The last few days of summer is upon us. In about a week, I will officially have a first grader and a preschooler. While the kids definitely took some time off from formal lessons, they did not rest on their laurels. We had the chance to use MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTENERS by PandaParents, an interactive education program for young learners. Here is our review if you would like to see.
On M.E.S.S.Y Learning
Parents everywhere might frown at the word messy. Sure, messiness almost always comes hand in hand with learning, especially for young kids, but do we really want to encourage it? Fortunately, messy in this case is actually an acronym. It stands for:
(M) Mixed subjects and activities for integrative learning
(E) Engaging activities that challenge minds
(S) Simple 1-2-3 steps: read, learn, create
(S) Smart designs for creative learning
(Y) Yeah, a new way to promote preschool STEM and early brain growth
PandaParents’ approach to education is three-pronged. It makes use of a story. a video, and a workbook. The big idea behind this is that the different functions of the brain are utilized. In addition, creativity is nurtured while practicing the fine motor skills in children.
On Our Experience
We received the digital version of this program. PandaParents can provide physical copies by December. There were stories, which you are supposed to go through alongside the worksheet pages. It’s supposed to stretch out over sessions to a total of about a month.
The stories are meant to appeal to the younger set. For example, in Mommy’s Baby, the plot is all about a mother and her child during bedtime. A Jolly Jingling Journey has a Christmas theme and talks a boy and his encounter with Santa.
One of the first things I notice in children’s books is the quality of word choice. I can’t stand books that belittle the capacity of children when it comes to vocabulary. Fortunately, these products do not suffer from that common literary ailment. Words like “jubilant” and “joyful” are used. Although the plots in the books we read are nothing groundbreaking, they were not dumbed down. In addition, the books are colorful and should appeal to young kids because of the friendly-looking illustrations. They also emphasize phonics by highlighting particular learning sounds.
As for the videos, they come in a variety of lengths. Some of them were notably long. We had one that went a little over 30 minutes. Honestly, we didn’t finish that one. By the one-third mark, the kids were flitting in and out, doing their own thing.
I think this program’s best features are the workbooks. It’s a lot of pages that help the kids practice their paper skills, from writing to cutting. As far as content goes, it runs the whole spectrum. There are comprehension activities as well as letter writing, counting, tracing, and other skills. The pages are colored so it might not be the most cost-effective method to print it at home. But, PandaParents is making physical versions of the products available.
On Our Impressions
When I was reading the website in preparation for writing this review, I was highly amused at the Y of their MESSY acronym. (As a refresher, it’s “Yeah, a new way to promote preschool STEM and early brain growth).
I think it’s representative of PandaParents and its products as a whole. There’s an obvious eagerness on their part, that you can just imagine the people behind them saying “Yeah!” while pumping their fists in the air. You can tell by the way lessons are created. It’s not just a story. It’s a story, a video, and worksheets. That there is dedication and belief in your plan, because coming out with that kind of output is not easy.
There can be some improvements that can be made in the products though. I noticed that the videos can be a little bit more streamlined since some are far too long. The narration is also not as fluid as some of the other videos that we were able to watch.
Having said that, I think the strength of this product is their method of teaching. No one is going to argue that a multi-sensory, interactive approach isn’t going to help kids learn. The kids get to use their eyes, their ears, and their hands. In that sense, this product has a definite edge.
To learn more about this product, you can reach out to them through these social media channels:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PandaParentsABC/ @PandaParentsABC
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Panda_Parents Tag: @Panda_Parents
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pandaparents/ Tag: @pandaparents
Want to learn more about what other homeschoolers are saying about this product? Click on the image below.