Always Icecream and Clever Dragons

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Always Icecream is a subscription-based, girly-girl website created especially for girls ages 7-12! Clever Dragons is its sibling site for boys. Each offer safe, smart fun for children. Both are a perfect supplement for homeschool or for families seeking values- and education-based online alternatives for young children.

alwaysicecreamandcleverdragons

The site designers are Swenja and Johannes Ziegler, parents of five, created these two sites in hopes of  providing a learning rewards system that would combine education and fun to motivate kids to learn.

Dr. Johannes reports they “..are working on numerous exciting improvements, including additional Christian and other content, more ‘learning’ (rather than just ‘practicing’), and a new, scientific approach to optimize retention of newly-learned content.”

A very conscious effort has been made to minimise undesirable influences on and distractions to young children while learning. No advertisements, a rarity nowadays on internet sites, means your children are less likely to  accidently click their way someplace you don’t want them to go.

While there is a definite social element, girls play on the girl site and boys play on the boy site. Discussions are always moderated and parents have the option of turning discussion off.

Children earn rewards, called “scoops” on the girl page and “gold” on the boy page, by playing fun and challenging educational games. The games start off pretty easy but can be adjusted by learning levels. The difficulty level of the games are easily set by sliding the arrows on the grade bar to set a range from K – 8th grade. As children play games they can choose to jump ahead several levels if they find it too easy.

Topics include Language Arts, Math, Science, Geography and History, Music and Arts, Foreign Languages, Christian Education, Jewish Education, and Life Skills.

The scoops or gold earned by playing the learning games are used during down time to buy stuff and watch videos in miniworld. In their miniworld each child can create art, furniture, and clothes they can use or even sell for scoops or gold. Young clothing designers in miniworld are reminded,  “You are designing clothes, not skin! We only accept appropriate clothing on our site.”

Clever Dragons has recently begun developing iPad and iPhone apps, currently offering over twenty learn-and-play games, ranging from math facts (and more challenging math games) to English language grammar and vocabulary, to U.S. history, to foreign language learning. All can be found by searching “Clever Dragons” in the App Store.

After a lengthy test run by this mom—okay, so I got a bit caught up in designing clothes and my room which I made into a chapel!—my 10-year-old Kate and 8-year-old Chandler both tried out the sites and loved them. They have asked if Dad will purchase a full membership.

The site owners have made a special coupon code just for CatholicMom.com readers through the month of August.  Check out the Always Icecream price plan and Clever Dragons price plan, enter the code CATHMOM13 to receive deep discounts. This code discounts all memberships, with the deepest discounts offered on children’s lifetime and family lifetime plans, as well as on school-year parent premium upgrade and lifetime parent premium upgrade, which upgrade to the free parent accounts to full dashboards allowing parents to track study time to the minute, assign area-specific work, and print reports, wonderful for homeschool or independent study portfolios! One Premium Parent membership covers all paid children accounts on both Always Icecream and Clever Dragons.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2013 Jen Haganey

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