Secondly, I see learning to use the computer as similar to learning to use the library catalog, only way more powerful. (Last time I checked, most library catalogs are on a computer, as a matter of fact...) There's a world of information to be discovered, and lots of tools to discover it with. I'm hoping to homeschool Esmé, and I thoroughly expect the computer to play a big role in her education.
What's great about JumpStart? It's brilliantly colorful. It's fun. It has lovable characters. Meet Esmé's favorite one, Eleanor the elephant.
There are slides and zip lines to ride. And there are lots of outfits and hairstyles for Jumpee Esmé to try on, which Esmé absolutely loves to do!
So it gets her attention. But more importantly, she's learning! We've gone through the Preschool (ages 3-5) world now. Frankie, the main dog dude, walks you through missions so you learn all the different games and features of JumpStart, and you can explore on your own as much as you want.
Esmé's only 2 and doesn't have much mouse control at this point, so I generally sit with her and ask for her help or advice as I move around. She can read along with the books by herself just by pressing the mouse button. She loves playing the matching games and sometimes does better than I do! She loves dressing the characters on stage. Now that she's got the alphabet song downpat, she loves putting letters in order. She loves counting, telling me how to color pictures, watching the music videos, finding matching letters, and just about everything related to the game.
And it doesn't stop with the ABCs and 123s. It gets into life skills and how to be a friend, how to be helpful, and all that kind of stuff, too...
As a parent, I love watching her enjoy learning. Since there is an ongoing progression of places and things to do as she masters skills, I don't get bored helping her play. There are parenting features where you can keep tabs of the skills she is learning or put in personalized notes - I don't use these much yet since I am sitting there helping her play.
Let me add that this game is enjoyed by kids as young as Esmé all the way up to age 10...
As I type this, Esmé is watching over my shoulder, insistently saying: "I want to watch JumpStart!" So I'd better get on with business...
In case you missed the announcements:
- If you like reading free books, then make sure you check out our new blog, Winning Readings. It's a bulletin board of family-friendly book giveaways that are easy to enter!
- And if you've got a fashionista in your household, make sure to take a couple of snapshots! I'm sharin' the Fashion Friday catwalk here, so post those stylin' photos and link here on Friday.