Thursday, March 26, 2009

dream box

Lately, it seems like my computer time is very limited. Since the unfortunate demise of B's laptop (although a friend is waving his magic wand over it this weekend, cross-your-fingers) I've been sharing the big computer with him.

And then the kids both (both!) clicked in that maybe they should horn in on the action too.

They both use computers for learning at their respective schools, and so we introduced them to PBSkids and other sites that seemed appropriate.

And they love them. And we do responsible limits, blah blah blah, but I'm just sayin' it gets a bit squeezed when I want to work on something at the computer.

And then C figured out one day in school if he typed Transformers into the Google box a page would come up and he could play games. (Much to the surprise of his teacher, who glanced across the room to find he wasn't working on his math skills but racing cars instead.....)

Internet games. Some of which were banned by automatic mom veto, because, my god, have you seen how violent some of those things are?? /rant

But it was clear we needed a program that would suit everyone.

Enter DreamBox. An online Kindergarten thru Grade 2 math learning game that suits both of my kids (a minor miracle in itself) with different games and characters that need your help on adventures. Adventures that can include pirates, dinosaurs, fuzzy baby animals, elves and fairies or lots of other things - your child can choose which characters to hang out with and then complete an adventure with them. For example, Cass had to find the Mama for the crying Baby Dinosaur, and that meant solving problems (I think that was a 'multiples of 10' challenge) and exploring the game area with his avatar. After an adventure ends, they are awarded tokens which they use at the carnival to win prizes for their avatar.

It sounds like many other games - but this one engaged both my kids, had pretty good graphics, and sent me e-mails about their progress. That was impressive. Who wouldn't like getting an email about how Rosemary is learning number groups and did a fantastic job on sorting? It also thrills Cassidy when I print out the certificates that come to my email praising him for finishing an adventure!

DreamBox isn't a free game, but you can sign up for a free two week trial here.

Of course, this doesn't solve my no-time-for-me problem. At all, really. Sigh.

But at least they're having fun.

Ooh, and if you go here you can enter to win three months of DreamBox free!