an afternoon or shorter. Your child will quickly gain and develop knowledge in an area of his interest working on the hands-on activities on WikiHow.

Planning Activity

Before beginning a task, make sure your child takes the time to plan accordingly. He should read all of the instructions first, and prepare the materials and tools he will need to complete the task. If he doesn't have one of the items that he needs, it is much better to find out before beginning work than during the middle of a task. Encourage your child to thoroughly read the directions, asking questions where he is unsure or confused. Your child may also find additional resources for his project useful. Youtube provides many video how-to guides, which can greatly benefit users who tend to learn more readily through visual instruction.

Reading Activity

Select a how-to project to complete with your child. Take the time to read the entire list of instructions out loud together before you begin. Try printing the article and as you and your child read, take the time to underline major verbs and other textual clues that are critical to executing the task correctly. This will encourage your child to identify and focus on critical information as he reads and can help with comprehension.

Writing Activity

Creating a how-to guide can be an excellent exercise in Writing. Guides offer an organized and chronologically logical structure. Your child will need to concentrate on his directions, ensuring that he utilizes clear and concise writing. For beginning writers, it can be helpful to create a list of transition words like, “First,” “Then,” “After,” used in writing a set of steps. If your child gets stuck, first ask him to explain a step to you out loud. This may help give him the language he needs.

WikiHow is just one example of a website resource for getting help on completing tasks, and for contributing your own. Try out some of the resources below, and let us know what works for your family in the comment box at the bottom of the page.

HowCast.com

HowCast.com offers a wide selection of how-to videos, rather than articles. Users can search by key words or browse through the top lists and sorted categories in order to find creative videos that will help them accomplish a new task. For details, click here.

SoYouWanna.com

This website offers a combination of the above options. Users can search by keywords to find both articles and videos that will guide them to accomplishing a new task. Find out more here.

WikiHow & ADHD

WikiHowChildren with ADHD often have a burgeoning curiosity, but sometimes struggle to find an outlet to in which to express it. Daydreaming and a lack of attention will often stem from children who have no way of expressing creativity. WikiHow offers a medium for children with ADHD to satisfy their curiosity about a particular subject. Children can explore how-to guides on nearly any topic -- and if they are particularly adept at a certain trade, they can write their own. WikiHow is great for DIY tasks, as children can learn how to do many hands-on tasks. With a little direction, children with ADHD can use WikiHow to become active learners.

How to use WikiHow for Children with ADHD:

  • Children with ADHD who have poor concentration or goal-directed persistence, or an inability to stay focused on a task until completion, should explore WIkiHow's article section to find a project that interests them particularly  In this section, children will be presented with a variety of categories ranging from "arts and entertainment" to "personal care and style." Within these categories will be articles that offer help on more specific concerns. Children should look to further their interests, by choosing a category and an article that they find appealing. But children must do more than simply read the article. They should attempt to implement the strategies that the WikiHow community has presented. If children are learning how to tie their shoes, they should search through WikiHow's, vast archive of instructions, until they find one that works. The next step is to tie the shoe. WikiHow is a great way to encourage children with ADHD to finish tasks, as well as introducing "self teaching" strategies.
  • For children who are older, and more comfortable with their ability to write clearly, they should attempt to write and publish original articles on WikiHow. Children who have an affinity for a specific skill will get to share their knowledge with the WikiHow community. Not only will they get the satisfaction from knowing they are helping others, but they will also be practicing and improving their writing skills. Children who have figured out how to put backspin on a ping pong ball, for example, should write an article that describes exactly how they get that spin. It is often said that teaching is the best method of learning.

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