As a mom of two preschoolers, I'm always looking for ways to help set up my boys for success in school and success with learning in general.
Next year, my 4-year-old will make the big leap to kindergarten, and I was a little worried about how he would do.
The author received access to Waterford Upstart’s at home learning program and compensation for this article. All thoughts and opinions expressed are the author's own.
Enter Waterford Upstart! I was thrilled to find out about this no-cost online educational resource for kids and their families — it's been an invaluable learning tool for both my boys, ages 3 and 4.
We signed up for the program in September, and within weeks I could see marked improvement in my son's comprehension of letters, words, and numbers. Plus, his attention span and ability to concentrate has improved, too.
So who is the Waterford Upstart program for? How much does it cost? What's the commitment? Keep reading!
(My son doing his "mommy school" work with his Waterford Upstart program at his desk in my office.)
If your child will enter kindergarten in September 2023, then they are eligible for Waterford Upstart, and it comes at no financial cost to you.
While the program is great for families who don't have the means or ability to take their child to a traditional preschool, it can also be used as a supplement for learning for a child who is also enrolled in preschool or traditional Pre-K classes (this is what we do, and it works great!) Often, public preschool is only a half day. My son attends "Mommy School" (AKA Waterford Upstart) in the morning and his traditional preschool in the afternoon.
Once you register, you get access to the online software (nothing to download), a welcome packet that includes a "My Progress" tracking chart with stickers, and your child receives a personal learning coach. Waterford Upstart provides support to help your family along your learning journey, which is done in the home in minutes per day. From registration through graduation, your coach and the support staff are there to help you.
Our coach is Mandy, and she has been amazing at providing on-demand support, as well as insights on my son's performance (tracked via a simple dashboard I can always see).
(My son adding his daily sticker to his Waterford Upstart progress chart.)
What if your child doesn't have a computer? It's ok! They will help you gain access to one. In our case, I "submitted an application to the Pop Pop/Nani Scholarship Fund" and they were happy to buy their grandson a Chromebook (less than $99).
My son knows this is his "Mommy School" computer just for his special class. He takes so much pride in taking care of it. I also hopped into Facebook Marketplace to pick up his toddler-sized school desk and chair. Turns out someone picked up this set from a school that was closing up. I got the whole setup for $20! But you don't need to do any of this — the program comes with everything you need.
I know I've talked all about learning, but the thing is, this program is fun! My son loves the fun songs, games, puzzles, stories, and activities!
And it's not just fun for your child, it's fun for you, too!
I get to watch my son enjoy his lessons, really see where he is progressing and where he needs to focus more. The program is adaptive, so your child can learn at their own pace and get extra practice with the areas where they need it.
Waterford Upstart even offers family fun nights that are free and all done virtually. We log in, see other families who are enjoying the program, and we all can do some fun learning games together.
(My son feeling proud he got his daily "congrats" for a lesson finished!)
My 3-year-old LOVED watching my 4-year-old do his daily Waterford Upstart games and lessons. He begged me to let him "go to Mommy School," too. Much to my surprise and delight, I asked a Waterford rep, and the organization has a sibling program, too! If you have an eligible child in the program, then they will help you add any additional siblings to the account. Now my 3-year-old has a full year head start on his prep for kindergarten.
Thank you, Waterford Upstart!