My kids love playing games on my phone, and I am always looking for new ways to make their limited screen time more educational. That’s why I was excited to learn about LeapFrog Academy®, a subscription-based app from LeapFrog®. My kids have loved this app, and I can’t wait to share how I homeschool kindergarten with LeapFrog Academy!
I received access to LeapFrog Academy in exchange for my honest review, but all the opinions in this post are my own.
What is LeapFrog Academy?
LeapFrog Academy is a subscription-based app for kids ages 3-6. The app includes over 2,000 games and learning activities for kids in preschool through 1st grade.
The app is easy to customize to the level of your child. Parents can do this by creating a custom profile and avatar for each child. A subscription allows parents to create profiles for up to 5 children in their family within the app.
LeapFrog Academy can be played on Android or iOS devices, Amazon Fire tablets, or LeapFrog Epic tablets. Kids can also access their accounts and play their LeapFrog Academy games on the computer.
Features That Help to Homeschool Kindergarten with LeapFrog Academy
This app is full of features that make it easy to use for homeschooling. Here are a few of our favorite features of LeapFrog Academy.
My Learning Adventure
My Learning Adventure is a sequential path that is customized for each child’s grade level. The path organizes activities into units, and the difficulty level increases as kids get further along in the lessons.
The Learning Adventure section is my favorite way to homeschool kindergarten with LeapFrog Academy. I love that the path is sequential, and it helps my kids stay focused on the lessons. Each activity builds on the previous one, and this helps kids learn.
The Learning Lab might be the best hidden gem in LeapFrog Academy! In this section of the app, LeapFrog recommends activities that kids can do for extra review based on the activities they have completed. There are some extra challenge activities in the learning lab, too.
We used the learning lab when my kids got stuck in a lesson and needed a little bit of extra practice. My daughter struggled with a lesson about beginning sounds, so I was happy to see some extra beginning sound activities for her to try. The learning lab is a great resource to make the lessons even more customized to your child’s ability level!
My World is a large area for kids to explore. In addition to changing the appearance of their avatar, kids can access all of the content and resources of LeapFrog Academy through the My World screen.
We didn’t use My World as much because it was easy for my kids to get distracted wandering around, playing with their pets, and watching videos. But, this is an easy way for kids to access the additional features of the app independently without needing to go into the parent dashboard.
LeapFrog Academy has an extensive resource library within the app. This section includes books, games, puzzles, videos, music, and art. The activities can be filtered by subject area or by grade level. This makes it easy to find the perfect activity that’s targeted to what your child is learning.
The resource library was a huge help to my family as we homeschool kindergarten with LeapFrog Academy. I could filter the list by subject and age, and then hand the tablet to my son. He was able to do the activities independently, and I knew that he was learning what I needed him to for our curriculum.
Learn to Read and Basics Sections
LeapFrog Academy has several bonus areas that cover important topics for kids in preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade. The Learn to Read area has an extensive section of activities that are arranged into sequential units to help kids build their early reading skills. The Basics section includes activities that teach letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and handwriting.
One of the most helpful features for families who would like to homeschool kindergarten with LeapFrog Academy is the parent dashboard. In the dashboard, parents can see exactly what skills their kids are working on in their lessons and how well they are doing. I love that kids never see the scores; this information is only available to parents.
The Parent Dashboard includes a summary of the skills taught in each section. The dashboard also includes suggestions for simple activities to do at home that tie in with the lessons from the app.
Using LeapFrog Academy Offline
Sometimes I need a distraction for my kids on my phone when I don’t have wifi access. LeapFrog Academy has solved that problem as well! Kids can mark individual games as a favorite within the app. This will trigger those games to download a version that can be played offline later. I love this feature!
The app also comes with a library of printable worksheets and certificates that can be used alongside the lessons.
What Will Kids Learn from LeapFrog Academy?
LeapFrog Academy covers 6 main subjects:
- Handwriting and letter formation
- Science and Health
- Problem Solving
In addition, specific lessons designed for preschoolers help to target:
- Recognizing letters and knowing their names and sounds
- Handwriting and forming letters correctly
Kids learn these skills in the app through games, puzzles, and interactive activities.
Pros of LeapFrog Academy for your Kindergarten Homeschool
1. The App is Fun
My kids both absolutely love LeapFrog Academy! The games and activities are fun and engaging for them. The designers have done a great job of making them feel more like a game and less like a lesson.
2. Kids Want to Play Again and Again
My kids ask for LeapFrog Academy by name on a daily basis, and they get really excited when it’s time to play. I appreciate that the games are short and there is a lot of variety in the activities, which keeps my kids’ attention.
3. The Rewards are Motivating
LeapFrog Academy has a system of rewards built right into the app. As kids explore the map and play games, they earn marbles. The marbles fill up their reward meter, and when it is full, they earn a reward in the game. There are also built-in rewards for completing each level.
Both my kids’ favorite rewards are new outfits for their avatars. My son was so excited to earn a space helmet and cape for his avatar! He is working on completing a pirate-themed collection of prizes as well.
4. Easy to Use
I love that LeapFrog Academy is easy for my kids to use on their own. My 5-year-old can navigate the path completely on his own and play with very little help from me. Even my 2-year-old understands the navigation of the app and can play on her own most of the time!
The sequential Learning Adventure section is especially easy for my kids to do independently. The buttons are consistent and clear even for non-readers, and my kids both found the interface of the app to be very intuitive.
5. Kids Can Play Independently
In our homeschool, I am always looking for activities that my kids can do independently so that I have time to work one-on-one with their siblings. This is a challenging thing to find for a kindergartener!
I love that my kids can both play LeapFrog Academy independently. The game is designed to be really easy for kids to play on their own. In addition, the My World section of the app gives kids access to all the extra activities and bonus sections without having to leave the app and go to the parents’ section.
6. Customized for Each Child
I love that LeapFrog Academy can be customized for the needs and ability levels of each child. It was easy for me to set up a different account for each of my kids (the app allows up to 5 accounts per subscription) and choose the level for each child.
I also like that you can change the grade level of the activities so that it doesn’t match your child’s age if they need extra review or an additional challenge. Because we are a homeschool family, grade levels tend to be more fluid for my kids so this was a nice feature for us.
Within the levels, additional customization comes from the Learning Lab. Kids can go to the Learning Lab for extra practice on concepts that they are struggling with. The Learning Lab recommends specific activities that are targeted to each child.
7. Sequential Learning
The organization of the curriculum in LeapFrog Academy is another great feature of this app. Lessons are arranged into units that build sequentially on each other. The activities are presented one at a time in the Learning Adventure.
As a parent, I really appreciated the way the Learning Adventure was designed. The lessons are arranged sequentially on a path, and kids are encouraged to work through them in order one at a time.
The path design helps kids stay focused on the activities, so they always know what activity to try next.
8. Helps Kids Stay Focused
After trying several different kids learning apps with my kids, I appreciate that this app has very few distractions from the educational content. Almost everything in the app is educational and directly related to the goals that kids are working on in the curriculum.
Features like the Learning Adventure section help kids stay focused on completing the lesson activities. Rewards and collections also help kids stay motivated to keep learning.
9. Helps Kids Learn to Read
One of the big areas of focus of LeapFrog Academy is preparing kids for reading and teaching them how to read. The games and activities in the app teach kids about letter sounds and prepare them for reading. There is also a special section just with learn to read activities.
10. Parent Dashboard
One of the most helpful features for families that homeschool kindergarten with LeapFrog Academy is the parent dashboard. I used the dashboard to keep track of my kids’ progress and to follow up on what they were learning in the activities.
I love that the dashboard offered suggestions for activities that we could do at home to reinforce skills my kids were learning in the app!
Cons of LeapFrog Academy for your Kindergarten Homeschool
Overall, my family loves LeapFrog Academy and plans to continue to use it to reinforce concepts that we are learning in our homeschool. Even though we try to limit screen time in our family, I feel like this app is a good choice for our kids when they are having screen time.
If I could change one thing about the app, it would be to add the ability to customize the levels even more. I would like to be able to skip to the places in the Learning Adventure that match best with what we are studying in our homeschool.
You Can Homeschool Kindergarten with LeapFrog Academy for Free!
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