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Wednesday, October 4th
ABC Mouse is an affordable program created to help children learn to read. ABC Mouse advertises that it was designed by teachers to help children learn at home. They have been in business for 15 years now and are based out of Glendale, CA.
What is included in your child's "classroom" ?
To use ABC Mouse, you can go to either their website or their app. These will direct you to your child's "classroom" , where you will find age-appropriate activities. They guide your child from activity to activity and create a curriculum for your child to follow. ABC Mouse keeps track of your child's progress and how they are doing with each skill. It will allow for more challenges if necessary or break down things your child isn't understanding in the lesson.
The progress tracker is an informative tool included in your membership. It will show the number of activities completed in each category. The tracker also provides parents with graphs to show the child's progress. Another feature ABC Mouse has is a reward system providing children with tickets. Parents have stated that their children strive for these tickets as a reward for doing well on the activities. As your child collects tickets, they may turn them in for virtual rewards.
What does the curriculum look like?
The learning to read aspect of the ABC Mouse program includes a focus on letter recognition, phonics, rhyming words, word families, sentence structure, parts of speech and books to read. The curriculum covers beginning reading and identifying letters all the way to reading full paragraphs. The first-grade curriculum also includes writing skills which include sentence structure, punctuation and parts of speech.
Free trial and pricing deals
On top of offering a 30-day free trial, ABC Mouse almost always has a deal when you purchase for the year. At the time of this review, the current deal was $45 for a one-year subscription, which is 70% cheaper than the monthly option.
Awards - and legal issues
ABC Mouse has won numerous awards for their curriculum. These include the Mom's Choice Gold Award, Teachers Choice Award and Parents Choice Gold Award. Unfortunately, according to the Better Business Bureau, the owners of ABC Mouse (Age of Learning Inc) have been in litigation for not informing customers in their terms that annual memberships would be automatically renewed. Most of the complaints filed with the BBB result from ABC Mouse processing charges without notice or even charging some customers after accounts have been canceled. Complaints also accuse ABC Mouse of "not being able to find customers' accounts" until external complaints are made.
Check your bank statements
Overall, ABC Mouse has a quality program to assist children in learning to read. The convenience of the progress tracker and ticket reward program make ABC Mouse desirable for both parents and children. The learning games and activities will create a fun and enjoyable addition to your child's education. But, if you decide to give them a try, we suggest you keep an eye on your banking statements to make sure you aren't charged incorrectly.
The most common tools used to teach literacy to children are phonics and sight words. Phonics tends to be an easier skill for children as they are able to sound out the letters to create a word. Sight words can be trickier because they are words that just need memorized as they do not follow the rules when it comes to reading the English language.
Learn to read programs can be helpful for children as they tend to be game-based. Children love to play games and they do not necessarily realize they are learning. When looking at a learn to read program, you can expect it to offer some type of fun activity for children to do. Some programs go above and beyond this with other school subjects being covered or worksheets to print out.
Also, spelling can be an important part of learning to read. This helps children find patterns in words and how to read multiple that follow the same rule. An example is if you can spell light and know that the "gh" is silent, then you can read might, tight, and so on.
As you consider different learn to read programs, there are a few key aspects you'll find to be most important:
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