May 2003

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade from Knowledge Adventure

By Howard Berenbon

JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade (ages 5 to 7) is the latest and greatest, upgrade to their JumpStart educational software series, which includes JumpStart Preschool and JumpStart 2nd grade. This series has been around for at least 7 years offering exceptional quality with educational quantity for kids from pre-school to middle school. Each title offers high quality graphics, sound effects and music to provide entertainment with learning.  As a bonus, you'll find the JumpStart Animal Adventures Karaoke CD with 8 sing-along activities.

The newest JumpStart 1st Grade title has many more features then the original (first reviewed here in September 1996) and is better than ever. This latest version offers something completely different: seven selectable learning styles with help from all the popular JumpStart characters: Frankie The Team Leader, Eleanor The Reader, Casey The Athlete, Pierre The Musician, Kisha The Artist, CJ The Scientist and Hopsalot The Math Whiz. A learning style can be suggested by the program after answering a series of questions. Also, a very nice feature allows the difficulty to be self-adjusting.

After a quick installation from a single CD you're on your way to your goal: earn points for power boosters and go for the win in the JumpStart Ville Scooter Tournament.  First you'll sign in, and after a short movie featuring the JumpStart gang, you'll enter into the main menu screen for access to eleven activity areas.  The activities include fishing letters (no pun intended) out of the swamp for a spelling exercise, playing with some Amazing Math numbers and sequencing, have some musical instrument fun in the Music Studio with Kisha, join Eleanor sorting words for some advanced reading and sentence-building activities and visit the Science Fair and help Hopsalot sort animals into categories.  At the main menu and throughout the activities, Frankie (the dog and Team Leader), is your narrator.

The arena is where you'll race your scooter for points and to win the Tournament.  First you'll pick a driver (one of the JumpStart characters), the racetrack and then you're on your way.  You'll practice until you get it right, or enough points to compete and win.  Kids can, and will, spend hours and hours just roaming around the world of this new JumpStart title having some fun while learning a little bit about everything a 1st grader needs to know.  It's definitely a product your kids will enjoy.  Also, if you have an early version of JumpStart lying around the house, you can trade it in for a cool $10 rebate (it must be a JumpStart Preschool, Kindergarten, 1 st Grade or 2nd Grade to qualify).  If you don't want to give up that original JumpStart title for sentimental reasons (it could become a collectors item), then go ahead and buy your kids the newer version.  It's the right decision.

JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade sells for $29.95 and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium 233 MHz or faster, 64 MB RAM with Windows 98/ME/2000/XP and a 16x CD-ROM drive. It also runs on a Power Mac G3 233 MHz or faster with 64 MB RAM and a 24x CD-ROM drive.

Software Companies Mentioned

Knowledge Adventure, Inc.
19840 Pioneer Avenue
Torrance, CA 90503
Phone:   1-800-545-7677