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Company Bio: ABCmouse.com is a global education initiative of Age of Learning, Inc. Our goal is to help children build a strong foundation for future academic success by providing a comprehensive and engaging online curriculum to greatly assist early learners to succeed in pre-k, kindergarten, and early elementary school programs.
ABCmouse.com is subscription-based, with no advertising, pop-up ads, or links to other sites. Children can learn and explore with their parents, or on their own (depending on age and ability), in a safe and secure online educational environment.
We named our site ABCmouse.com because here children can learn important educational basics (often referred to as “the ABC’s”) through the use of a computer mouse. At ABCmouse.com, the computer mouse comes to life as ABC Mouse, who serves as our site ambassador and guide to early learners everywhere.
MSRP: $79 per year, $99 for two years, or $7.95 a month; 1 month free trial available
Personal Experience: I recently had the opportunity to experience ABCmouse for free in exchange for my review of their service. It was not my first experience with this site. The first time I had signed up for one of their free trials, but I found the combination of Xander’s youth and lack of skill with a computer mouse meant we got very little out of it. Xander is now a year older, has more skills with a mouse, and we have a touch-screen computer and tablet that all make it simpler to use.
Just a glance at the “classroom” can give you a good understanding of just how much this site has to offer for your child. All the basics of education are there… from numbers and letters to animal husbandry. It really is like a true preschool or kindergarten classroom, but this one is available at any time from the comfort of your own home.
All of the available activities can get quite overwhelming, but ABCmouse has created “learning paths” to guide you and your child through step-by-step lessons on a particular topic. Xander began with the Toddler Time learning path and is getting a boost in all of his basic pre-school skills. This path is giving me a clearer idea of what he needs further instruction in… and ABCmouse has built in plenty of additional activities to help. It works well as a great teaching program and as a supplement to other learning activities.
Puzzles with adjustable difficulty levels as well as coloring pages, story books, songs, and more all approach the topics from a variety of angles. These different activites all help to make sure that every aspect of a concept is being fully understood.
The completed lessons are each rewarded with tickets. These tickets can be used to purchase things like items for your hamsters and fish. Yes… they even included animals in the classroom! The red tubes and a basic cage are what you start with. They can be removed or moved about as you like. We are having a lot of fun building our hamster Silver’s run using the castle tube theme and slowly eliminating the starter pieces. We’re hoping to soon add another hamster, too.
Xander is having a lot of fun playing and he doesn’t even realize how much he is learning! I even even found unexpected improvements in his coloring skills. He has also started singing along to songs with more frequency and clarity than ever before.
Overall I am very happy with the thorough and fun learning experience that Xander is having with ABCmouse. He asks to play several times a day and we have to bribe him to stop for meals and baths! You can set a timer to limit your child’s time, but we are personally a bit lenient on time limits because we’re happy to find something he really enjoys doing.
Pros: A huge selection of lessons with a complete education for age 2 on up! Bright colors and kid-friendly activities. A great value for the content available.
Cons: I personally found it difficult for really young children to use a mouse… a touch screen device would help here.