I’d love to tell you about it. My daughter has had the opportunity to check it out for the past few weeks.
The company’s goal with the app is for your child to learn how to read AND enjoy it too! It is designed by Classical education leaders. Your child will learn about art, history, and animals while they learn how to read!
It is a membership based app. It is $9.99 per month (or $99 for the year) for up to 3 children and you can cancel anytime. (Plus, you can try it free for 2 weeks.)
A Look Inside the Phonics Museum App
You can have up to 3 children on the app with one subscription, so the first thing you do is set up your child’s avatar.
There are a few “characters” your child will meet in the app. Most notable being William and Wendy. They are children that are walking through a museum and your child joins them. The works of art in the museum become more than just works of art. They become an interactive journey to learn how to read. Leading them along their museum tour are Miss Biddle (whom is animated part of the time, but is “real” during the lesson videos) and Percival. Miss Biddle is a fun museum curator and Percival is a suit of armor from the museum.
The children go into the art to learn. Each piece of art represents a different letter. For example, when they see a painting of apples, they will learn about the letter A.
Your student will “jump” into the art. Once in the art, there are a series of activities for them to do. There are games, videos with Miss Biddle and Percival, songs, and books to read! There are over 900 different activities throughout the app and your child will be reading books within 4 weeks.
Each lesson alternates between the games, songs, and videos, so you child will not get bored as easily.
Things we liked
- I like that even though my daughter is a bit old for some of the lessons at the beginning, she is still learning. When learning about the letter “A” through the apple painting, she also learned the name of the painting, “Four Apples”. She also learned the artist’s name is Paul Cézanne.
- I like the variety of activities in the app. (music, games, videos)
- I like that the app is teaching how to read using phonics.
- The portability is nice. Although, my daughter’s iPod is too old, so we had to put it on my phone. No big deal. It just means I have to give up my phone while she’s using it.
Things we weren’t thrilled with
- Overall, I like the app. I really only have two complaints and neither one of them will apply to everyone reading this. The first one only applies if you have an older child (like I do) using the app. I wish there was an entrance test of sorts. I’m not big on testing, BUT the app starts out so basic that it was boring for my daughter at first. She doesn’t need to learn the letters and their sounds. She already knows that. She needs to practice CVC words and “rules”, like what to do when you see “gh” or “ght” in a word. All that to say, it would be great if it were more intuitive OR if the student could start the app in a different place instead of having to go through all of the things he/she already knows. My daughter thought it was too “babyish” (her word) for her.
- The other complaint has to do with the space it takes up on my phone. It is almost my largest app, taking second place to Facebook. For those wondering, it is 302 MB. Now, I will say, I have storage issues on my phone, so maybe I wouldn’t care if I didn’t. But often when I open Phonics Museum, I get a message that says, “Low Disk Space: Your device is very low on space. New content may not be available until more disk space is available.” This message would pop up when I first opened the app usually, but it also would pop up in the middle of an activity. We would just x out of it each time. I can’t do much about the space on my phone.
- My daughter sometimes got bored with the length of the lesson videos. That may just be because she is older and knows the material better, but I thought I would mention it.
I think this app has a great concept and way of teaching. I love that it teaches phonics based reading. I love the variety of activities. And even though it is a bit young for my daughter, we will continue to use it because I think it’s a good review and she is also learning about art, history, and animals.
If you have a child ages 3 to 7, I encourage you to check out the Phonics Museum App. You can try it out for free for 2 weeks first!