Monday, May 23, 2011

ABC Mouse

ABC mouse is a lot like Starfall and oh how I LOVE starfall!!!! They have a free section and a full curriculum for 7.95 a month or 79.00 a year. As a member you get to track your child’s progress, create your own lessons, and have access to more advanced content. The site is meant for ages 2-6 so up to First grade. As members your child can also earn tickets as they complete tasks which they can turn in for a digital reward. The basic site (free part) just covers reading and math basics, the membership site covers reading, math, art, science, geography, and music. Basically it’s an on-line preschool.





I was very impressed with the content. Most free sites that are out there for toddlers and preschoolers just cover the bare minimum and don’t have much fluff. This site is neat. They begin with the basic alphabet where they say the letter name and sound. They then give you a list of pictures and 3 words that begin with that letter.


It then moves you to a book about that letter. As you can see my kids chose to explore letter C.


There also is a digital picture for them to paint, a song about the letter, tracing, puzzles, and games.
Once they have mastered their ABC’s they can move onto Word Families. Word families are a group of words that are related. There are many options to play with.

This section offers goes over the words, has the child trace, puzzles (for members only) and then has books that go along with the word family. I tried to do the tracing and it will take some getting use to. It’s hard to make the mouse move as you want.
The last section is reading sight words.


After they click on a word it gives them the word in a sentence, has them trace the word, gives them an art project which is really neat and relates to sight words, and last they complete a puzzle. You can change the difficulty level on the puzzles and the art picture.
I really like this site. It fun and very educational. They offer a variety of activities for kids that catch their attention quickly. There is just so much to do even in the free section. My only complaint is that they stop at Kindergarten Curriculum. I wish they would keep going.

26 comments:

  1. Hi THere
    Just wondering how you found the non member content. I can't seem to find it. Maybe because I am from Canada it is nat acessible?
    Thank you
    LAura

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here's the link http://www.abcmouse.com/home_page You can also click on the pictures above this post and it should take you there too. Have fun!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We give this top our 4 year old for Christmas.... I have a masters in ECD, and it is by far one of the best educational sites I have stumbled upon! she loves it !!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree. There is so much to do on the site. I couldn't write about everything. My kids still enjoy it. What a great Christmas gift!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It appears the non-member area has been replaced by a small "sample" you can access if you provide your email address. I like what I see and I think I will sign up!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My 4-year-old LOVES this website. I pay the $8 a month and think it is well worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is this available on DVDs and how can I order since I am in the Caribbean.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is not a DVD. It's a website and from what I understand they have changed things a little bit. You can check out the website by clicking on one of the pictures or the ABC mouse link in green. It's a wonderful site. My kids still play it and LOVE it. I have found another one for older kids too but haven't added it just yet so make sure you check back.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The first time I checked the site out I was sold!! My wife and I are teachers and we love this site for our boys!

    ReplyDelete
  10. The site is fine. However, since I signed up for their member service, the billing has been a mess. It's a total mess that now I'm still dealing with them. And they have never set up a customer service hotline to support service request. For company that's this size and has this number of users, it's unheard of. I think they're been irresponsible when it comes to customer support. I'm sorry to say that this billing thing has thrown me out. There're other websites are doing about just the same. I'm checking them out.

    ReplyDelete
  11. khanacademy.com is amazing and is backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as Google. It's free and it works. Check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found Khanacademy and did a review on that as well. You should check it out!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. We tried ABCmouse.com and my 6 year old daughter didn't like it at all. So, we cancelled it the same day. However, they continued to bill us without notification. I called them to complain and they refused to refund us all of our money. Based on the operators response this is a common complaint for them and they 'never' refund people their money. These people are rip off artists and I would never recommend them. Beware. And do not give them your credit card number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had a similar experience as well I'm sad to say. We had 21 months remaining on our membership when we cancelled and they would only refund us for 10!!
      Months later they sent an e-mail I could reactivate for free for 30 days. I spent 30 minutes chatting with the lady who was never able to help me. Her final response was to just use a different e-mail account. I could have done that on my own.
      I found them to be dishonest on more than one occasion, and the customer service was not very helpful.
      I really had hoped we would have a better experience with it.
      I'm sorry to hear others are having difficulties with this company as well.
      Thank you for your review. I think I will check out some of the other sites people have mentioned.

      Delete
  14. Okay so what is the final word?

    ABC MOUSE?
    STARFALL?
    KHANACADEMY?

    We have only had experience with Starfall? How would you compare the three?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it depends on what you are looking for. ABC Mouse and Starfall are both for preschool-K aged children. My kids play both ABC mouse and Starfall and they both love it. I like that ABC mouse plans lessons and has the kids do it in order. We use Starfall more as a reward for getting chores done. My daughter loves to play "farfall" once she cleans her room but we just use the free section. We got a free trial of ABC mouse and my son really likes playing there. He likes it because he earns points on the program and can build his hamster home.

      Khanacademy is for older kids and is more for practice or reviewing. I want to get my son started on this but he's not quite ready yet. I might let him play around on it later this summer to prepare him for the new school year but he's still young. We will be using it more later in his educational career as he brings home assignments and I need a refresher to help him complete the assignments. Khanacademy is FREE!!!!!! for everyone. There is no pay section, just free lessons and practice so I would check it out and decided if it's something your family is ready to use or not.

      As for the Starfall vs. ABCmouse debate it just depends on which set up you like better. They both teach basically the same things and are geared toward preschool or kindergarten age children.

      Delete
    2. Have you reviewed PBS KIDS PLAY program?

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure. I know my kids have used it but I don't think I have ever talked about it on my blog. I'll try to do it later today. Thanks!

      Delete
  15. My daughter like the games but got bored with the lesson. so every time I turn my head away. Shiit!! she was playing somewhere in the site.

    ABCMOUSE is for under averaged child.

    We ended up enrolling with readingeggs, my child was able to read sentences in a month.

    Dreambox.com, I have to begged my child to stop learning and playing her math lesson, every time I see her having a hard time. But she keep on pushing, wanting to solve the math problems. THATS IS AGREAT PROGRAM. It when you can push out the child potential.

    ABCMOUSE is a crap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. I like this review but must we bully people. DO you understand many people in the U.S. are from other countries and are just trying to give their children a better education and way of life. I also think the moderator needs to be aware of this on the site.

      Delete
  16. what about nickjrboost.com or tinascraft.com?

    ReplyDelete
  17. My sons are age 3 and 1.

    The 1 year old has just started to have the attention and interest to watch his brother learn on ABCMouse. When he's a little older (nearly 2, perhaps?) I look forward to starting him on the program.

    The 3 year old has been doing it off and on since he was about 2-1/2. At his age, he can't manipulate a mouse so I do it all for him. After some trial and error, I decided to stick with the Learning Path part of the program, which breaks up lessons into things such as Books, Songs, Puzzles, and Art. The Art sections were pretty tough for me to deal with, as I had to try and anticipate and direct my boy's interests as to what to color and with what virtual coloring tool. I frankly could have done without any of the Art projects, but now I realize that without them my boy would have probably not been willing to sit through the monotony of nothing but reading. I supplement his reading with numerous stage 1 and pre-1 books from our public library, as well as flash cards and a few TV shows such as Signing Time (highly recommended), Super Why and the link...all commercial free. Sometimes we'll go a few weeks without using ABCMouse, but when we do I usually try to get through about 50 "tickets" worth of material per day. We're now 75% of the way though the pre-school program and he's ripping through it. I'll comment on expectations for this age at the end of this post.

    One legitimate point of concern for the program is the use of virtual money (via tickets) as a reward for completing lessons. My boy still shows some excitement and satisfaction from earning them, but his interest in using them waned very quickly when the program's virtual house and yard spaces became cluttered with the many prizes that are awarded after completing each lesson plan. He hasn't expressed an interest in buying anything in many months (maybe this means he'll be a good saver in life? one can hope!).

    I have looked at the excellent Khan Academy and plan to introduce my boy to it in a year or so to help him with some basic addition and subtraction.

    As far as expectations go, every child is different and learns at different levels, but one thing I do believe is that it is true that all children have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn at an incredible rate before they turn 5 or 6. This learning opportunity is mainly in language skills. My "style" is to try and recognize anything my boys are interested in at the moment (for however tiny a span of time it may be) and to take advantage of it. For reading, it means showing excitement with them at the sight of letters and numbers, and simple words and sentences. The intro to nearly every pre-Step 1 and Step 1 book at our public library has many helpful hints of how to interact with them while reading.

    TL;DR -- I highly recommend this program as a learning supplement with books and flash cards and letter magnets and the like. I think it does a very good job at pacing itself for every child's individual rate and learning curve.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Have you checked out Miss Humblebee's Academy? It’s an online kindergarten preparatory program to help get kids ready for kindergarten. It’s a play-based, fully interactive and fun learning experience. Miss Humblebees Academy is not video based, it's actually an interactive program.

    There are sound cues that explain to the child exactly how to navigate the pages. Subjects range from math, science, reading, literacy, art and music. You can choose which lessons you want to work on, or go in order, whatever is easiest for you. We have an amazing collection of music that was custom created for Miss Humblebee’s Academy, ranging from all genres of music: both originals and classics.

    So why do your kids need Miss Humblebees?

    Miss Humblebee’s Academy will help close the educational gap and set the bar higher, simplify concepts, and establish a good foundation for learning. When children are underprepared the teacher will teach to the medium of the class. If the child is behind, they'll be trying to play catch-up. By using Miss Humblebees they will be more familiar with learning from someone outside of their parents. It's important to enter Kindergarten with confidence, when you have confidence you are more open to learn.

    Miss Humblebees Academy is simple, clean and presents the ideas clearly. It also actually evaluates if the child comprehends the new concepts and sends parents progress reports. A lot of times parents just put children in front of the TV with a learning video, but there is no interaction. By sending them an email it helps them to know what their child is doing, and how well they understand new skills.

    We are also striving to be the Tom’s Shoes of Education, for every membership purchased, one will be given to a child in need.

    If you are interested in trying, email support@misshumblebee.com for a free 30 day trial (mention this post).

    ReplyDelete
  19. I can't find a phone number to call to cancel. All that I can find is the customer support email and they just say they can't cancel until I call.

    ReplyDelete