JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade
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- Platform: Windows, Macintosh
- Media: CD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
Experts have identified seven learning styles to help kids personalize your child's learning experience. Some kids respond best to songs, some to pictures, and others to words and rhymes. JumpStart Advanced uses your child's natural learning style to teach everything from reading and spelling to mathematics. There's no stopping a kid with a JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade 2.0. Your child sets the pace in this 4 CD-ROM set. Activities automatically adjust so they are never too hard, never too easy. The perfect blend of learning and entertainment - this JumpStart program presents fundamental skills in a variety of fun-filled formats to help your children through his or her natural learning style.
From the Manufacturer
JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade has more fun and enriching learning activities than ever in its new sports themed 3-CD set designed to prepare your child for 1st grade and beyond.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Children take an assessment test the first time they use the program in order to determine what levels they need to begin at in each subject. This actually is a pretty good idea because the program can "grow" with the child. However, it will probably require the parent to sit with the child through the assessment in order to interpret the instructions.
The program can also supposedly becustomized to the child's individual learning style. I'm not real sure how effective this is, since, in my opinion, the computer environment is somewhat limiting in and of itself.
One good feature is that there are separate volume controls for the narration track and the music. Personally, I find the music completely obnoxious, so it's nice to be able to mute it. Otherwise, keep some headphones handy.
Overall, I think this is worth the money. And, by the way, it runs fine on both our OS X enabled Mac as well as our Windows XP machine.
This is an arts & crafts game where you can choose to make a craft, a storybook, a banner, or a card. However, the storybook can only be 6 pages long, and almost all the stickers have something to do with sports. I suppose this has to do with calling it a "sports-themed 3-disc pack" in the description, but I don't care. What I find particularily destressing is that there's no actual drawing in this game. You just use stickers of characters, designs, numbers & letters. Also, this game is not really educational. I suppose it's to "boost your child's creativity", but if they weren't the creative or artsy type, they probably wouldn't play it in the first place. However, don't get me wrong, this IS a fun game, and it's nice that you can get it in a pack because it's not really worth much money if it's by itself.
This is just an annoying game. It has an annoying plot, annoying activities, and annoying dialouge ("That looks interesting! Guide me over there so we can have a closer look!") The plot is where Hopsalot (in his classic style as an adult) gets sucked into a phonograph into a wacky world where Sir Sournote and his violin villians are terrorizing them. Of course, they want you to save the day by playing dumb activities that teach rhythm & other stuff. My other older sister, Russian Blue Witch, finds the plot particularily annoying since she plays the violin. Actually, the games were fun, but it was bit hard to get the beats right and it was just the same games over and over. Heck, I'll give Knowledge Adventure credit for trying, because it is a pretty nice game, but it isn't nice enough to keep me & my sisters interested enough to play. We played it through (actually, me & StoryMaker didn't finish it entirely, but Russian Blue Witch "RBW" got to the end) and probably played it one time after that. We haven't touched it since. It does do a pretty good job of teaching rhythm, but I don't know what all 1st Graders are like since I homeschool. Overall, the game is a bit nice, but then again, it wouldn't be worth it if it wasn't in a pack.
This is what makes the pack worth it! This is the shining glory! First, I will tell you the plot. In this game, Squirt, Frankie's little brother (actually, we don't know he's Frankie's little brother, but it seems sensible and it's what we all imagine) rides along on his scooter when the bully, Jimmy Bumples, purposely bumps into him. Squirt isn't badly hurt, but his shiny scooter is reduced to a pile of junk. Jimmy refuses to fix or pay for Squirt's scooter, so Frankie and co. try to win a prize scooter for him in the scooter race. This is going to be hard because, according to Frankie, Jimmy never loses in scooter races, so they claim that, in order to accomplish this, they must upgrade their scooters with powerups witch you get by helping the JumpStart gang by playing educational games. I will describe these activities in turn. (By the way, I'm making the snazzy names myself. They aren't official.)
FRANKIE'S FRACTION FEASTS
Frankie the dog apparently owns a home pizza parlor, because in this game, you devide the different-shaped pizza into fraction sections and put correct toppings on each part. This game is pretty easy, since there aren't a whole lot of fractions they tell you to use, (just halves, quarters, and thirds) but heck, this is 1st Grade. I still think it could be made a bit more challenging though. I know this because when I was in 1st Grade I played this and the only reasons I ever lost a round was because I put the wrong toppings on the pizza and/or the conveyer belt was going too fast. However, it's still fun, and is a nice way to earn powerups for your scooters. Make 4 correct pizzas to earn a bone powerup thing-a-ma-jiggy.
CASEY'S SOCCER SMASH
In this game, you're supposed to help Casey the cat and his friends practice soccer while avoiding Jimmy and his friend Skid. This game teaches blends, vowel sounds, digraphs, spelling - y'know, Phonics stuff. It's basically about constructing words out of letters & blends. Pretty easy. I guess certain 1st graders would find this game beneficial, but for the most part, I don't and never did.
HOPSALOT'S BLIMP BLAST
This game teaches a variety of subjects that all relate to sorting. Some of them are: food groups, types of animals (reptiles, mammals, etc.) and syllables. Hopsalot the rabbit needs you to help push the blimps into the correct column, forming a blimp bridge that he can use to get to his carrot powerups. This game is one of the better ones - pretty fun and pretty educational. I learned about syllables from it.
CJ'S SWAMP GAME
In this game, you guide CJ Frog through the swamp with a plunger so he can pick up the bubbles with correct letters and numbers. Put them in the swamp gas machine to form spelling words or math equations. Every correct answer will earn you a quarter of a bottle of swamp gas. You need 4 full bottles of swamp gas to earn one powerup, meaning that you must make 16 equations or spelling words - for a single powerup! For this reason, me and my sisters avoided this game and loathed it. That's a shame, because it's the only game that teaches addition and subtraction.
EDISON'S SUPER SHOPPING
CJ's pal, Edison the Firefly, now has his own shop. You practice counting out coins in here. Here, you buy items to decorate the tracks. One of the most annoying things about this game is you can't choose what item you buy AND he says, after you buy something and put it on the track, Edison says "I'll tell him that you picked that out yourself" and "Good choice!" Edison is a LIAR! Also, sometimes I want to buy a certain item, but bossy Edison won't let me. However, that's the only big fault with this game; the game itself is good for teaching money-counting.
ELEANOR'S READ-A-STORY-AND-PUT-TOGETHER-SENTENCES GAME (sorry, no better name ideas)
In this game, Eleanor the elephant has a pretty dumb news channel. You read stories or collections of fun facts and make correct sentences based off that. It teaches reading comphrehension and sentence structure. Not particularily good and not particularily bad, but it leans towards the "good" side - it's actually quite fun and it's educational enough.
PEIRRE'S POLAR PERIL
This is an action game, and it's real fun. Using the arrow keys, you guide Pierre Polar Bear around on his scooter, collecting snowballs with pictures on them in the correct order. It teaches skip counting, ordinals, sequencing, weight & size, etc. Probably my only quibble about this game is that "enemies" can make you hit the wrong answer. Overall, a quite nice game. Not extremely educational, but I learned about ordinals from it.
KISHA'S CREATIVE CORNER
Actually, this is 2 games, and it doesn't teach much (if it teaches at all). In the painting game, you create pictures using simple tools. You don't get any powerups from the painting part. Then, in the music section, you make a "card show" using music and pictures. This gets you a magic paint tube powerup. Pretty darn fun, but not really educational and gets the slightest bit tedious at one point.
COMPLETELY NON-EDUCATIONAL SCOOTER RACE
First, you go to the workshop to power up your scooters and arrange obstacles using the powerups you've earned. Then, pick a character and race! You use the arrow keys to go around tracks and press the space bar to use your power-up gadgets to get past obstacles. Eventually, you'll unlock Jimmy's track. By beating Jimmy's track, you win the game and get a cute cutscene where Squirt rides his new scooter with his friends. By the way, in case you didn't understand that sentence, they aren't all on a single scooter. They each have their own scooter. The scooter game is real fun, but it doesn't teach anything and it's a bit hard to control sometimes, especially if the kids are younger. I suppose it's intended as a reward for getting powerups. If so, it does its job very well.
Overall, this is a great game. Get this pack, it's really fun, though the bonus discs (Art Club & Music) aren't very educational. Yours, Chocolate Dog.
This is, by far, the BEST CD-ROM in the set. It was originally sold individually as the original JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade. In this game, a little dog named Squirt is just riding his scooter peacefully when Jimmy Bumbles, a weasel & school bully, knocks him off and breaks his scooter. Luckily, Squirt's OK, but no longer has a scooter. However, the prize for winning the JumpStart Scooter Tournament (which is coming up) is a new Super Scooter! Unfortunately, Squirt can't really win it, because...uh, he has no scooter. More familiar JumpStart friends such as Frankie the dog and Hopsalot the rabbit are determined to win it for him. However, Jimmy has supreme scooter skills, and the only way the JumpStart pals can stand a chance against him is to add gadgets to their scooters. All of your JumpStart friends will be happy to give you gadgets to add, but they need some favors to be done. Also, some of the gadgets need to be obtained in special ways. Kids complete these tasks in the form of games to earn scooter power-ups.
This CD-ROM is very good. Not only are the games VERY fun, but they teach a wide variety of 1st Grade subjects - everything from math to early zoology. I think this is where I learned adding double-digit numbers, alphabetizing, and ordinals. My younger sister, Chocolate Dog, also benefited from it.
This game, like other JumpStart Advanced "Fundamentals" CD-ROMs, has a feature called the "All Star". At the start of the game, kids are instructed to "take a quiz & find out their learning style". As a young child, I found this confusing, and I think I ended up just clicking on my favorite character. That's the bad part. The good part: In the corner of the screen of the main game, there is a star. When clicked, a phone pops up. You can call up your JumpStart pals for info on all the subjects taught in the game. Each character gives different kinds of information. I usually find Hopsalot's straightforward answers to be most helpful. Sometimes, the scientific nature-loving CJ Frog is a help. It really depends, and I don't think kids just have a single learning style.
I think that JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade Fundamentals is quite good. There are a few things that bug me, though. For one thing, some games, such as Casey Cat's Phonics Soccer & CJ Frog's Spelling/Math Swamp Game, must be played over and over and over and OVER again to earn a single power-up. Because of this, we avoided them. Also, since many of the games are arcade-styled, you can sometimes get an incorrect answer simply due to obstacles, bad aim, etc. In additon, you can trade power-ups, which I think is good, but I had to go to the online user manual to find out how - it wasn't clear at all. However, this CD-ROM is overall the best one in the JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade 3-pack, hands down.
Though Fundamentals is very high quality, this CD-ROM, "Music", takes a deep dive downward when it comes to quality. In this game, Hopsalot the rabbit gets sucked up into an heirloom gramophone. Totally bogus, huh? He is whisked away to the weird & wacky world of "The Land of Music". A big weirdo guy named Sir Sournote is causing trouble and making all the music sour. So duh, Hopsalot has to stop him.
Not only are the activities & games on this CD-ROM very BORING, but they are also very difficult. OK, so there's this game (actually, a lot of games) where you must repeat a beat. IT'S SERIOUSLY HARD. This game is for ages 5-8 and, even if you're way over the top of the age range, it is still difficult to get the beats right. And if you don't get the beats right, then the characters might insult you: "THAT'S BAAAAAAAAAAAD!"
This CD-ROM frustrates and annoys MUCH more than it teaches. Please DO NOT buy the individually sold version of JumpStart Music! You might find that your money is wasted! We have not played this LAME GAME in YEARS. If you seriously want to get it, PLEASE get it in with JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade ~OR~ get one of the 4 different JumpStart Fun Packs: Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st Grade and/or 2nd Grade. I've never played any JumpStart Fun Pack, but all of them but Preschool come with JumpStart Music. Not that anybody would actually want JumpStart Music...
#3: ART CLUB
JumpStart Art Club is the only disc that comes with JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade that was never sold individually. Indeed, it comes only with this pack (and the 4-CD-ROM version). It is sorta in-between Fundamentals & Music: not super good, not super bad, just in-between. In this CD-ROM, you make storybooks, crafts, banners & greeting cards starring your favorite JumpStart friends. It is pretty fun to make the crafts & entertaining to make all sorts of stories for the storybooks, but it is a very simple CD-ROM. There really isn't any animation in it, and all of the projects are simplified (the storybooks can only have up to 6 pages, you only design the front of the greeting cards, etc.). You never really "draw" in any of the projects - you mostly just use stickers. Coloring in spaces is the closest you ever get. Also, it really doesn't have educational value. It *sorta* teaches *a little bit of* creativity, but other than that, zero-zilch-nada. Overall, it's OK, MUCH better than Music, but definitely worse than Fundamentals.
Overall, JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade 3-CD-ROM set is pretty darn good. The Music & Art Club CD-ROMs aren't so great, though, so you might consider getting the original JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade with only the one Fundamentals CD-ROM. You might consider the 4-CD-ROM version, though I've never played it. Check out some of the other great JumpStart games & workbooks! Signed, StoryMaker. "Gotta trust the kid's review!"