Review: Veritas Press Phonics Museum

It is so fun to watch Sissy move up into Pre-K. We’ve been easing back into the school year, and she always wants to “do school” when I do it with Bubba, so I was excited to see a review for the Phonics Museum App aimed just at her age.

I’m familiar with other curricula by Veritas Press and the quality of their products never fails to impress me, so I knew we were in for a fun time with this app.

The hostess of the Phonics Museum, Miss Biddle, is a bright and dynamic teacher, who appears sometimes as a live-action human and sometimes as a cartoon–this transformation absolutely fascinated my four-year-old. (“How’d she become a cartoon again, Mama?!”)

The app is easy to download from the App Store, but it’s a hefty app, so you’ll want to be near wifi when you begin your download. Setting up Sissy as a student was a breeze, and it was no trouble at all to add Bubba as a student when he wanted to check it out, too.

The student can navigate the halls of the museum, accessing the lessons through paintings on the walls. But while there are a few areas a student can explore, this is a true, directed curriculum that really must be done in order.

Once you click on a piece of art in the museum, you are taken to easels with the individual pieces of the lesson on them–the icons let you know if you’ll be watching a video or playing a game, and the two types of activities seem to alternate. You aren’t able to fast forward through the videos (which is great if you have a student who is tempted to skip ahead willy nilly, but less great if your student accidentally closes the app midway through a video).

The games are fun and engaging, and clearly related to the phonics lessons. Some of the gameplay was frustrating for Sissy, because it requires not only understanding the phonics sounds but also the instructions in the game. She did well when I sat with her and talked her through the activity, but this wasn’t an app I could leave her by herself on.
I really love the idea of teaching kids to write with their fingertips, long before they master pencil-holding. This is a huge plus to this format in general, and Phonics Museum App in particular.

The app description claims it can teach kids to read “in record speed”–having worked with kids of all sorts of ability levels, I am sure that this app can teach some kids to read in record speed, but I know some kids will need to plod through it more slowly and may require extra parent review.

Overall, Sissy really loved this app. We plan to continue to use our membership over the rest of the school year, but I plan to keep it low-pressure and not pushy. I will probably ask Sissy to use the app while I work with Bubba on his online math program.

If you’re interested in more reviews, click over the the Homeschool Review Crew site!

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