These days, there are a lot of things competing for the attention of you and your preschooler, especially when it comes to electronics. From educational television programs to apps, there a ton of products and programs on the market all designed to educate your little one. With so many options available, how do you know which ones are worth your time? ABCmouse.com is a subscription-based, educational website for children ages two through six. Created by a team of educators, it offers a full online curriculum for kids in pre-k, kindergarten, and early elementary school. It sounds good, but is it worth it? Read on for our ABCmouse review.
How Does ABCmouse.com Work?
When you first sign on to ABCmouse.com, your child (or children -- up to three can play and learn on one account) is prompted to create an avatar that looks just like him (or, in the case of my son, doesn`t!). After your child is happy with how he looks (avatars can be changed), they are also asked to create a teacher for their classroom. You are also asked to choose a learning path for your child based on age and academic ability. For my two-year-old son who has yet to attend preschool, I chose the Toddler Time path. You can also choose Preschool (ages 3 and up), Pre-K (ages 4 and up) and Kindergarten (ages 5 and up). Every level features four curriculum subjects -- Reading, Math, the World Around Us and Art & Colors.
The home base is the classroom, which is where all the learning begins. Through online books, games, songs, puzzles, online art projects and printables that cover six different academic levels, children are able to learn about a variety of subjects. The over 2,000 individual learning activities span a host of topics, including reading, math, science, social studies, art and music. While there are learning paths that kids follow and work their way through, there are also sections on the site, including a farm and a zoo, where kids can play individual games and complete individual activities. As a child completes an activity, they are awarded "tickets" that are able to be redeemed for virtual prizes (my son has been using his to decorate his virtual room). The site keeps track of what your child has completed so you get a good feel for what they are learning.
Step-By-Step Learning Path and Build Your Own Lessons
When you first start your child on ABCmouse.com it can be a bit overwhelming because there are so many different things to choose from. Once you select an academic level that best matches your preschooler`s needs, your best bet is to start them on the Step-by-Step Learning Path, a series of lessons that gives your child a great overview of all the subjects on the site. Even the lesson path itself is a learning experience. Set in different environments, like beach and arctic, kids can learn about different animals and facets of nature unique to that part of the world. As your child moves along lesson path, the activities switch from subject to subject and get more challenging. Once you and your child are comfortable on the site, you can build custom lessons for your child if there are particular things you`d like them to learn. You can choose by subject, academic level and even the order in which you`d like your child to complete them in.
Important Information About ABCmouse.com
ABCmouse.com is subscription based. It is ad-free, pop-up ad-free and there are no outside links. Subscription options for ABCmouse.com are 7.95 per month or $79 per year. Up to three children can be on one account at once. In addition, free subscriptions are available to public schools throughout the United States and Canada that apply for the program.
For more information, visit ABCmouse.com.