Even if you have no interest in homeschooling your child, as a parent, you’re still your child’s first teacher. Toddlers and preschoolers intuitively pick up a great deal from their environment, which is why experienced parents urge new parents to carefully monitor their words and actions. We even featured a great article a few weeks back about the importance of teaching your kids financial responsibility and the role parents play in helping children learn to manage money.
If you’ve shifted your priorities to be a stay at home mom and are interested in homeschooling your child, finding suitable homeschool programs can be overwhelming. There are so many different programs and ways to teach. Even if you don’t plan to homeschool, you may want to consider online preschool programs to help make sure your child is ready for kindergarten.
I don’t plan to homeschool my kids, but both my girls, who are 4.5 and almost 3, are eager to learn, so I went in search of an online preschool program. What I found was ABCmouse.com, and all three of us have enjoyed it greatly!
ABCmouse.com is suitable for children ages 2 to 6. There are 7 different levels to choose from:
This is my first time using an online preschool program, so I don’t know what other ones have to offer. However, ABCmouse.com has thousands of activities, so your child will likely graduate from this program before running out of activities. Each of the 6 levels from Level 1 to Level 7 has at least 400 activities each. Between the 6 levels, there are over 3,500 activities!
The levels are divided into environments. Each environment has 4 to 6 lessons. Each lesson has 4 to 7 activities, depending on the level. (Toddler Time, for instance, has just 4 activities, while Level Three has 6 or more activities per lesson.)
Within each lesson, there is a good variety of activities. Typically, there will be a song, a story, a game, a puzzle and a coloring activity. Each activity reinforces the theme of the lesson such as primary colors, or the letter b, for instance.
The parent can choose to have their child follow a preassigned learning path (which is what we do). However, the parent can also choose to focus on certain activities such as math or art or to skip around to the activities that interest the children most.
ABCmouse.com allows you to personalize your child’s experience. Your child can choose her own avatar, as well as what her teacher will look like. She also gets to choose a virtual hamster and gets her own virtual room.
Each time a child completes an activity, she gets 1 to 3 virtual tickets. Each time she finishes a level, she gets 20 bonus tickets and to choose a “prize”. The prizes range from tubes for the hamster to run through to decorations for her virtual room. She can use the accumulated tickets to “buy” more things for her room or to buy more tubing for her hamster to create a virtual maze for the hamster.
My girls like decorating their room and creating the maze for the hamster, but honestly, we spend less than 10 minutes a week on these activities. The rewards are nice, but my girls aren’t really motivated by them because they like to do the learning activities anyway.
The girls and I have been using this program for 5 weeks now, and I’ve noticed more letter recognition in my younger daughter. My older daughter is now trying to write words and letters, which she did not do as much before using this program.
In addition, they both love the time we spend on ABCmouse.com. We use it about 20 to 30 minutes every day, and it is one of the girls’ favorite activities.
ABCmouse.com offers a one month free trial, so you can try it out with your kids with no obligation. That is what we did, just to make sure we liked it.
ABCmouse.com is a reasonable online preschool program, in my opinion. The first month is free, and then it is $7.95 a month after that. You can also sign up for 12 months at once and receive two of those months for free, dropping your monthly cost to as low as $6.60 per month.
If you are looking for preschool homeschool programs or you just want to spend time helping your child learn and prepare for school, I would recommend ABCmouse.com. For a small monthly fee, your children will likely learn and be entertained. We also find it a great way to spend time together.
Have you used ABCmouse.com? Would you recommend it?
Picture by ABCmouse.
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