Tom is getting rid of an old desktop and just had it sitting temporarily in the living room. The kids were completely enthralled with it. I was at my computer and I heard Owen behind me clicking away on the keyboard, saying he was texting dad and playing music. He also kept plugging and replugging the mouse and keyboard cords.
Then, of course, Katie got involved. When she wasn’t clicking away she was “on the phone” (the mouse).
I ordered pizza for dinner and the kids love to watch the progress meter (ordered, baking, out for delivery, etc.). They didn’t move an inch for a good 15 minutes.
So, we’ve been seeing commercials for ABCmouse.com for quite some time, plus Owen has some apps on the phone that are by ABC Mouse. I thought it would be a good thing, but honestly…Owen has never used a computer, our desktop is too hard to get to easily so we’d have to set up a laptop downstairs, then teach him how to use a mouse, etc., and lastly, pay the monthly fee and hope he’d use it. So it just never got done.
Fast forward a few months, and Tom brought it up again. So I just signed up for emails and quickly realized that they always send out deals. So I waited and waited…and finally there was some deal (I honestly don’t even remember what it was—maybe half off) so I signed up. And then we were getting the house ready for flooring and then we were on vacation and then we were cleaning up after the flooring…and I was getting annoyed because I had paid for it and we weren’t using it! Every time Owen had “free time” he was playing with his Legos or watching TV or on the weekend he’d be playing his video game.
So today after breakfast I declared it was time. I said “Owen, do you want to try ABC Mouse?” And got a resounding happy YES! So Tom set up my laptop at the kitchen table, hooked up his wireless mouse, and we started. (Big whoop, it took all of five minutes!) I was a little concerned that Owen would have issues with the mouse because A) he’s never used one (and he’s very used to the touch screen of the iDevices) and B) sometimes he has issues with fine motor control. But he did pretty good—the only mouse button somewhat tripping him up was the center scroll button so I told him just to avoid that button…but within about 10 minutes or so he was USING the button correctly (the laptop screen isn’t quite big enough so it helps to scroll). Wow. I was floored.
And he flew through the first few lessons and was thrilled to be earning tickets and white stars and prizes for his hamster and aquarium (on the site!). He probably sat there for 20-30 minutes! Then just like that he was done. And he complained that it was too easy. I told him I know it was too easy, but we started him on stuff for younger kids just until he got used to how the mouse worked and how the website worked. I told him when we did it again it would be for older kids and he was cool with that.
So fast forward about an hour and he was ready! I had moved it from age 2 to age 4 and he loved it! I wish I could watch over him as he does everything so I can see what all is involved, but I like that he’s doing it by himself and I don’t HAVE TO watch over him. He did say that one page was too hard so I replayed it so I could see what it was but by then he was already DONE and couldn’t give me a clue why he had thought it was too hard. (He had completed it, though, so it wasn’t too hard to finish.)
So, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he keeps enjoying it!