Product Review: ABCmouse.com

 
In the past I've had several Facebook friends ask for my opinion on ABCmouse.com.  We've been using it for a little less than a year now, but I thought I'd write a review for all of you other parents and grandparents of toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. 

If you've ever watched PBS Sprout (love!) for more than about 30 minutes, you will inevitably see the commercial for ABCmouse with the little 18-month-old girl who is reading and writing, or some other crazy talent that is completely beyond the expectations I have for my littles. 

ABCmouse.com will not teach your child how to read at a ridiculous age.  Ok, maybe your kid but so far, none of mine have had that kind of result.  I would have high hopes for Mr. M except that he's still not walking. So, you know.

We actually signed up for the program because I wanted to add a computer-based component to the activity options we have here at the house.  And because watching a two-year-old navigate the interwebs is kind of hilarious.  And adorable.

So here are my thoughts. In classic Mommy Life After Ph.D. fashion, I have numbered them.  What can I say, I like a good, old-fashioned, organized list. So few things in my life actually stay organized.  The blog shall not be one of them!

1) The cost is around $8 a month which is the cost of about two happy meals.  Save your kids the processed chemicals and feed their brains instead.

2) You can use it on a computer, iPad, or iPhone--though we only use it on the computer or iPad.


3) You can have avatars (yep, a little cartoon of your people that you customize) for up to three different Crazies.  Perfect for us since A will be a first-grader long before Mr. M is computer capable.

4) ALL of the activities, games, coloring, etc. involve learning.  Even the portion called "My Room" that involves their hamster or fish tank requires some problem solving skills or hand-eye coordination.

5) The "Learning Path" includes a variety of lesson types that the kids can move through quickly.  They obviously asked a mom about her kids' attention spans when they were planning that one!

5) The program has a rewards system with tickets earned via successfully completing lessons. The kids then use the tickets as currency to "buy" things for their online room, hamster, fish tank, etc. I think my kindergartner would quickly become bored with the program were it not for the rewards and his opportunity to "shop" for things.

6) Kids get the most out of it if you are sitting with them--especially the younger ones.  Two-year-olds need help staying on track.  They also need help when they accidentally navigate away from ABCmouse and into your computer's hard drive.  Like, I just, really? Like, how? 

7) Overall, ABCmouse gets my completely unauthorized, largely credential-less stamp of approval. 

I know you're sold after reading #7, right?

My kids ask me nearly every day to play ABCmouse and I know they are learning.  I've found the games to be especially helpful with A's sight words and with reinforcing C Puddins' color recognition, among many other learning benefits.

They have a First Month Free Subscription Offer going on right now too.

What about you?  Do you use ABCmouse.com?  If so, what would you add to my review?

ABCmouse.com - Over 3,000 Educational Activities - First Month Free - Click here!

 

 ~Jennifer

http://mommylifeafterphd.com/

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