Review by Delana H. Stewart
Recently I was introduced to Miss Humblebee’s Academy, an online program for kindergarten readiness. Due to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation of limiting children’s screen time to less than 1-2 hours daily (and discouraging screen time for children under 2) I hesitated at first to review this product. Then, I learned that Miss Humblebee’s Academy recommends its users (3-5 year olds and their parents) to spend just 10 minutes three times a week using the program. As long as other daily screen time is being managed well by parents, Miss Humblebee’s Academy could be a good use of that screen time. Next, I needed parents of preschoolers to try out the product and give me feedback. Here is what they had to say:
“He looks forward to his learning time on Miss Humblebee’s.” — R. B.
My 4.5 year old works on the Humblebee website about two to three times a week for 15-20 minutes. He really enjoys it. He likes the alphabet song, letter activities, and puzzle activities as well. I think the graphics and sounds are fun and the content covers a broad range of subjects.
- may need help dragging objects from one part of the screen to another;
- may need some directions explained;
- may have difficulty understanding earning enough points/stickers/coins for the activities at the bottom of the chalkboard.
We have been using the Miss Humblebee site for about a month and a half now, 2-3 times per week, with our son who will be 5 next month. We usually let him do the lessons in this fun program for 10 minutes. He then plays in the “reward room” for another 5 minutes. I sit with him the whole time, although he is able to maneuver the mouse and start each lesson completely on his own. Though great exposure to technology and learning computer skills, most of the games are similar to what you would find in a hard copy preschool workbook. I would put it in the category of a “good supplement” to a more hands-on preschool curriculum. My son is a good age for it, as he really enjoys using the mouse independently.
If there are parents who are using a variety of apps (i.e. trying to find educational apps to reinforce educational concepts) this would be a great replacement for that (lots of activities in one place, and being guided through lessons, while giving them some exposure to technology).
Songs and Music for kids of all ages
One aspect of this program that would be hard to replicate with an in-hand workbook is the focus on songs/music. There is a fun section on instruments as well as many songs, nursery rhymes, etc., that all of our kids have really liked listening to.
- There are areas where Miss Humblebee can’t replace a workbook (e.g. coloring by “clicking” on a picture is not the same as coloring with a crayon).
- I would hesitate to use this site as the core piece of a curriculum, as it is fast-moving and the topics covered are broad.
- Without a lot of parental supplement/talking through what they see, I do not know how much of it would be absorbed by some children, especially by children closer to the 3-4 age range.
[Admin note: Printables/coloring pages are available within the Art Room. Miss Humblebee’s Academy appreciates recommendations for additional printables.]
A motivational, technological learning option that is a “good pick”
My son’s love for doing the program makes it seem like a worthwhile venture as a supplement; he asks to do it most days, without my prompting. My other two kids (ages 6 and 2) gather around the computer and watch him do his lessons! Our 2 year old even repeats Miss Humblebee phrases.
For parents who are looking for a learning option involving computer technology, this one would be a good pick.
If you have a child age 3-5 years old and are looking for a technological, online preschool program, check out Miss Humblebee’s Academy. The cost per month is around $12.95 for the first child and $5.00 for each additional child. The cost per year is around $129 for the first child and $60 for each additional child. A one-week free trial is available.
Miss Humblebee’s Academy works on all smart tablets, including the iPad. They are also developing two different Android-based tablets that they will be releasing next month.
Do you want to know more? Click on this link and then go to FAQ section. Miss Humblebee’s Academy.
*Note: Three viewers of The Education Cafe received subscriptions to Miss Humblebee’s Academy in exchange for an honest review.
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