Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Homeschool Review: Kinderbach

One of the products we've enjoyed reviewing for the TOS Crew is Kinderbach. This online music program for children, age 3-7, has been so much fun.  Since this is a piano program, you do need access to a piano or keyboard. Since we don't have a piano, I opted to purchase a basic keyboard to use for this review.

Each week includes 4 short (just a few minutes long) videos, one for each day, as well coloring pages, and other activity sheets to go with each day's video.  Because we were mainly doing this with Sassy & MiniMe who are at the top edge of the age range (they turned 8 last week), they found the lessons too short, so, we opted to have music class once or twice a week, but complete an entire week each time we did it.

My children were at the 2 extremes of the suggested age range, with Little Bit just turning 2 and the big girls just turning 8. Little Bit enjoys watching the videos with her sisters, but I don't feel that she understands what is going on well enough that it would be worth having JUST for her, at this point. 3 seems like an accurate starting age range for being able to utilize the program enough to sign up for it. But certainly younger siblings can enjoy following along. She claps the beat with her sisters, and  enjoys the songs and characters. The older girls are enjoying it. In retrospect, for them, I should have presented it to them as a "music program" rather than "piano lessons", because it is geared for preschoolers, it spends a LOT of time on the pre-piano skills, learning to keep a beat and such, even with doing a week of lessons at a time, they are getting restless to "really play piano". So again, while I think older siblings would enjoy following along, I don't know that I would choose this program specifically for a 7+ year old, at least not my 7+ yr olds, different children are different, obviously.

This program does a great job of incorporating and teaching to a variety of learning styles, with the video allowing children to see, hear, and participate in each lesson.

Each week, includes a very short "introduction" video that includes a list of what is needed that week (rhythm instruments, piano, crayons, etc). So all that I need to do for teacher prep is print that week's activity sheets, and have the children gather whatever supplies are needed for that week. As soon as we've done that, we're ready to go, I *love* things that require little, if any, mommy/teacher prep!

I think this is a great, fun, intereactive program for preschool-age children. It introduces them to "music lessons" in a fun, game-oriented way that generally appeals to this age group.  For my 8 year olds, it has been too slow-moving, even with going through multiple lessons per day, they are getting very antsy to "play real music". When I asked what they thought of it, they said "we're too old for it, we already know loud sounds versus soft sounds and high sounds versus low sounds. But they also agree that "it would be fun for little kids".  Seeing how much Little Bit enjoyed it, even though she couldn't fully follow along, I agree. We will continue to use this program while we have access to it, but personally, I wouldn't pay for a membership right now. I will keep it in mind for Little Bit in another year or two, however.

In exchange for this review, we received access to the online membership, which is available for $19.99/mo, billed monthly, or $95.88/year, billed yearly (that works out to be only $7.99/mo!).  The program is also available on DVD. You can see the various packages and options available, here. If you're considering this product, be sure to check out their FREE online trial, a great way to make sure it's a good fit for your children, before you buy.

Disclaimer: I received a free 3-month subscription to the Kinderbach online program in exchange for writing this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

No comments: