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Parent reviews of JAM courses for kids

Do we really want to give kids more screen time?

Finally something good kids can do on their iPad. –Elena

Your courses teach creativity and perseverance – which is precisely where schools fall short.  – Maya

JAM is inspring young generation to develop their true potential. –Anita

We no longer fight about screen time. I’m confident that he is actually getting value out of the time he spends online and he loves it. Bravo! –Lynn

I love that my son is actively learning new things on his screens, and that we aren’t fighting about “screen time” and “brain-rot” this summer. – Albert

I love how interactive the learning is and how kids get to connect with other kids all over the world who have similar interests. –Karana 

Are JAM courses flexible with different schedules and learning styles?

My kid is enjoying the drawing class and likes that she doesn’t have to do the lessons sequentially in order to “unlock” the next lesson.  – Jennifer

I enjoy this program for my child (11 years old) because it can be done at his own pace and can fit around our busy schedule. –Ruth

My 10 yr old daughter was not sure about doing an online class for drawing but she likes working at her own pace and sharing her work. – Shannon

My daughter loves it. It keeps her engaged and progressing in her skill level. It’s nice that she can access it on her own time, when her schedule has more free time. I would rather her do this than play a game on an app. – Dave

My son has autism and is very drawn to technology. It’s really nice to be able to find ways for him to engage with it in a way that’s healthy and active. I’d like the fact that his screen time is Productive. – Stephanie

Are JAM courses safe?

I have been reluctant to let my children engage in online courses with commenting / liking features because of bullying and spam concerns. I feel that JAM is truly a safe and encouraging place for them to explore. – Carmen

My son got a lot out of the engineering course. But, I really liked the safe environment for him to share what he made and the positive slant that the staff at JAM made in their comments. –Hugo

Do kids like JAM courses?

My kids love JAM. They are engaged and learning. The moderators interact with and encourage the kids. The customer service is great. –Amanda

My son loves drawing, but sometimes gets frustrated of his skill level. JAM gives him step by step instructions that really make sense to him, and now he is powering through drawings! –Stephanie

My son has had a tough tough tough year and I see the life coming back into him when he does this course. –Janine

My son is thoroughly enjoying his classes! He chooses them over video games every day and is creating beautiful artwork! –Adrianne

My son is having so much fun with his course, ‘Invent Your Own Machines’. He loves the interactive nature of it, it’s very motivating to see other children his own age making and creating too. The tasks are great because they range from easy to more challenging, he feels he can succeed. He has loved what he’s made already, he’s only had a go at two tasks but he spent 6 hours on them! I think the course will therefore be excellent value for money too! –Sarah

It’s a great choice for self-directed, creative, motivated kids. At first I was surprised that there weren’t more instructions but my 5 yr old son was off and running after just a couple minutes of videos building each invention with much excitement. He didn’t feel like he was being “taught” he just got great ideas. Works great! – Bridget

This is the first program where my son has jumped in all on his own. He had his own machine in a day and posted it within a week. The assignments have a lot of flexibility, and researching other’s products gives him inspiration to come up with his own item. He has the freedom to work within his skill level and build on it. I like the controlled environment for posting videos. It gives him a chance to make videos, and I feel more comfortable with allowing him to post here as compared to YouTube. –Tina

Try JAM for FreeDo JAM courses work for homeschooling?

A FANTASTIC addition to any home-schooled OR traditionally schooled child’s life. My kids have had so much fun they haven’t hardly even noticed that they have progressed SO much! – Jessie

As a home educating parent, it’s a big gig to navigate the education curriculum and so you’ve given a really amazing unstructured structure for a variety of topics that makes providing a create education in a fun way for my children. – Rebecca

Course is user friendly and helps fill in some of the gaps for my home schooled children. Well done. Friendly and honest customer service. –Holly

We signed up for a 14 day trial, but we soon realized we were here to stay. Our children are engaged in the activities and the staff makes the courses fun. They enjoy making the videos of their projects. They love interacting with the other students and we feel like it’s a safe place for them to do it. Jam is exactly what this homeschool family needed. –Lara

Try JAM yourself for FREE. We give everyone 14 days to see if it works for your family – we bet it will!

What’s your favorite thing your kids have given you?

We have hundreds of thousands of families in our community and it struck us that it sure would be special to learn more about their holidays and traditions.

We asked 250,000 parents, “What’s your favorite thing your kids have given you?”

Here are some of our favorites. We’d love to hear from you, too – please add your answer in the comments below.

Last year my son gave me a magic wand and a book of spells which he had memorized so that when I would cast the spell of nonsense words, he would react appropriately
They gave me a birthday party and made all the gifts. One knitted, another did woodworking, etc. It’s my favorite because they planned it a month in advance which is an eternity for a kid.
Breakfast in bed (that fell on the way into the room so was covered in cat hair)
My child made a conversation jar. It is a beautifully decorated jar and on the inside are conversation prompts (things like if you could meet a famous person, who and why/would you rather live in the past or the future/etc). We use it at the dinner table. It is beautiful and thoughtful and gets good conversations going with guests.
Hand drawn picture of what she thinks she’ll look like when she is grown
A binder full of my own recipes. I type or collect and print a lot of recipes, and for most of their lives I had an ever-changing messy stack of these papers in the kitchen. A couple of years ago they got me a big binder full of page protectors, made divider-tab-pages for various sections, and sorted all my recipes into it. On each tab page they glues photos of me or of fancy meals I’d made that suited the section. What meant the most to me was that I felt seen. They saw how I love to cook for them; they saw my heap of recipes; they saw how they could help, and they made it extremely personal. I use it almost every day, but I still cry when it reminds me that my love and effort as their mother does not go unnoticed.
A plant. It was be first time my 9 year old autistic son specifically thought of me to give me a gift all by himself.
We’d love to know your answer, too! Please share in the comments below.

What makes a great gift?

We’re interested to know what makes a great gift. We asked 240,000 parents: Is there a childhood gift that you still think about?

67% said yes. When we asked parents to describe what they received, a pattern emerged: Adults most often remembered experiences and tools that helped them become who they are and what they love to do.

“Watercolors and acrylics paints. It led me to really enjoy drawing and becoming a huge part of who I am today.”

“I got a set of tools to take apart things when I was 8. It was special because it let me know that you could build things with your hands vs buying something.”

This is why we make our online courses for kids. We know that passion, creativity and confidence can forever change the trajectory of a lifetime.

We want you to be a our partner in this.

Please accept $25 from us to support your kid’s passion. Visit jam.com to browse courses and use code FUTUREGIFT during checkout.

PS. Here were some other responses we loved:

“My father made me a desk which was a great work station to do my homework for years.”

“A diary with a lock. It was special because as a young teen, it was a celebration of me becoming my own person with my own thoughts and dreams.”

“The love of reading. My father would regularly take me to old second hand book stores and would always let me buy as many books as I wanted. I developed my love of reading and an active imagination from those days, which i have passed on to my own children.”

“My parents gave us a scavenger hunt one year that led to $75 for us to spend on whatever we wanted. My sister and I had been saving up for ice skates and we were so excited to finally be able to afford them. We wore them out that whole winter.”

“I received a set of encyclopedias that I used for YEARS and read about everything and transported me to new worlds!”

“Piano Lessons. Because my parents saw and nurtured a desire/talent of mine, though it was a very expensive gift for our budget.”

Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet

Childhood passions that seem like fads, sometimes even totally unproductive, could be mediums for experiencing the virtuous cycle of curiosity: discovering, trying, failing and growing.

When I was 11 I loved making web pages and playing Sim City. My parents and teachers didn’t recognize these skills as valuable, so neither did I. Actually, I began to feel guilty for using my computer so much. In high school I stopped making websites altogether to focus on sports. It wasn’t until college, when strapped to pay my tuition, that I picked it back up and started making sites for small businesses. I graduated and teamed up with a few others I knew with these skills and moved to New York City to work on the Internet for a living. Three years later, in 2007, we sold our company, Vimeo, to a larger, publicly traded one. That passion I first developed quietly by myself, that went unnoticed by my parents and teachers, proved to be extraordinarily valuable to the economy just ten years later and the focus of many ambitious people today.

 

Childhood passions that seem like fads, sometimes even totally unproductive, can be mediums for experiencing the virtuous cycle of curiosity: discovering, trying, failing and growing.

It’s difficult to predict which skills will be valuable in the future, and even more challenging to see the connection between our children’s interests and these skills. Nothing illustrates this better than Minecraft, a popular game that might be best described as virtual LEGOs. It’s easy to do, but we should resist underestimating games; Thanks to Minecraft, an entire generation is learning how to create 3D models using a computer. It makes me wonder what sort of jobs, entertainment or art will be possible now. Cathy Davidson, a scholar of learning technology, concluded that 65% of children entering grade school this year will end up working in careers that haven’t even been invented yetI bet today’s kids will eventually explore outcomes and create businesses only made possible by the influence of Minecraft in their lives.

We created  JAM the and it’s the thing I wish I had when I was a kid. Our members have access to a library of courses that help kids get better at the kinds of things kids are already passionate about. The courses are made by passionate experts who are really good at explaining new skills.  In response, kids try challenges in order to learn them. They keep a portfolio and share pictures and videos of their progress, and by doing so they attract other kids who share their interests and offer feedback. We have all kinds of courses – including a Minecraft course. 🙂

Our objective with this wide-ranging set of skills is to give kids the chance to practice whatever makes them passionate now and feel encouraged . It’s crucial that kids learn how to be passionate for the rest of their lives. To start, they must first learn what it feels like to be simultaneously challenged and confident. It’s my instinct that we should not try to introduce these experiences through skills we value as much as look for opportunities to develop them, as well as creativity and literacy, in the skills they already love.

Childhood passions that seem like fads, sometimes even totally unproductive, can alternatively be seen as mediums for experiencing the virtuous cycle of curiosity: discovering, trying, failing and growing. We’ve created a way for kids to explore hundreds of skills and to understand the ways in which they can be creative through them. Often, the skills are unconventional, and almost always the results are surprising. I don’t think it’s important that kids use the skills they learn on JAM for the rest of their lives. What’s important is that kids develop the muscle to be fearless learners so that they are never stuck with the skills they have. Only this will prepare them for a world where change is accelerating and depending on a single skill to provide a lifetime career is becoming impossible.

Every family can try JAM free for 14 days.

Try JAM for Free

 

A version of this article was first published by edSurge on May 26, 2015.

Introducing JAM, smart screen time for kids

JAM courses were created to help kids get skills they can’t get in school, and allow them to learn what they love (and love what they learn). JAM provides hundreds of hours of good screen time for for kids, and it’s zero work for parents.

We invented our online courses to help kids get skills they can’t get in school, and give families a better alternative to video-on-demand services that foster screen addictions.

JAM contains hundreds of hours of good screen time for for kids, and it’s zero work for parents. Courses are self-paced and work year-round during summer and even when they’re back in school.

Best of all, it’s a safe and private way for your kids to be online. JAM courses are designed by some of the most inspiring experts in their fields and all course activity is monitored by trained mentors.

Parents reviews are flooding back to us. If you haven’t seen them, click here. We’re floored by the results we’re seeing.

Many thanks for your continued support, we couldn’t have done this without you!

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