Saturday, October 15, 2011
TOS Crew Product Review ~ Always IceCream
Gee, as a homeschooling mom who now has all girls at home after sending our only son off to college, I was shocked when receiving a girls only product to review!
In all seriousness, I was very happy to see a safe, educational website specifically designed with young ladies ,ages 7-12, in mind.
Always Icecream is appealing to me as a homeschooler because of the diverse educational content (language arts, basic & advanced math, geography, history, music, art, foreign languages, computer skills and religious eduction). Using games and videos, Always Icecream is a great supplemental curriculum option. As a mom Always Icecream is appealing to me because it's safe, free of advertising, and blocked to search engines. The site is certified by Privo and is subject to moderation, and user information is never sold; my daughter's safety is taken seriously and that is very important to me as a homeschooling mother.
My 6th grade daughter has been using Always Icecream since we received a membership in early September (free of charge for review purposes). She has made new friends, "hatched" loads of pets, watched educational videos and played learning games, earned a "Gold Medal" in Bible Trivia, created her own house, designed furniture and art work and a whole lot more ~ all while earning money (known as $coops) that can be used to "buy" a wide variety of things.
When she logs into Always Icecream on any given day she might take care of her pets in Pet World, learn how to make homemade icecream in the Videos, custom decorate a room in her house at Mini World, play a math game in Learn & Play, or send a friend a message at Mail. As she does different things in each area of Always Icecream, she is earning $coops, which she can then spend on things like clothes for her pets or a shopping spree in Mini World. She can even buy items created by other Always Icecream members! And she likes earning $coops instead of money - somehow it's just more fun that way!
She has this to share ~ "You can earn $coops while learning. It's educational, but still really fun. Pet World is probably my favorite part of Always Icecream because you have to take care of the pets you hatch. In Mini World I can have as many rooms in my house as I want. There's no limit, and some other websites do have a limit on how many rooms you can have. I don't think there is anything about Always Icecream that I don't like. It's pretty great!"
As a parent who homeschools, Always Icecream provides a site that is fun and educational - it allows my daughter to have all the fun available at other sites (which shall remain unnamed) but in a way that draws her to learning in an environment that is safe and supports our family's Christian beliefs. To see for yourself what Always Icecream has to offer, check out their Overview Page HERE.
Without going into excessive details (which I am prone to do), I'd like to add that we use the Videos to supplement our learning in several subjects (like Language Arts and Foreign Language) and I love the fact that I can easily check my daughter's activity by clicking "Parent Summary" in the top right-hand corner of the web page. The "Parent Summary" is a great feature, allowing me to see progress made in learning games, communication with other members, which videos were viewed, and any artwork my daughter created ~ all in one quick glance. Parents can choose to make a Parent Account at any time, free of charge. And parents can customize the educational content available to their daughters, as well as awarding $coops for tasks done at home (like piano practice or household chores). How cool is that?!
The only thing my daughter didn't do too much of was the typing assignments - and that's because she fell off her scooter and broke her arm in mid-September. The break continued to worsen despite her cast and she had surgery last week. So typing has been a little bit of a challenge for her the last several weeks. (And in case you're thinking, "Wait, I thought it was her son who had surgery..." - yes, he had surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon on September 1st. In a strange irony, he had an appointment with his orthopaedic doctor in the Chicago area the same day and time that my daughter had an appointment with her orthopaedic doctor here in Wichita!) I plan to have her utilize the typing assignments once she has both hands available for use.
The cost for an Always Icecream subscription is $4.99/month ~ $29.99/year ~ $99.99/lifetime membership. They offer a money back guarantee and you can try it for free at their website - www.AlwaysIcecream.com
To read what other members of this year's TOS Crew had to say about Always Icecream, click HERE.
Lord bless you and your family as you continue on your homeschool journey!
Day 124 done :)
Jan L. Burt