This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of K12, the leader in online education for grades K-12. All opinions are 100% mine.
What do you think when you hear the words online preschool? Fun games, interactive stories, getting ready for kindergarten; those are some that come to mine. And while my children love these programs, it's important for them to gain knowledge through offline experiences too.
That's why, when I invest in online learning I look for 2 key elements.
2 Things to Look for in an Online Preschool Program
1. Substance Over Entertainment
Yes, it's important for my child to enjoy the program. Usually, being on the computer is excitement enough. If the program I'm looking at is loaded with games that requre little critical thinking skills, I'll pass.
For example, I've seen puzzles that solve themselves, lots of coloring work, and games where you can push all the buttons until you get the right answer; it still rewards you and doesn't review the question.
EmbarK¹² is different. The program offers a robust curriculum with plenty of activities and vocabulary that really prepare children for learning experiences offline.
For example, We love the interactive storybooks that feature classic stories and integrate interactive questions on each page. Emma (age 3) loves Bookseller and the 3 bears. As the story is read aloud, she's asked questions that improve her comprehension and teach her descriptive vocabulary like smaller, medium, bigger, ext.
You may be lured to other programs that boast about their extensive material. But it's just unnecessary information that distracts from the fact that the important material is lacking.
For example, hundreds of facts about animals that will go in one ear and out the other is not as important as having a complete introduction to phonics and other beginning reading skills like EmbarK¹² does.
Another problem with Entertainment value is that it provides a complicated user experience. If I'm having trouble navigating the program, chances are, my unexperienced preschooler is going to too.
My daughter has trouble with a mouse sometimes so this aspect is critical. I don't want her to get frustrated because she can't figure out how to start and end an activity. EmbarK¹² is so simple to navigate. The main menu displays all of the subjects in one place and they are easily identifiable. Emma loves being able to do it on her own.
2. Heavy on Mathematics and Literacy
The majority of the program should focus on these 2 subjects which are the basis for all others. While teaching ABCs and 123s is important, I also look for comprehension, challenging vocabulary, and memory building. Once my children learn the basics, those things will propel their reading and math skills.
EmbarK¹² also meets this criteria. Like I explained before, the storybooks are outstanding. And more challenging books are available to build vocabulary. Lots of the games in the program help build memory and all the other subject categories offer games that support those 3 essential skills.
I was very impressed with the program and highly recommend it. Plus, if you are looking for a program that carries on through higher grades, the Pre-K program is part of K-12 Academy, the largest provider of online education offering public school, private school and individual courses.
For a limited time, EmbarK¹² is offering True Aim Readers 50% off their online program. That means, for less than 3$ a month you can enhance your child's Pre-K learning experience and give them a head start for kindergarten!
Use code EmbarkSpecial to get 50% off!
To learn more about Kindergarten readiness programs by K12. Try a sample activity today. Or watch the video below!