Win8 question

Win8 (or maybe 8.1 only) no longer has the Start button/tab. Anybody with suggestions how to emulate it? BTW, this is for my son, who does not have TCMD/TCC. He just wants easy access to programs without requiring him to learn where they are, the only way when using Windows Explorer, and without a multitude of hardly ever used desktop shortcuts. I own neither Win8 nor 8.1.