I just got the email yesterday. My kid’s school is going to be online only until AT LEAST November 5. Time to dive into what else ABC Mouse has to offer. I have recently taken a look at one of their newest offerings that I can tell you about in this ABC Mouse Learn At Home Classroom Review.
So what is ABC Mouse Learn At
Home? ABC Mouse Learn At Home is a module within ABC Mouse. It was developed recently by the folks at ABC Mouse for all those folks who have been faced with homeschooling their kids. Now that many of us are facing this continuing challenge into the fall, it is time to see what programs like these have to offer us and our kids.
My kids are six and five respectively. I’m not sure what it’s like to try to homeschool older kids, but with kids this young it is certainly a challenge.
No matter how much teachers try to provide you with a detailed lesson plan, in a lot of ways you are left to your own devices to try to teach your kids. I know that with my oldest son, attempts were made by his teacher to have zoom meetings with the entire class last year. I did not see much value in that at all.
When kids that age are involved with a video conference call that has 20+ people on it, there was just no way to keep them engaged. By its very nature, these video conferences involve one person speaking and many people listening. I just do not believe that is an effective way to teach kids at a young age.
Because of that, I have spent my time finding ways to supplement their education. I’ve done a couple of posts about how I use and have used for some time, the great tools in ABC Mouse. Without doing any research, one day when I logged in I saw their new module called ABC Mouse Learn At Home.
It seems obvious that the ABC Mouse folks have figured out that many parents are using their program the same way I am. As such, they have created a module that hits right at the heart of the challenge that many parents are facing both today and will face in the coming months.
My Introductory ABC Mouse Learn At Home Classroom Review
First, let me start by saying that all the tools and ABC Mouse are not meant to be a substitute for the education kids receive at school. That is going to be true whether that education is in person, online, or in some hybrid form.
ABC Mouse is a supplementary tool that helps your kids learn a wide range of topics. What I found intriguing about the ABC Mouse Learn At home Module, was that it was geared towards a specific need of the parents using the service for their kids.
The module breaks down lessons by day. This module also offers a different curriculum based on the age of the child.
There are three learning tracks:
- Toddler to Preschool
- Pre-K to Kindergarten
- 1st to 2nd grade
If it seems as though that’s a bit limited in terms of ages that are offered, this limit really falls in line with the rest of ABC Mouse. ABC Mouse is not a program that’s meant for older kids, it is meant for kids that are just starting at school.
The curriculum itself is built on the same foundation that most of ABC Mouse is built on. Things like games, stories, and puzzles help to teach kids foundational concepts like reading and spelling.
The Layout of The Curriculum
Each different age group’s learning path is broken down by days. They are numbered days one through five.
It is my assumption that ABC Mouse believes you complete each day in its entirety. So far I must admit that I have not done that, and have usually gone as far as I want to go with the kids and then moved on to something else.
Each of the lessons in the curriculum is built upon the last lesson. As an example, the first lesson of day one was a story. The story contained keywords and plot points that were to be the basis of the lessons that followed.
After the kids read the story, there were a number of various activities that related to the story. The goal was clearly to have the kids learn the words that were used and also understand how to use those words in a sentence or in expressing an idea.
This particular book had about six or seven lessons that followed related to the book. After that, they were presented with another book that had a group of lessons that followed related to that book.
In all day one of the curricula contained three books with a series of activities that followed. The lessons were created to teach words, ideas, sentence structure, as well as basic math like counting from 1 to 20.
What Left Me Wanting A Bit
When I first saw that banner headline of ABC Mouse Learn At Home, I was really excited at the prospect of having a full curriculum for homeschooling. Now in fairness:
- ABC Mouse is not built for that
- There are a TON of other activities throughout the program to accomplish this very goal
Given that, this still felt a little “bait and switch”. Not that I was being duped in any way nor were they charging me anything beyond their normal monthly fee for this, but I guess that my hopes exceeded what I actually got.
The one question that remains unanswered for me is what happens after “day five”. As far as I can tell, nothing really happens. You finish the five days and that’s that.
It could be that in the future ABC Mouse will add more modules beyond the first five days. It also could be that if you complete all the lessons in the five days more days will be “unlocked” (not sure because we have not got that far yet, but with my experience with ABC Mouse, it is hard to believe this is how this module is built).
Here is What I Think This Offers
It is probably best to just take this for what it is. It is just one of many different pieces within ABC Mouse. While I still feel that ABC Mouse is a great tool for teaching your kids even if they were still attending school in person, the content of this module just does not seem to match up with the title.
The parts of this module are fine in and of themselves but do not go into this thinking that this is going to be some sort of parallel lesson plan to what your school will eventually provide. No matter what type of schooling your children are going to do in the fall, that is still going to be at the heart of their education and ABC Mouse will continue to act as a great supplement to that.
In all your time using ABC mouse have you found anything that you really are unhappy with?
While I have not experienced this problem during the summertime, last spring I was often frustrated by slow response times in the program. I am by no means a computer expert, but my guess is that with so many new people using the program because of school shutdowns, ABC Mouse was simply not prepared in any technological sense to handle that many people using the program at the same time. It is my sincere hope that that will not continue to be a problem this fall but only time will tell.