Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Review/Giveaway: JumpStart

Esmé's Mommy here.

You may have noticed that we include a Computer Activity section in all of our alphabet adventures.

I was just reading today how experts agree our kids are too plugged in. Some people consider computers to be a plugged activity to avoid; you know - no TV, no computer for as long as possible. No beeping or flashing toys, either...

I'm no expert, but I've got a different perspective.

For one thing, I've made a pretty good living off the computer in the past, and my laptop is still one of my best friends! Face it, folks - just about every occupation out there involves computers to some extent: cashiering, driving, medicine, you name it! So why not get a head start on your kid's career now? (They'll pick the computer skills up later if not now, but if there's an interest now, why not cultivate it in the first 5-6 years while their learning speeds are incredibly fast?)

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.

Computers can be abused. Kids can become gaming addicts or worse. There's a lot of misinformation out there. And dangers abound in chat rooms and MySpace. That's why creating a healthy role for the computer is important, especially now. Our computer time is a fraction of the day, but it is an important fraction.

Moving on... Some months ago, I won a giveaway for a JumpStart membership. And we have been loving it! So now JumpStart is offering a 3-month membership account to one lucky commenter here!

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...

To Enter to win a 3-month membership account ($24 value) at JumpStart:

Just leave a comment here. Make sure I have a way to contact you. That's it!

I'll randomly choose a winner on August 15, 2009.


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.

MckLinky Blog Hop


Annette said...

Meghan asks for a game on the computer once in a while, and I typically say no. BUT I do this bc she will hold onto a thought and think we can do it any time of the day, every day. This does look good! I'd be happy to give it a try!

The Activity Mom said...

I think that looks fun! There are a lot of great skills that can be learned on the computer.

Jennifer said...

I too have hesitated with Charlotte and the computer. The handful of times I've sat her on my lap to watch videos she has become obsessed with it and thrown a fit when it was time to stop. Maybe though she is more ready now since it has been a couple of months since our last video marathon.

Kori said...

Whether any of us want to admit it or not, computers are pretty much vital to our kids' success. And in my opinion, it is just like anything else-kids don't turn into PC or game obsessed kids unless their parents allow them to. We have found a few toddler games online and Owen loves them, so I would be interested to try this one out as well.

MoziEsmé said...

SP on FB:
Pick me, pick me!! Hee hee! Sounds like fun! :O) Thanks for the info.

MoziEsmé said...

LC on FB:
Looks like a fun site. You can contact me by message on FB, ok?

Jamie said...

Oh! I SO hope that I win!! As a teacher, I am familiar with the JumpStart CD ROMs and think they are great! I would absolutely love if I could use this site for my 2 kiddos (3 and 2 years old) that I quit my job to stay at home and teach. Thanks so very much for the opportunity!!

jmesims at gmail dot com

Bende and Zoé said...

I think computers have their place and as an educational tool are great (way better than tv, in my mind). I'd definitely love for my 3 year old (and 1.5 year old, when appropriate) to get to use this site. Thanks for the chance!

BTW, I enjoy reading about all the fun things you do with your sweet little girl. It really is an inspiration.

JanMary said...

Have not been to your blog in AGES!

Would love to win this for my kids - I am sure all 3 would love it.

Angela said...

This sounds great! thanks for the opportunity to win it. :)

Laura said...

This sounds great, I would love to try this with my daughter!