November 2001

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 Languages from Knowledge Adventure

If you want to introduce your kids (ages 3 to 6) to other languages at an early age, then JumpStart Languages is the program you can use.  With help of Knowledge Adventure's educational software expertise, and their interactive software with outstanding graphics, music and sounds, your child will learn a little French, Spanish, Japanese and even some English without the need to read (if you've used Knowledge Adventure's Reading Blaster Jr., they should already be reading).

After a quick installation from CD, and you sign in with your name, your favorite pet and favorite color, you'll join Frankie the Dog at the JumpStart World Festival and begin your journey into the world of languages as you move from pavilion to pavilion.  Kids will find lots of language activities for hours of educational fun.  They involve music with sing-along songs, stories and games featuring many parts of the world.     The activities include Meet a Buddy, What's Cooking, Video Voyages, Fairy Tale Favorites, Create a Festival and Costume Party.

Each pavilion offers duplicate activities, but in different languages.  For example, in the kitchen, kids can play hide and seek, or they can move outdoors for a 3D board game.  They can also click on a telephone to learn the numbers, click on a radio for music, paint pictures and even run a puppet show.  All activities lead to the same goal: offering young kids an introduction to words and phrases of some of the popular languages of the world while they have some fun playing games and even singing along with their favorite Knowledge Adventure characters.

The interactive nature of the software adds greatly to its effectiveness.  In other words, your kids will be speaking words and phrases in French, Spanish and Japanese in no time.  When you enter a pavilion, both English and the language of that pavilion are used to help your kids learn the language.  Becky, my 6-year-old daughter, who is learning Spanish in elementary school, was excited to jump into this software just to enhance her Spanish experience in second grade.  After signing in, she immediately clicked on the Spanish pavilion and in no time was playing the puppet theater activity, some videos and then repeating words she learned.  Sarah, my 10-year-old daughter, couldn't wait her turn at the software so she could learn a little Japanese.  She's hooked on the Nintendo 64 game machine and has great respect for the president of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, especially after writing a report last year in 4th grade on her favorite topic, video games.  Sarah may be a little too old for the software's intended audience, but that didn't stand in her way.

JumpStart Languages sells for $19.95 and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium 166 MHz or faster, 64 MB RAM with Windows 95/98/Me/2000 and an 8x CD-ROM drive.  It will also run on a Macintosh, G3 iMac or faster, OS 8.1 or higher, with 64 MB RAM and a 24x CD-ROM drive. 

Howard Berenbon

Software Companies Mentioned

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