We are all enjoying it. Children and parents alike.
Our family homeschools and we are always looking for educational supplements that are also fun. We utilized other JumpStart programs as curriculum beginners at the pre-school level and then as supplements in the following years and have always been pleased with the programs. The JumpStart World program is also a great program. My children love it and continue to enjoy it.
While this grade level was meant for my oldest child, as always happens, my youngest was convinced that he too could do the work. He is beginning 1st grade and while some of the curriculum is still a bit beyond his ability level, he is able to do portions of the program on his own. Some of the initial lessons were review for my beginning 2nd grader, but the following levels have challenged him while having fun at the same time. For the boys in my household, fun is the name of the game when it comes to learning. This program is very educational, but also incorporates fun which allows the children to 'pretend' that they are only being asked to play an exciting computer game, when they are actually being asked to learn. To them it seems more like a game, with fun rewards.
The 'game' is labeled "Edutaiment" and that is a very accurate description. The program allows each child to pick their own character every time they begin the program. For some reason that this adult cannot figure out, this seems to be a very important feature to my children.
The programs offers a parent icon on your desktop after you have loaded it onto the computer, which allows you to go in and see the progress of your child, or each child as in my case. This has been very helpful as it has allowed me to see and keep up with what they have completed and what they have not. It also gives me clues (when I see portions of one section not fully completed, but they already moved on within the same section) as to what my child might have found difficult, so that I can go back and practice, review and re-teach those particular items within their other curriculum if needed. The parent section also allows you to go in and see the fun pictures that children have created (my youngest particularly loves that section and the personalized pets) as well as offering you the ability to incorporate holidays and birthdays into their learning. Parts of the program also allow your child to use a microphone if desired.
My only complaint with the program is actually the same complaint that AFW spoke to, you can only use the program with a broadband connection. This type of thing is why it pays to read the requirements for a program before purchasing. This is fine for our family when we are at home or are lucky enough to be traveling somewhere that broadband is available to us. Our reality is that when we do travel (which can be often for military families) we often spend a great deal of time in the car and family members that we visit either have no internet connection or are only on dial-up or DSL. This means that our children often cannot use the program when we travel. For our household fun and learning go with us when we travel and move and I would have loved it if we could utilize this program under those circumstances, but since we cannot, we will utilize their other computer based programs which do not require broadband during travel time.
I am fully aware that not all military families have broadband access at home. In that case I would still recommend that you look into the other wonderful JumpStart programs. Many do not require internet availability, most are reasonably priced and readily available for purchase and download online, at local stores and at many military exchanges. If your children love to play games but you are looking for something fun and also educational, I highly recommend JumpStart.
The JumpStart World programs offers you various subscription packages (available for purchase at an additional charge than the CD alone and I assume that is why they require personal information when downloading or installing) which:
With a subscription, new adventures are automatically downloaded every month! Parents will...
- receive personalized progress reports about your child
- have access to an educational expert on our online forum
- receive tips and ideas for offline activities related to your child's progress
- have access to an exclusive Member's Only website where you can manage your subscription
- be able to send personalized messages to your child that appear in the game
Minimum System RequirementsWindows® XP, Windows VistaTM Pentium® III (or equivalent) 1 GHz or faster 3D video card with 32 MB dedicated memory w/DirectX® 9.0c-compatible driver 256 MB dedicated RAM (512 MB recommended) 1 GB RAM for Windows VistaTM24x CD-ROM drive 1.4 GB available on hard drive 16-bit color 800x600 screen resolution DirectX® 9.0c-compatible sound card DirectX® 9.0c (included with install) QuickTime® 7.1 (included with install) Windows Media® Player 10 (included with install) Broadband Internet Connection