Monday, March 1, 2010

JumpStart World Review and Giveaway!

Great learning tools cover a wide range of subjects; exciting, attention-getting, complex, cool graphics; several learning levels; incentives; fairly priced
Cool graphics and entertainment “fluff” take time to load and can even distract from educational objectives; no parental controls; no progress assessment tools for parents/teachers.
Summary: If you are not looking for a full curriculum but an excellent and wide-ranging unstructured and entertaining supplementary learning tool at a decent price, you'll love Jump Start World!  You can join JumpStart for free limited access to learning games...or become a member and get access to TONS more learning games and rewards... 

Story Land - Eleanor

Full Review: My kiddos and I were very excited about the opportunity to review Jump Start World by Learning Adventure!  Although we use books, workbooks and lots of hands-on learning materials in our home, computers seem to be one of our favorite and most effective learning tools. 

If you've never seen Jump Start World online, it's a seemingly endless virtual world full of fun learning games for kids.  Story Land is geared towards preschoolers ages 3-5. Adventure Land and Marine Land are geared for ages 5-8, and Future Land is for ages 8-10. My kids have been exploring all of the "lands" not necessarily in their age group, and have barely scratched the surface!  There is sooo much more to explore.

Lost Island - Lost Shores 1
You start out by creating a completely personalized avatar called a "Jumpee" and naming it.  My “spicy” little girl that just turned five was delighted that she could make her "Jumpee" have purple pig tails and put a flower in her hair!  She named her Jumpee "Julia Sparklewing".  "Kyle Firewing" is a Jumpee that was created by my fun six-year-old boy and is sporting a "fast-looking" flight suit.  

Enter JumpStart world and your child will be welcomed by cute animal friends with instructions and ideas on where to play.  The landscape in this world is colorful and creative and is decorated to match the current holidays and seasons.  Playing learning games earns virtual coins that can buy pets, new clothes for your Jumpee, as well as other things to decorate and personalize their "world".  “Kyle” loves earning coins to buy pets and pet accessories.  “Julia” loves earning coins to buy furniture and decorations for her virtual room.
Frankie on Lost Island
These learning games cover a huge spectrum of different subjects... Math, Reading, Language, Spelling, Art, Music, as well as how to be a good friend, good sportsmanship, and caring for pets. “Kyle” is doing great with the spelling and math games in the“IQ actionizer” in Future Land. 
There are also parent content pages, parent forums and the Jump Start Blog.  The Blog has articles about new aspects of Jump Start World as well as hands-on family learning activities, recipes and projects to do together.
The site is so vast that I am not sure of anything that is missing, except the following:
  • I found myself wishing for comprehensive parental/teacher controls to be able to direct a child to a specific learning activity, or to put a timer on their play time.  (My kids love playing soooo much that we often have to set the timer to keep them from playing all day or to give their sibling a turn.) 
  • Wouldn't it be wonderful to see a “Land” in Jump Start that teaches foreign languages? 
  • It would  also be nice to be able to access a progress assessment for my children. 
Overall, a very attractive package for a good price, but you need to keep your kids on task if you want them to get something out of it besides entertainment!

Now for the fun part... Jumpstart is giving away a THREE MONTH family membership to Jump Start World!
**To win, just enter one or all of the following ways below and leave a comment for each entry.**  A winner will be randomly chosen on March 31st and notified by e-mail. 

1. Click here and visit the “About Jumpstart” page.
2. Become a follower of Be Blessed, Fan Be Blessed on Facebook, or Follow on Twitter.  (1 entry each)
3. Post a button on your blog and post the link in the comments (3 entries)
4. Visit the Jumpstart Blog and tell me what you think...
5. Post this giveaway to facebook, twitter and/or your blog (3 entries each)
Bonus:  Leave comments about what you would like to see your child learn in Jump Start World. (Enter as many times as you like! :)

Happy Entering!

Disclosure: I was provided with a JumpStart membership at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.