Thursday, July 9, 2009

Jump Start-Review and Giveaway

When my son Demetrio was younger, he had learning disabilities in school. He had a hard time with pretty much all of his classes, and spent lots of time in smaller group settings and special education classes. I'd never had problems myself in school, so dealing with this was a mystery to me.

One thing that Demetrio learned early was that if you are not good at it, don't do it. So basically I had to struggle with him to get his work done, and he would shut down and refuse to do anything if we pushed him along. One thing that Demetrio loved was video games-he could spend hours solving puzzles, zapping monsters and driving his race car.

Being a first time mom, and not accustomed to dealing with ADHD and learning disabilities, I myself was at a loss. I read up on everything I could and decided that if he could spend hours in front of the TV playing video games he could spend hours learning as well. But learning wasn't FUN, he'd whine, and pitch a fit whenever I suggested it was time to open the books. That is when I discovered Jump Start. I was amazed that you can learn while having fun, and figured that if my son thought he was playing games, he would be able to learn as well using their easy programs. I purchased the First Grade for him and popped it into the computer-and all of a sudden my son was watching the screen intently and interacting with the game to get to the next levels...but learning while doing it! After several weeks of playing online, I received a call from the Special Education teacher telling me that his math and reading had improved. She asked what I was doing, and I told her. She sounded surprised, but told me to stick with it, and get the next level for him to work on during the summer so he'd be prepared for second grade.

While Demetrio still does have some learning issues in high school, I can say that Jump Start was a major factor in helping him to survive grade school and move ahead into the junior high setting with minimal special education classes.

I recently was cleaning out some old boxes, and found Demetrio's old Jump Start CD's. His little sister Dejanera seemed very excited and wanted to try them out. I figured the programs had changed a bit since Demetrio was her age, and went to the Jump Start website to check it out. I was amazed at how much it had changed! With the creation of an online, interactive website Jump Start makes it easy for you to get started immediately.

I was lucky enough to be able to review this website and was amazed at how easy it was for my daughter to navigate. I sat and watched as she created her Jumpee and began to explore the site. With an interactive map on the site, I was able to see just how many places she could go to-all while in a safe, online environment. It soon became apparent that I would not be getting my computer back for some time since my daughter was unwilling to share :) I quickly pulled out my laptop and told her she could play on that-thank goodness this is a multi-PC household!

The website was easy to navigate for my 7 yr old-and she quickly realized that learning can be fun too. There are three different worlds-she has visited two of them so far Story Land and Adventure Land. Coming soon will be Future Land, for children in 3rd to 5th grades. She was excited about all the different things to do, and earning coins to buy clothing and other items for her Jumpee. She also likes the Jump Stars that you can earn on the site as well.

Also, by being a paid member you have access to download the programs too-Deja and I downloaded the 6-8 year old Jumpstart 3D program and she has been having lots of fun playing it. It's also convenient having it right on the PC, all she has to do is click on it, and it's there for her to play. (after mom puts in the username and password of course!)I am happy that she has been visiting the Jump Start site, with school being out I don't want her to forget what she has learned already, and I would also love to see her ready for second grade in the Fall.

Now that we have been using the program for a little over a month, I am happy to say that it is something we enjoy very much. I am impressed that Jump Start actually sends me progress reports on how well Deja is doing-directly to my email. It lets me know what her strengths and weaknesses are, and that is SO important because it gives me the chance to work with her on the areas she has problems with, and when I am busy or working she can go online and use their program and try to do it on her own as well.

Would you like to try a three month full membership to the Jump Start site for your child? I can guarantee that they will have lots of fun while learning too. And now with summer in full swing, why not have them using Jump Start instead of sitting in front of the TV all day? Jump Start would love to offer one of my readers a full three month membership-here is what you need to do:

Giveaway starts 7/9/09 and ends 7/30/09 at 11:59 pm EST One winner will win a full access 3 month Jump Start site membership. EXTENDED GIVEAWAY DATE

For your FIRST MANDATORY ENTRY: Go to the Jump Start blog and look around. Check out their learning tips and come back here and tell me a tip that you learned while visiting their blog.

For additional entries: (leave a separate comment for each please!) also, leave your email in the comment or make sure it is available in your blog profile so I can reach you!

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hondaray6 said...

What? No entries? I just tweeted it for you. Maybe that will get things going!

Hula Hooping Mom said...

I learned that during the summer there is so much outside for kids to learn - take the opportunity and teach them about nature and all it offers :)