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When it comes to providing education materials to your kids at home, it’s important to find the right options. It’s especially important to find a preschool, pre-k or kindergarten curriculum to prepare your child for his big debut at school.
If you’re looking for a way to engage your child in some fun, interactive, and educational activities online, ABC Mouse may be the right option for you. Let’s find out together in this ABC Mouse review.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Online Learning Program
If you’re shopping around for the best way to either prepare your child for kindergarten at home or homeschool them through the first few years of their education, then there are a lot of things to think about.
Trial and cost
Online learning programs typically cost money. Cost may factor into your decision, or it may not. However, if it does, check to see if the program has a trial first. You may be able to try it out for free or at a discount first.
Do you want to try it before you buy it or jump in head first?
Does the online program sync your child’s progress offline? Can you use it offline and on the go? Many learning apps will download offline content so your child can still access it even when your devices aren’t connected to the internet.
You can also check to see if there is limited offline content or if the entire learning library is available offline for you. If you have a busy schedule and you want your child to be able to grab a device on the run, this may be important to you.
What do children need to know to be ready for kindergarten in your area? This may impact what kind of curriculum you choose. You’ll want to make sure they’re well prepared for kindergarten in many ways.
Check for reading, math, science, social studies, or anything else you think is important. Not all online learning programs are the same, so you’ll need to choose the one you know your child will get the most out of.
Not all schools require your child to be able to read before they enter kindergarten, but they will likely expect that your child knows colors, shapes, letters, and maybe even letter sounds. Your child may also not need to be able to write, but these are all the things you should double check first.
Extra downloads and materials
If your child learns better using a combination of tactics, check to see if the learning program offers free printables or other materials you can download, print, or order. Supplemental materials can help enhance your child’s education and engage them in a different and exciting way.
It may break up the monotony of staring at a screen all the time and give their eyes and their brain a break.
Number of profiles allowed
If you have more than one child, choose a program that allows you to set up the number of child profiles you need. ABC Mouse is one of the programs that allows up to three profiles, which may be way too much for some and not enough for others.
Pick the one you think is going to be the most versatile, flexible, and give each of your children using it access to the subjects they need to do their best learning.
Number of devices
Some programs will also limit the number of devices you can log into. If you have three children, but the app will only let you download and log in to two devices at a time, one of your children will always be left out.
Consider which devices you want your child to use and where before choosing the program that is compatible with those devices.
Always engage in your child’s learning activities online to ensure they’re safe. Some free apps use advertisements to make money, which means your child is constantly being marketing to and potentially clicking on things they shouldn’t.
Choosing an online learning program that’s been certified or is compliant with an organization that audits them based on a strict set of safety standards. For instance, ABC Mouse is COPPA-compliant, which stands for Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
This is by no means the only one, but make sure you find the one you’re most comfortable with before you let your child have access to anything online.
What Is ABC Mouse?
ABC Mouse is an educational website that offers monthly subscriptions for children. There’s already a lot on the internet for free, so a lot of parents searching for ABC Mouse reviews may wonder why they need to pay for something.
However, many of the free sites have pop up ads and other distractions. You may also notice that their educational tools aren’t as comprehensive. They’re limited because the resources haven’t been dedicated to expanding them. You know, because they’re free.
Luckily, ABC Mouse is COPPA-compliant and it doesn’t have any ads, pop ups, or links out to other websites with dangerous content.
They offer curriculum for children ages 2-8 and grade levels preschool through second grade. There’s also another ABC Mouse product called Adventure Academy, and it’s for ages 8-13.
While ABC Mouse doesn’t have everything, it certainly feels like it does. Studying such a long list of features and benefits, you may feel just a bit more comfortable offering it to your child and springing for the monthly subscription.
ABC Mouse allows up to three child profiles and each child can create their own avatar for game play. Every time they log in, they’ll know which profile is theirs and they’ll feel like the app was made just for them.
This encourages more active engagement and may ensure that they understand early how exciting learning can be.
The people who develop the curriculum for ABC Mouse are education experts. They’re teachers, administrators, people with degrees in education, and other experienced professionals in the field.
This may make you feel more comfortable using the app knowing that the curriculum comes from people who have taught kids in the past and are familiar with the best methods for imparting this knowledge to them.
Engaging user interface
Kids get bored easily. If you have kids, you know this. Some also seem to have an aversion to schoolwork, so it’s important to give them a way to learn without making it feel like work.
ABC Mouse uses entertaining images, graphics, and videos to captivate kids and keep them busy. The other great thing about ABC Mouse is that they update these displays periodically. They’ll even decorate the software for holidays like Halloween or Christmas.
The other thing that makes the user interface great is how easy ABC Mouse has made it for kids to navigate through different subjects and curriculums without getting lost. At first it’s a bit overwhelming because there are so many options, but you will likely pick it up quickly.
There’s really no explanation needed here. A free trial is a fantastic way to test it out before you pay for it. The subscription cost is incredibly reasonable, too. If you do decide to subscribe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a monthly fee of less than $10 per month.
The free trial gives you unlimited access to all features so you can try them out, see how your child responds, and make a better decision about whether you’d like to continue.
Just be sure you remember to cancel your membership before you get billed for the first month if you decide not to move forward, because it automatically comes out. The good news is that you can cancel at any time with no penalty because there’s no contract or obligation.
With ABC Mouse, there’s no need to fear about differences in learning styles. I have four kids and they’re all very different. The great thing about ABC Mouse was that they all loved it. There’s something for everyone.
With games, art, puzzles, audio pages, and so much more, your child will be captivated and entertained while they learn, no matter what type of instruction they follow best. With some interaction from you as well, you can guide them through difficult spots and enhance their experience in your own way.
Not only are there a variety of activities, but there are also levels from preschool through second grade, so if your child struggles with one subject, they can work their way up while excelling at others and moving through the curriculum faster.
One of my favorite things about ABC Mouse is that it’s fully COPPA-compliant. When I’m researching online learning tools for my kids, I want to make sure they’re safe. I don’t like ads because I have a child who will click on just about anything that pops up in front of him.
However, your concern may be inappropriate material or other dangerous content, and you won’t have to worry about that here either. There are no links out to other websites that don’t belong to ABC Mouse.
Everything is contained within their learning tools so there’s no way your child can navigate away from it. You have to have a special code to access the parent section of the site, so while they play and learn, they’re safe inside.
If you’re interested in monitoring or tracking your child’s progress, ABC Mouse offers a wide range of tests that can help you measure their skills. Some of these tests they can take on their own while others will require your administration.
These tests are a really great way for you to take comfort in your child’s knowledge, making sure they’re meeting state standards and advancing as they should for their age. It also boosts their confidence with immediate results and green stickers to indicate a good score.
After reading several ABC Mouse reviews, it’s important that you also research other options to find what’s best for you. While ABC Mouse appeals to a wide range of people, it’s not for everyone. Some alternatives are below. You can also read our ABC Mouse vs. Hooked on Phonics comparison if you’re interested.
This preschool learning alternative is 100% free all the time. No subscription, no trial, no payments. Just go to the website, set your child up with an activity, and get started.
This has it’s benefits and drawbacks, as you can probably imagine. You won’t get the same COPPA-compliance as you might with a certified learning product, but you will get the characters your child already loves.
The only thing you may notice about NickJr’s locked content is that you need an existing cable subscription to sign in. If you sign in with your cable provider, you’ll get access to full episodes of shows and other content that’s not available otherwise.
With character recognition, your child might be more inclined to hop on and learn something, but the curriculum isn’t as varied.
- 100% free
- Characters your child loves
- Games, videos, coloring pages, and more
PBS has always been a trusted source of information and educational content for children. When you visit PBSKids, you can specify your location to get the latest information based on where you live.
Using your location, you can look up accurate viewing times for TV programs that your child might enjoy. The interface on this site is a lot of fun, with a wheel of characters your child can spin.
The character recognition will also be a benefit to you if your child needs a little extra encouragement from his favorite animated friends. With games, puzzles, videos, and more, there’s plenty to do, but the curriculum isn’t as varied.
- 100% free
- Familiar characters
- Games, videos, and puzzles
- Fun user interface your child will enjoy
If you have a very young child who needs a safe environment in which to navigate freely, this preschool site has games and activities based on Sesame Street characters. There are plenty of fun games to play and videos to watch.
The art maker allows your child to make mess-free art right on the computer without the need for a printer or art supplies.
The selection of activities is limited unless you sign up for an account, but the accounts are 100% free, so there’s no need to worry about getting charged. However, you may begin receiving unwanted email marketing.
The quality of the content on this site is better than a lot of other free options, but you won’t get to take advantage of more advanced activities for older kids.
- Quality content
- Easy for your child to navigate freely on their own
- 100% free
- Uses Sesame Street characters to engage children
The primary downside to the service is that it restricts the number of child profiles you can have to three, but you can access those profiles from any device without restrictions on how many you can use at one time.
The content is developed by teachers and other education experts, and the entire site is COPPA-certified, so you can feel confident that you’ll pay a very low monthly price for everything you need at home.