This post is a review of Miacademy.co‘s website for children. This is not a paid review; however, I am presently an advisor and content creator for the site. As always, I only share products and services I deem to be beneficial to both parents and children of this community. I exclusively work with reputable businesses, and Miacademy is one I hold in high esteem as their vision for education is both innovative and connected to learners of the 21st century. The opinion expressed in this post is entirely my own.
Miacademy is a safe online membership site where kids not only learn academic skills, they also create artwork, learn keyboarding skills, and even write for the site’s newspaper.
With Miacademy, children learn at their own pace as they are challenged daily in core subjects like math and language arts, but also in other subjects like geography/history, music & arts, science, and foreign languages. The site monitors your child’s progress and selects the next learning challenge based on the results.
Children learn concepts through fun, exciting, simple-to-follow teaching videos that accompany the learning games and quizzes.
Who will benefit from Miacademy?
Learners who thrive on challenges
It’s not secret that technology motivates today’s child. They love the interaction of competing against their highest score as well as competing with others. Miacademy makes learning fun as it rewards your child with in-game currency. It also provides a safe and creative space for your child to interact with other members. If your child is motivated by praise and recognition through games, your child will love Miacademy.
However, Miacademy also gives parents the option to exclude the competition feature if your child prefers not to interact with other children.
Children who either need extra support or an additional challenge
Learners with special needs often need reinforcement in certain subject areas. Sometimes, they need to be challenged beyond their daily work. Miacademy can be used as a tutoring tool for after-schoolers as well as a supplement to a learning curriculum for homeschoolers. Your child can get as much practice as he/she needs at his/her level, but also jump ahead if the games are not advanced enough.
Learners anxious about failing
If your child is apprehensive about making mistakes in learning, this is the perfect place to help him/her build self-confidence. Miacademy provides a safe environment for risk-taking while learning with interactive games. The games offer multiple choices for answers helping to reduce the anxiety that comes with answering open-ended questions.
The games provide your child ample time to select an answer to the questions, so there is no pressure to finish in a given amount of time.
With repeated play, your child will learn even if he/she makes mistakes as the correct answer is given immediately — helping to reinforce the concept on the spot.
Children who are easily distracted
Does your child easily wander from one task to another? Learners who struggle in the traditional classroom find that technology helps them to focus on the task at hand. Miacademy’s distraction-free environment offers a clean, simple platform with visually pleasing colors. Parents never have to worry about inappropriate content or advertising flashing around the screen.
Children with reading difficulties
I love the feature of a Text-to-speech (TTS) software integrated into [almost] all the games. TTS helps children to receive the written language of the games auditorily. This makes it possible for beginning learners to play independently as TTS acts as a personal reader. Children hear both the question and the possible answers through the TTS.
More so, TTS benefits struggling readers to play games they wouldn’t ordinarily tackle because of the reading level. For example, a child is not held back from playing science games where the concepts are developmentally appropriate, but the reading level is not.
With TTS, children build on their reading and comprehension skills as they listen and follow along on the screen.
Children with writing difficulties
Some children will need to use a keyboard for writing when handwriting is difficult. The keyboarding games help learners with reading, vocabulary, spelling, and writing (not just handwriting) because users are expected to copy real words or full sentences, and not jibberish that some keyboarding games provide. Having the keyboard on screen and visible at all times makes it easier for your child to find the keys and learn to type before you know it!
Children with short-term memory difficulties
The multiple-choice style games help children with short-term memory issues as the answer is found among four choices. Sometimes, all it takes is a sequence of words to remind the learner of the correct response. The repetition of questions within the games helps trigger and reinforce a child’s memory as he/she sees and hears the question repeatedly.
Directions for games are short and clear, making it easier for children to retain and follow directions.
What are the features of Miacademy that make it relevant to children with special needs?
- allows you to choose the right level of challenge for your child using a developmental continuum rather than standard grade levels
- allows you to set separate levels for each subject (if your child is working at a beginning level for math but a higher level for language arts, you can select and adjust levels at any time)
- provides the student with immediate feedback on answers to games — not keeping them in suspense until the end of the play which does nothing for retaining information
- the chime or buzzer after each answer is an intrinsic motivator for some children as it provides satisfying auditory feedback in addition to the colored and flashing visuals
- Text-to-speech (TTS) tool is clear and accurate
- gives you the option to select or turn off the sound
- helps learners recognize and take ownership of their progress
- provides reading and math readiness games with corresponding teaching videos
- includes games that help learners practice life skills such as keyboarding, telling the time, and even how to run their own business
- directions for games are simple and often repetitive so as to maintain the attention of the learner
- beginning readers learn basic reading skills through photographs rather than illustrations, making the items easier to identify and thereby reduce frustration
Included in Miacademy
- a parental account at no extra charge where you can receive regular learning progress updates and manage your child’s account settings including his/her range of learning levels and his/her access to particular subjects
- new games and videos are continuously being created and uploaded to the site
If you upgrade to a Premium Parent Account, you can:
- receive detailed reports about your child’s assessment progress on a weekly basis
- print customizable report cards so you can add it to your child’s portfolio
- track study time to see how much time your child spends in each learning area
- see a detailed list of where your child struggles most in the form of incorrect answers from games and quizzes
- assign practice for any learning area
- so much more!
About the founders of Miacademy
Dr. Johannes and Mrs. Swenja Ziegler, parents of five, are the fearless leaders of Miacademy.co. Swenja and Johannes studied at leading universities including Stanford University, Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. They enjoy creating innovative forms of online learning and testing them out on their five kids. Look for Swenja’s piano series of videos coming soon!
Having tried numerous educational sites for their own children, they couldn’t find any that combined safety, fun, educational value, and suitability for children, whose needs are not met by generic education providers.
To share their love of learning, they searched for a team of educational and software experts who were also educated at top schools in Europe, Asia, and North America.