Looking into ABCmouse but want to hear a real ABCmouse review to know if it is worth it? Well, I wanted to share my thoughts on ABCmouse as so many of our readers have young kids and some have asked me if I have ever tried ABCmouse.
The program is heavily advertised and it seems that everyone with young kids has heard it about it by now.
So to answer some of our readers’ questions:
- Yes, I have heard of it.
- Yes, I have used it.
- It might be worth it. It depends. But you can give it a whirl for 30-days for free. This is what I did a few of years ago with my now 8-year old and loved it so much that we stuck with it for quite a while. I am doing it now with my 5-year old and my 2-year old.
So perhaps the third question might be answered by the sheer fact that I am using it again for the 2nd and 3rd time. But that answer will be different for every family, every child and every budget.
First off, I generally don’t like programs that have a monthly fee, unless it is totally worth it. Most are designed to be more convenient, not be more frugal. I have “tried” many programs from fresh made meals, to clothing, to health products, to essential oils, to household items, etc.
Most of them are not for me. I do however find that my essential oils monthly rewards save me a lot of money and worth it. I also use have stuck with the healthier and sustainable household items monthly subscription service because it is a budget-friendly way to create a more sustainable home. Both of these have been a great value and blessing. The rest so far were not for me, my home or my budget.
This one is in a different realm. It’s not just merely for fun, for convenience, for pleasure for enjoyment, it’s for practical purposes and reasons that last a lifetime – my child’s education.
The foundation I lay now for my child from ages 2-7 will follow them for life.
Their minds at this stage are sponges. It is an important time period in the life of a child and their life of learning. The highest cost of the subscription is $8 a month – for up to three kids.
I haven’t been shy to the fact that out of all of the times and ways I save money, my child’s education is not one of them. It doesn’t mean I blindly spend money on this category of life, but make very educated decisions (no pun intended ;). For us, $8 a month is a no-brainer. It is one of the most frugal educational supplements out there.
What about free options? Isn’t that technically more frugal?
I would say, “yes” and “no.”
Free is technically more frugal than $8 a month, but the long-term price is not. I am talking about free educational websites like PBSkids, Disney Jr., Sesame Street, Star Fall, etc. and we still will play on these for fun here and there.
Here’s the 6 reasons why I pay $8 a month:
1. Step-by-Step Comprehensive Curriculum
With ABCmouse, you have a step-by-step learning path (each section as a fun themed land – like the example in the picture) comprehensive curriculum where each lesson builds on the previous to ensure that there are no “holes” or “missed skills” in the development life of a child age 2 (pre-preschool :)) -2nd grade. You don’t want holes in your child’s educational foundation. This is the time to set them up for long-term success in learning.
ABCmouse learning program is designed and developed by early educational experts, including some that have Ph.D.’s in curriculum development and been in the field for many decades.
They have over 3,000 lessons, games and activities covering all of the essential subjects and more. That is a lot of learning! I am not sure if it is possible to exhaust the options because there are so many. That is another issue with the free ones. You can quickly do everything, but not here!
2. No ads, pop-ups or links
Second, there are no ads, no pop-ups, no links to other websites. It is a safe place to not get lost on the internet accidentally. A safe place for kids to not be bombarded with marketing and external clicking that is found on the free websites.
3. Free Play
Along with their comprehensive lesson building curriculum, they also have “free play” similar to the free sites, but without the ads and pop-ups. This means they can pick and choose what they want to play for fun learning, outside of the step-by-step learning path.
4. Fun while learning
My kids don’t know they are doing an actual curriculum. They are just having fun, fun while learning. Yes, it can be argued that the same is taking place on the free sites (fun while learning), but not in the step-by-step comprehensive fashion.
5. Assessments & Progress Reports
ABCmouse provides assessments for you to know how your child is doing. To me, this is priceless. Since the account and progress is being tracked, you have that insight into how your child is doing developmentally. You can also take directed assessment tests with your child to identify their strengths as well as their weaknesses.
They also have progress trackers and reports, all of these which are accessed through the part portal (not the student portal).
6. I can have 3 kids on one account
I used this with my 5-6 year old daughter. I do believe these games, lessons and activities helped to teach and solidify necessary concepts for her future learning. She is in the 3rd grade now and doing well. She doesn’t seem to be struggling with anything and her reading skills are stellar! We do have a variety of learning aids, but this one was a priceless tool for her.
So when my 5-year boy was coming up on needing to solidify more of his skills and learn new skills, I went right back to ABCmouse this past year. Soon after beginning the program again, he was able to propel his reading very quickly! We had been working on letter sounds and combining the sounds to form words, but after playing a few games for a couple of weeks, we came back to the task and he knew exactly what he was doing!
How does the ABCmouse app work?
First off, it’s for learning and enrichment wherever you go. It’s just like the website, but on an app instead.
But I also learned another benefit of the app.
I also have a 2-year old boy. He just barely turned two. ABCmouse is geared for kids as young as two. Truthfully, I have just been primarily letting my 5-year old use the tool, but since the $7.95 monthly fee allows up to three kids, I figured it didn’t hurt to make an account for my barely two-year old. He is still learning how to use the mouse, but this is where the app is really awesome for him because it provides all of the sames lessons, games, and activities, but no mouse skills are needed! I just let him start using it a couple of weeks ago, so he hasn’t had a lot of time yet, but what amazes me is that he has become more communicative and when he listens to his 5-year old brother read words in his easy readers, he’s repeating the sounds and the words because many of the lessons teach him how to do this!
Plus, I was reading “Hop On Pop” for story time last night and my barely two-year old said the words “house” and “mouse,” two of the harder words in the book. So I really think the program is helping him to understand words and concepts. I have also been testing him with books and objects on his colors and shapes. To my surprise, he is identifying quite a few since the last time I tried a few weeks ago before starting the program. He also enjoys it and it is safe vs. the free sites or watching learning shows on YouTube as he is not being hit with ads and can’t click or touch from the phone anywhere he is not supposed to.
How to know if ABCmouse is right for my kid(s)?
There really isn’t a way for me to definitively tell you that this will work for all kids. That’s just not possible. But this is where I would suggest requesting a free 30-day trial. Even if you are fully convinced and want to dive right in, still do the trial because it gives you a free month regardless!
After the 30-day trial, you can cancel at anytime. Also, if you continue the program, do the monthly fee of $7.95 as you may receive additional offers to upgrade for a whole year for an even lower cost after your initial month or two. It is $79 for the year (basically giving you two months free) but if you just do the $7.95, you may receive an offer to upgrade for the year for $59, which is $4.91 a month or 3.5 months free. Many have been receiving this offer.
How to get the free 30-Day Trial
- Head to the ABCmouse site HERE and look for the free trial offer.
- Click on the trial offer and a 2 min 37 sec video will pop up explaining the program. You can click out of this at any time and when you do, the form below will popup, allowing you to try the program for free for 30-days.
- Once you enter your email address, you will be redirected to the form that looks like this:
- Fill this out entirely and keep track of when your trial ends so you can easily cancel if you do not want to continue.
There you have. My thoughts on this matter. I am not one to take lightly extra little expenses because they do add up, but this is one that is worth the price and worth doing!
Have you tried this before?