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New Reviews

Keyboard Classroom
Helps users, esp. beginners, learn to type through a series of increasingly difficult drills and one minute “fluency” tests. Designed for students with learning disabilities, but usable by anyone.

Volume 1: Basic Vocabulary and Fingerspelling
Teaches over 450 vocabulary words in American Sign Language, using a combination of video demonstration, and illustrations. Good for anyone interested in expanding their ASL vocabulary.

It's the Big Game Charlie Brown!
A quasi-adventure/life-simulation game centered on the user helping Charlie Brown recruit and play a baseball game. Best for patient young children learning to play baseball.

Leapster Pet Pals
Features a wide range of age- and skill-level-appropriate games for its young players. Good entertainment value, and a fun way for kids to do a little brainwork. As a purely educational tool, it is probably best for the pre-school set.

The Eency Weency Spider
Beautifully illustrated and clearly narrated, with English subtitle and Spanish narration options. Lack of interactivity limits educational value. Best as a travel distraction for young non-readers.

Algebrator
A program for solving a large range of math equations frequently covered in algebra classes. Best for students with a good understanding of math principles, but need some help, or wish to check their answers.

StudyX
This program allows you to create your own digital and printable flashcards, study sheets, multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank tests. Best for students who like to create their own study and review materials.

Reading Detective Beginning
One of the best programs we have seen for teaching reading comprehension skills. But successful completion will require adult authority for all but the most driven young students.

DreamBox Learning K-2 Math
A web-based, self-paced, adaptive, interactive program. Most of the educational content is presented in a practice or drill format, with progressively larger numbers, rather than in a teaching format, where concepts are first explained, then practiced. Appropriate for extra practice at home or school, or as the basis for a homeschooling class.

Language Arts Review 3a - Advanced Level with Sports
Focus on advanced language arts, including: Word Families and Patterns, Syllables, Antonyms and Synonyms, Homophones and Homographs, Classifying and Sorting, Prefixes, Root Words, Suffixes, Reading Comprehension Strategies, and Spelling.

Mia's Reading Adventure: Bugaboo Bugs
A wide variety of reading skills exercises, in a fun, adventure story format.

My Electric Guitar
A great way to learn electric guitar, with 60 lessons focused on rock music.

My Guitar
Provides a surprisingly effective way to learn acoustic guitar, and manages to make learning and practicing fun.

Crazy Machines 2
A puzzle game taken to the extreme. For parents looking for a challenge that they can share with their kids, this may be it.

Sight Words with Samson
Teaches kids to recognize 224 of the most common words in the English language without sounding them out... to recognize them by sight.

Professor Finkle's Basic Division
Successfully teaches introductory division through lesson videos, games, and printable worksheets, making the topic as fun as possible.

Playing Music
Focuses on the dynamics of music, and how different styles of play produce different results. Best for those who really enjoy music and want to understand it better.

Crazy Machines 1.5
A puzzle game in which players are presented with objectives and parts. The parts must be placed/arranged in constructed formations that accomplish the objective. Younger players may need parental support.

Tooning Up - the C Major Scale
Teaches the notes of the C major scale through lessons and games. Best for young kids still learning music notation.

Time Engineers
Travel back in time to see and recreate historical examples of civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering at work, like catapults, pyramids, submarines and radar. Use the math, or click-and-guess to find optimal solutions.

Leapster: Scholastic Clifford The Big Red Dog Reading
A fun and captivating way to learn basic reading and writing skills, and build some vocabulary.

SuperGrades
A surprisingly engaging learning skills program that provides instruction in simple skills and tools designed to help improve school performance.

What Smart Kids Know About Endangered Species
Introduces the causes of animal endangerment using an interactive book format. Best for young creative children.

Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa
A simulation game where players learn the importance of a balanced ecosystem. Best for patient kids who like to play - not shoot - animals!

Leapster: Sonic X
A mathematical adventure that takes the user on a quest to rescue Sonic's friends from an evil villain. Saving them requires answering simple, age-appropriate math problems.

Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave
A mystery and clue-finding program that requires attention to detail and mental focus.

Gary Gadget: Building Cars
A fun program that combines elements of classic seach and exploration games. Best for young kids who like to build things, and/or to explore and solve puzzles. It is not designed to appeal to true video game players.

Words Rock!
A strong drill and test vocabulary/spelling/grammar program, hidden in a modest search game. The educational component will be attractive to parents and teachers, as well as to those students who want to learn or challenge themselves.

Joe Rock and Friends Book 2
Three fun stories, in three languages each, offer reading, listening, and speaking practice. Best for young, learning to read, native speakers in English, French or Spanish. Also good for early new language learners.

Hooked on Spanish
Does a reasonable job in introducing and providing practice opportunities for some basic Spanish vocabulary. Unfortunately, our reviewers felt that the range of material presented was too limited.

Pet Vet 3D Animal Hospital
A simulation-style, problem solving program where the user is cast in the role of a small practice veterinarian. Patient, inquisitive students interested in pet health will find the program attractive.

Bridge Construction Set
A cross between a civil engineering tool and a virtual erector set, with a touch of demolition derby thrown in for fun.

Timez Attack
A tightly focused educational software program, cleverly disguised as a captivating video game. Want to learn your times tables while playing a video game? Check it out!

True Blue Friend
Provides a broad-brush, multimedia introduction to whales for young children. Photos and short videos make the information clear and more interesting than many textbooks.

RockSim - Model Rocket Design and Simulation Software
A fascinating tool for those interested in aerodynamics and specifically in designing model rockets.

Finding Nemo: Learning with Nemo
A nicely animated adventure program incorporating preschool skills practice for four and five year-olds. Younger children may need additional support to use and enjoy the program.

Crazy Machines The Wacky Contraptions Game
Users get to build devices from a collection of parts to solve specific objectives. A great rainy-day activity for the mechanically inclined.

JumpStart Reading with Karaoke
A phonics-based, learn to read program, somewhat similar to JumpStart Phonics, but with the addition of song.

Nancy Drew Curse of Blackmoor Manor
An engaging mystery-solving challenge, perfect for those with long attention spans and patience.

Microsoft Student 2006
A searchable collection of factoids, tools and templates designed to bring helpful information on basic high school subjects into a single, easy-to-use interface. Not up to Microsoft's potential.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
A captivating videogame tailored for young fans of the movie.

Pre-Algebra Solved!
A homework helper tool for students (and their parents) looking to practice basic skills, or needing help solving problems and lacking access to other resources

The Charles W. Morgan
A multimedia lesson on the history of whaling, through the perspective of a single ship -- the sole surviving wooden whaling ship in the world. Best for history buffs, homeshoolers, and classroom use.

The Book of Lulu
A pleasant story with many of the makings of a classic. Best for children who can hold onto the thread of a plot despite interactive distractions.

Soccer Math
A classic-style math drill program, wrapped in a soccer match disguise. Best suited for soccer-loving young math students who need to practice their basic math skills, but don't need additional instruction.

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
A collection of intriguing number concepts ranging from prime numbers to square roots, to Fibonacci numbers. Best-suited for 8-15 year-olds with at least some interest in math.

Lilo & Stitch 2: Hamsterviel Havoc
An adventure style video game that will be attractive to fans of the TV and movies with these animated characters. (But no real educational value.)

Stationery Studio
Allows teachers and students to create and print themed writing papers and templates for reports, letters, shape books and creative writing projects.

Music Ace Deluxe
Sequenced series of lessons in hearing, reading and composing beginning piano music. Best for 4-12 year olds who want to practice beginning piano music.

Making More Music
Experiment with different instruments, then put together the components of a musical score. Best for kids with music backround and interest.

Clifford the Big Red Dog: Phonics
Promotes letter and sound recognition, associating objects with words, word families, and rhyming.

Nancy Drew: Danger on Deception Island
Encourages girls to be independent problem solvers. Girls take on the role of the famous teen sleuth: exploring new places, questioning motives, collecting evidence and analyzing clues.

Mia's Language Adventure: The Kidnap Caper
Offers a unique introduction to either or both Spanish and French. While solving a mystery, users play a series of games progressing from distinguishing sounds of letters and spelling words to deciphering simple dialogue. Best for kids with strong concentration skills.

I Spy Fantasy
Includes 54 riddles that players must solve by finding objects hidden in a scene. Best for children with longer attention spans.

Mozart's Magic Flute The Music Game
A fun and educationally valuable musical jigsaw puzzle that teaches not only music listening skills, but also provides dollops of contextually relevant (and interesting) history.

Brother Bear
A fun, quest-style game based on the 2003 movie of the same title. Best suited as a rainy days activity.

Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster
A fascinatingly addictive and effective program that hooked our reviewers, young and old. Best for beginners and early learners.

Math Missions: The Amazing Arcade Adventure Grades 3-5
Includes more than a dozen math activities covering a wide range of grade-appropriate skills, in real-world settings. Best-suited for students that are working at the indicated grade levels.

Math Missions: The Race to Spectacle City Arcade Grade K-2
Covers a number of key math concepts for early learners. Best for children who already have some familiarity with basic math concepts, and with using a computer mouse and keyboard.

Mission Possible World Geography
A geography quiz, cloaked in the guise of an adventure game. Best suited as a practice and review tool for junior high students.

Marine Aquarium
A mesmerizingly life-like screen saver that turns your monitor into, well, an aquarium!

Playhouse Disney's Stanley: Wild for Sharks!
An interactive, animated extension of Andrew Griff's popular series of children's books. It is best-suited for lover's of the character and/or the topic, AND those children who have the patience for a quest-type activity.

Playhouse Disney The Wiggles: Wiggle Bay
a collection of eight games and activities, hosted by well-known Australian children's entertainers, the Wiggles.

Moop & Dreadly in the Treasure on Bing Bong Island
A wonderfully animated task in observation and problem solving, from the founders of Humongous Entertainment. Best suited to home use by young users (5-6) with persistence.

Disney's Winnie the Pooh Baby
An extremely simple and straightforward program featuring high interest, lovable characters. Best for parents and caregivers interested in including some software stimulation into their child's day of learning.

Math & the Cosmos
Geometry, trigonometry, graphing, solving equations and scientific notation in the context of astronomy. Best for students who need to review topics in math or have a particular interest in astronomy.

It's My Baby Journal
A digital multimedia version of the classic baby album. Best for parents who prefer computers over scissors and glue!

The Nutcracker Music Game (v2)
An updated and vastly expanded version of last year's innovative and fun musical jigsaw puzzle.

Vocabulary Stretch
An old-style, automated workbook program, with repetitive drills and tests. Our testers found it boring.

JumpStart Advanced Kindergarten
A well-designed program, packed with practical and fun activities applicable to a typical kindergarten curriculum.

Disney's Learning Adventure: Search for the Secret Keys
Provides some valuable critical thinking and problem solving activities, but lacks the expected Disney pizzazz.

Mongro's Monstrous Money Math
An electronic board game that stumbles in its attempt to teach the basics of the monetary system.

Beginning Sounds
A narrowly focused, electronic workbook for pre-readers. Covers the topic, but short usage lifespan.

JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade
All new program addresses many skills covered in the first grade curriculum, with an emphasis on math and language arts.

StarFlyers Alien Space Chase
A pleasant, non-violent, near-arcade game suitable for children attracted to that genre. Very limited educational content.

Curious George Downtown Adventure
A combination interactive storybook, exploration/discovery program, video arcade game. Best suited for children in the older end of the recommended age range, or even a couple of years older

JumpStart Advanced 2nd Grade
Addresses many skills covered in the second grade curriculum, while the music, graphics and secret spy mission make the program entertaining for young users.

3 Great Adventures with MAX
Exploratory software that encourages users to be observant, decisive and mindful as they try to find secret passageways and hiding places. Fun, rather than intellectual challenge, makes this program best-suited for younger children.

Reading for Meaning
Effectively teaches reading comprehension skills. Designed primarily for classroom use.

Mia’s Math Adventure: Just In Time!
Provides an entertaining way to reinforce a wide variety of age-appropriate math skills, in a quest-style mystery adventure.

Jay Jay Earns His Wings
A sound educational program for preschoolers and kindergarteners, covering numbers, patterns, sequences, and simple math.

Adventure Workshop
Pre-1st Gr. / 1st-3rd Gr. / 4th-6th Gr.
Grade-appropriate bundles of previously released programs. The only way to find some golden-oldies, but beware: there are multiple bundles available under the same title.

Sesame Street Toddler Learning Basics
A solid and fun introductory skills program, covering colors and shapes, numbers and counting, letter and sound identification, and sorting and grouping.

JumpStart Typing
A fun and effective learn-to-type program. Best suited for children who like sports arcade games, and a little competition.

Typing Time
A complete keyboarding program covering letters, numbers and symbols, and keypads. Well-designed for classroom/computer lab use, and no-nonsense home learners.

JumpStart Animal Adventures
A great introductory program for young children (4-7) interested in animals and their habitats.

Where's the Blanket, Charlie Brown?
A well-designed point and click, exploration mystery program for young users. Snoopy fans (and others) will enjoy helping Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy find the missing blanket.

Freddi Fish 5: The Case of the Creature of Coral Cove
An exploration and discovery adventure. A beautifully animated and challenging program, best-suited for patient cartoon-lovers.

Cells Alive!
An excellent, if somewhat poorly organized library of biological images and video clips.

StudyWorks Mathematics Deluxe
Provides high school math students with tutorials, practice and homework problem-solving assistance. Best for motivated students, and parents who need a refresher.


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