JumpStart 2nd Grade is an enjoyable piece of software which, while it certainly won't replace the comprehensive curriculum found in schools and better educational products, is a worthwhile supplement to any child's education. Much of this so-called "edutainment" software is more entertainment than education, unfortunately, but there are some necessary skills which can be reinforced by using this program.
The animations and music are enjoyable and good enough to hold any child's attention, and the problems come with varying levels of difficulty so that more advanced students won't get bored easily while slower ones won't get frustrated. The idea of a secret clubhouse above the school is a concept which is sure to engage a child's imagination, and it's fun to move between the floors, exploring the various activities.
The activities themselves are pretty good, although some use concepts which might prove difficult for seven-year-olds. For example, the Ice Cavern asks the student to not only pick up the right blocks to fill in an addition or subtraction sequence but to also place them on a grid so that they intersect where a number-carrying bug is headed. I would imagine that many kids would be hard-pressed just to grab the right blocks, let alone figure out where to place them in order to freeze the bug. Other games, though, such as the cave one, which uses a set-up similar to the game Frogger, as the player tries to get a gopher across a stream and into the cave with the correct answer to a problem, are unique and fun. The football game, for example, asks the child to answer problems correctly so that their team moves the ball down field to score a touchdown.
My biggest complaint with this program is the lack of the simple option to quit the program from anywhere within it. I had trouble navigating to a screen where I could quit, and a couple times I had to simply use control-alt-delete to get out. And for some reason I couldn't figure out how to change the difficulty setting and then return to the activity. Those aspects of this software should have been thought out better.
Graphics: These are fun, although the mouth movements on the characters don't quite match the words they're saying. I wasn't sure if that was the program's fault or my CDROM drive's fault.
Sound: Nothing spectacular, but enough to hold a child's attention.
Enjoyment: Plenty of activities to keep a child engaged, but the simple lack of a way to quit easily keeps this category from being an 8 or a 9.
Replay Value: There is a lot to explore, but--once you've been everywhere--the games become repetitious and predictable.
Jump Start 2nd Grade is an educational game for ages 6-8 that helps kids with Science, Spelling, Vocabulary, Art, Geography, Math and much more. You join C.J the Frog and his angry Fire Fly friend Edison and go into an elevator to secret rooms and caverns including the Clubhouse, the Classroom, The Boiler Room, The Football Field, The Bone Vault, The Cave Writings, The Cricket Band, The Log Ride and The Ice Cave. The games have three difficulty levels. If you do well in the games you win points to earn stamps for a collection. You also receive letters from certain pen-pals all over the United States, asking you to do stuff for them and you try to solve their questions and light up a map you own for the states they live in.
People who downloaded JumpStart 2nd Grade have also downloaded:
JumpStart Adventures: 3rd Grade - Mystery Mountain, JumpStart 1st Grade, JumpStart Adventures: 4th Grade - Haunted Island, JumpStart Adventures: 5th Grade - Jo Hammet, Kid Detective, JumpStart Pre-K, JumpStart Toddlers, JumpStart Kindergarten Reading, JumpStart Baby
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