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Aug 31

ABCMouse.com gives preschoolers a head start

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If you’ve been watching any sort of children’s television, you’ve probably seen commercials talking about preschoolers learning to read and write with ABCMouse.com, an online program.  You’ll hear about grandparents, parents and teachers talking about how much they see this program helping younger children learn, even before they are in a formal school setting.  I’d looked at it on and off but really never thought much about trying it until I was approached by the company with a free month to try it out and share my thoughts with you.  So I set up my son, Thomas, who is about to enter kindergarten, and we set out to see what ABCMouse.com could do for us.

I started Thomas up at the pre-k level so he wasn’t overwhelmed.  This level involves learning about letters and numbers.  He is far past the colors stage that is an option for the younger kids.  He started quckly on his way to learning and was speeding fast away on his learning path at his own pace.

Each stop on the path in each location involves a number of different activities.  Here’s a recent screenshot of his path below:

 

Pretty much each step along the way involves very similar activities, like coloring, listening to songs and jigsaw puzzles.  Each location also offers a a learning opportunity.  The path you see above is in the mountains and you can learn about animals that live in the mountainous regions.

After each activity, you are given a number of tickets, receiving more for harder tasks.  These tickets can be used to “purchase” items for an aquarium or hamster cage.   Here’s Thomas’ hamsters:

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From the very beginning, Thomas was hooked.  Obviously, incentives, even only slightly tangible ones, work well for him.  However, I do find that he wants to spend more time with the hamsters than with the learning activities.  I tell him he has to do some activities to get some tickets.  He also learned that he needed certain numbers of tickets to purchase certain hamster tubing so he would direct himself back to learning to earn more tickets if there was a particular piece of equipment he wanted.

I think he’s held steady at the stage he was at before he left school last spring, which I credit to his usage of ABCMouse.com over the past month.  He’ll never be as focused on letters, words and reading as his sister is but he is more focused on math, science and things like building.  (Obviously our family is not good at busting stereotypes.)  While I do want to support my children in whatever they enjoy most, I do feel that they need to be strong in all areas to achieve great success.  For example, my husband is highly proficient in all sorts of hands-on skills, including computers, plumbing, electronics, etc.  But I still need to heavily edit any emails he sends.  He’s only recently really seen how enjoyable reading can be.  I don’t need my kids to be a best-selling novelist AND find cures for diseases but I do want them to be able to balance their checkbook AND know the correct usage of its and it’s.  I feel ABCMouse.com provides this well-rounded education.

I do worry about pushing Thomas too hard when he’s back in school.  We have the disadvantage of a half-day kindergarten so I’m hoping we can cover more ground at home in the mornings with ABCMouse.com but also let him have fun at the same.

Here’s a couple of pictures of both kids playing with the program (my 7 year old daughter clamored to be allowed on as well):

 

I think ABCMouse.com has done a great job of helping children learn and not even realize they’re doing so while having fun.  I do warn you to be prepared to give up your computer or laptop to the time your child will want to spend on this site.  I recommend you give the site a trial run – you can get 30 days for free.  I found this time frame more than enough to evaluate the program and see if it was worth it for my kids.  For $79 a year, for up to 3 kids, I think we’ll be members of this ABCMouse.com for a few years into the future. I would really like to see them develop a companion app for tablets since each of my kids have their own Kindle Fire.  Go ahead and click through for your own trial of ABCMouse.com and give your own child a head start.

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10 comments

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  1. 10
    Marysa

    My kids love ABCMouse.. they beg me to use it all the time 🙂

  2. 9
    Karen

    I will have to check them out. Sounds like it would work well with my homeschooled 3 and 2 year old

  3. 8
    Allyson Bossie

    My son uses ABC mouse and loves it. He works at least an hour a day. Learns lots of things!

  4. 7
    Reina - Soy Mamá en Casa Blog

    I just watched the ad yesterday, thanks for the amazing review

  5. 6
    Paula -Growing Up Bilingual

    I have been wondering about ABC mouse for a while and didn’t know they had a free trial, we might just try it and see how my kiddos do on it. Thanks!

  6. 5
    Jenn

    I have used ABC Mouse with all of my kids. Such a wonderful learning tool!

  7. 4
    Bella Vida Letty

    Looks like a fun site for young kids.

  8. 3
    Thomas Chappell

    I will have to keep this in mind when our son is ready for preschool our daughter is past that point but I know she would have enjoyed the ABC mouse website.

  9. 2
    Kalee

    It looks like it’s fun for them too!! 🙂

  10. 1
    Kellie Michelle

    ABC Mouse is a fantastic website, my niece uses it daily and has learned so much from it.

  1. 0
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