General
What is Always Icecream?
What is Always Icecream?
Always Icecream is an educational website for girls at the K-8th grade level. Always Icecream can be used as a primary homeschooling curriculum, or as a supplemental learning site for students in a variety of educational settings. Always Icecream is unique in the way that our curriculum is highly customizable, it motivates students to learn, provides real-world learning opportunities, and offers a safe social platform for students to share their learning with their peers. Always Icecream is the "sister site" to Clever Dragons, a site specifically for boys. In addition, there is a third site Miacademy that is for both girls and boys.
How is Always Icecream different from other learning sites?
How is Always Icecream different from other learning sites?
In addition to lessons covering the core subjects of math, language arts, science, and social studies, Always Icecream also offers a variety of electives, included at no extra cost. Lessons are presented through teaching videos, online practice games, assessments, and oftentimes a variety of printable activities for multisensory, off-line learning. Our site provides an environment that includes a powerful incentive system for children, elaborate parental controls, and many options for real-world learning, such as writing for the weekly newspaper, or running an art shop.
Does Always Icecream offer a full curriculum?
Does Always Icecream offer a full curriculum?
Always Icecream offers a curriculum that is constantly expanding with new teaching videos, practice games, tests, and printable instructional material and activities. We are investing full tilt in our content. In the past year, our educational content doubled and a similar amount of new content will be added again this year.

Many families are using Always Icecream as their core curriculum. Nonetheless ours, like every other online curriculum, has areas that are more complete than others. Thus, we recommend supplementing the lessons offered on our sites with additional learning activities, such as science experiments, reading and interpreting literature, and other activities that work well for your student.

We also have many families who use Always Icecream to supplement the other curriculum they are using. Does your child need help learning the 50 states, or memorizing math facts? Always Icecream is a fun and rewarding place to practice. Is your child a reluctant writer? She can publish stories, poems, and other articles on our site newspaper, receive feedback from friends, and earn motivating $coops in the process.

Our lessons typically come with an introductory teaching video, some include instructional documents available to print, while others can be played without prior instruction.

You can find a Scope and Sequence, detailing the learning materials on our sites, on the home page, and also in the Curriculum tab of your parent account. If you need assistance, please contact us. We can send you the information as a pdf document.

If you would like us to add any particular learning unit, please let us know!
Do all lessons come with instructional videos?
Do all lessons come with instructional videos?
Most of our lessons come with an introductory teaching video, some include instructional documents available to print, while other topics can be practiced without prior instruction. If a wrong answer is selected in the practice games, the correct answer is shown. The question is repeated later in the exercise, giving students as many chances as they need to master the material.
Can my child use Always Icecream independently? Should I sit with her?
Can my child use Always Icecream independently? Should I sit with her?
While we believe that learning alongside your child is ideal, we understand that parents have many responsibilities. We created our site for easy navigation. Younger learners may need guidance the first few times on Always Icecream. To ensure mastery, we recommend parents regularly check the Reports tab of the parent account, reassign and review with your student as needed. Printable off-line activities (optional) may require supervision.
How does Always Icecream motivate girls to learn?
How does Always Icecream motivate girls to learn?
By completing the learning materials and videos girls earn ice cream $coops — the virtual currency on Always Icecream. Parents even have the opportunity to award Gold to their student for off-line learning activities or chores. This currency can then be used to play games or access other fun content, including designing furniture and clothes and selling it to other members! If parents enable the “social” features of Always Icecream, students participate in fun competitions based on their achievements. Always Icecream combines all these aspects of online usage in an educational and safe format.
How do I change the grade level setting for my child?
How do I change the grade level setting for my child?
You can change your child's learning content by logging into your parent account and selecting any combination of lessons from any grade level that you find appropriate for your child.
Do you recommend a particular computer, tablet, or smartphone?
Do you recommend a particular computer, tablet, or smartphone?
Our quality assurance team tests this site using recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Edge on PCs, Android tablets and phones, as well as Safari on Macs and iPads.
Do you have apps?
Do you have apps?
95% of our learning games can be played on a tablet or a smartphone by using the browser and by directly accessing the website.

In addition, we're offering a growing number of dedicated apps for individual games that offer even better performance and don't require online access. Some of these apps are available now for iPads and iPhones through the App Store.
Is there a one-tap way to log in on iPad?
Is there a one-tap way to log in on iPad?
Yes! First, log into the site from Safari on your iPad. Then, tap the Share icon at the top of the screen, and choose Add to Home Screen. (You may need to scroll to the right depending on how many choices you see in the third row of the Share sheet.) Edit the title of the Home screen shortcut if you like. Tap Add to add this one-tap shortcut to your iPad’s Home screen. (This works for iPhones too.)
Who created Always Icecream?
Who created Always Icecream?
Dr. Johannes and Swenja Ziegler, co-founded Always Icecream. Both Johannes and Swenja were educated in Europe, Asia, and the United States, and highly value a solid education for their five children. With their own children, they gathered a wide range of educational experiences, ranging from homeschooling to various forms of traditional and alternative education. They came up with the idea for a new type of online learning site when they watched the enthusiasm with which their daughters were playing online games. At the same time Johannes and Swenja were concerned about the safety and the educational value of existing sites. Being the CEO of Miaplaza Inc., a company with extensive experience in creating social websites, Johannes assembled a team of educational experts and award-winning software developers to create Always Icecream. The site continues to grow and evolve rapidly. Many of the features that were introduced within the last year originated from the input of parents and children who were using the site.
Where can I learn more about how to use the site?
Where can I learn more about how to use the site?
If you haven’t done so already, we'd encourage you to join our Facebook group, Miacademy Learning for Parents and Teachers. In this group, you'll find a series of tutorial videos, assistance from our customer service team, and community with other parents using Always Icecream, Clever Dragons, and Miacademy.

If you’d like to read more about the best way to use our site, please contact us and ask for our Parent Tutorial document.
Accounts
Why do you have separate sites for boys and girls?
Why do you have separate sites for boys and girls?
In addition to the two gender-specific sites, Always Icecream and Clever Dragons, we offer Miacademy (www.miacademy.co), a site for both boys and girls.

We believe in equality between boys and girls, especially when it comes to academic opportunity. Both Always Icecream and Clever Dragons offer exactly the same educational content. However, when it comes to social interaction and expression through play and artwork, many children enjoy being in a "girls-only" or "boys-only" environment. On Always Icecream and Clever Dragons this allows for open discussion that would not happen in a co-ed environment.

You know your child: Select one of the gender-specific sites, Always Icecream/Clever Dragons, or the co-ed Miacademy according to where she or he is most likely to thrive socially.
What is the parents’ role on Always Icecream?
What is the parents’ role on Always Icecream?
Parents can play an active role on Always Icecream. The parent account offers goal-setting, time-tracking, testing, and documentation of learning progress through customized reports.

Parents receive a weekly email detailing the learning activities of their children. Through their complimentary account, parents can enable or disable the “community features” that enable students to communicate with other members. In addition, parents can customize the educational content that is presented to their children. There is also a unique way in which parents can use our site: Students can be rewarded “$coops,” the site’s in-game currency, for completing off-line learning activities or “real world tasks” such as practicing piano or exercising.
Can boys join Always Icecream?
Can boys join Always Icecream?
We recommend that boys use Clever Dragons (www.clever-dragons.com), the boys' equivalent of Always Icecream, or join our co-ed site Miacademy (www.miacademy.co). The educational content is identical on each site, and the color and background themes are interchangeable.
I have a daughter on Always Icecream and a son on Clever Dragons. Can I use the same parent account?
I have a daughter on Always Icecream and a son on Clever Dragons. Can I use the same parent account?
Unfortunately, for technical and usability reasons, you will need to set up separate parent accounts on both sites. You can, however, use the same email address for both accounts.
Can my child with special needs benefit from Always Icecream?
Can my child with special needs benefit from Always Icecream?
Always Icecream was specifically designed with all learners in mind. For that reason there are no timed tests so all students can move at their own pace. Parents can customize their student's curriculum by selecting lessons from a variety levels at once, adjusting their student's schedule, and reassigning lessons as often as needed. Lessons focus on repetition and most come with a read aloud option. The pages have no advertisements and are designed to have very little distraction. Several of our curriculum writers have a background in teaching special education, and keep these learners in mind as they develop new lessons.
Site Content
What is the educational philosophy behind Always Icecream?
What is the educational philosophy behind Always Icecream?
The core idea behind Always Icecream is threefold:

1. Each child should be given the opportunity to learn at her own pace. We provide engaging teaching videos, practice lessons, printable multisensory activities, and tests for all subjects and levels, grades K-8. Parents have the opportunity to select the lessons presented to their student, customizing the curriculum schedule. If students need more time on a particular lesson, or decide to advance at a faster pace, the curriculum will automatically adjust over the time period initially set by the parent. Parents can also reassign, unassign, or add more lessons to their student's schedule at any time. This dynamic approach keeps students engaged and feeling successful, building a life-long love of learning.

2. Children learn more when they are motivated and in a positive mood. Therefore, Always Icecream packages lessons in academic core and elective subjects, in the format of fun games. Rewards are given at all levels, including recognition of creative artwork by their peers.

3. A well-rounded education comes in many forms. Therefore, we offer a variety of learning activities to extend learning away from the screen. Activities include recommended reading, writing prompts, science labs, and a variety of other projects.

Our learning content has been developed by a team of certified educators, from a variety of backgrounds, including experience in public, private, and home education settings. Our educators are passionate about learning, and inspiring children.
Is my daughter safe on Always Icecream?
Is my daughter safe on Always Icecream?
User safety is our most important concern. Always Icecream is using a wide range of methods and processes to ensure user safety and privacy. The site's content is continuously scanned for inappropriate content using both software and manual reviews. Users can also report any concerns or problems they encounter to Always Icecream staff. Furthermore, self-policing mechanisms are in place to encourage proper behavior and etiquette. Parents receive regular email reports about the activities and learning progress of their daughter. Lastly, Always Icecream has been certified by an independent third party, www.privo.com, to be compliant with the stringent requirements of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
How about topics that are controversial among parents?
How about topics that are controversial among parents?
At Always Icecream, we try to exclude content that is contentious in some communities. The vast majority of educational subjects, however, are taught and appreciated by parents and teachers of any worldview. These are the areas that girls can practice on Always Icecream.

In addition, parents can opt out of any subject area that they don't want to be presented to their kids. One important example is religious education. Parents can decide whether or not they want to include learning content in this category.
What is the Always Icecream Weekly?
What is the Always Icecream Weekly?
The Weekly is a user-written, staff-moderated newspaper to which members can submit articles. Different sections give students the chance to practice different writing formats from prose to poetry to the more technical writing required for recipes and sharing hobby project instructions. Girls receive special items for their MiniMes when their work is published. Each member may submit one article and an accompanying illustration to the upcoming edition. Articles are due each Thursday evening and have a maximum length of 5000 characters.

In addition, as part of our business simulation, girls can also pay authors of articles with in-game currency to include advertising for their shops. Prices for the inclusion of advertising are set by the authors of the articles. This gives our members a unique opportunity to learn practical lessons in marketing and economics.
My child was friended by a member named Aki. Who is this?
My child was friended by a member named Aki. Who is this?
Aki is our site guide and started out as the daughter of Always Icecream's founder. The person behind “Aki” is now one of our own team members. Aki is essentially a customer service representative available for children to ask about how the site works. All messages from her are automated, unless your child sends Aki a personal message asking a question.

Memberships
What is included in an Always Icecream membership?
What is included in an Always Icecream membership?
When you purchase a subscription, your daughter will receive her own account and you will receive your own parent account.

Features on your child's account include: 
  • A Personalized Learning Path.

  • Access to hundreds of learning games and videos.
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  • Ability to publish stories, poems, and other articles on our site newspaper, 
    receive feedback from friends, and earn motivating Scoops in the process.

  • Ability to comment, message, and have positive interaction with other members in a safe environment.

  • Our moderators review comments, pictures, and messages from members before they appear on Always Icecream. This provides a secure setting for children to learn how to communicate with each other on social media platforms.

Features on your parent account include: 
  • Weekly email on activity updates.
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  • Ability to adjust learning grade level subject by subject.
  •  
  • Ability to enable or disable specific learning categories to your preference.
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  • Ability to assign specific lessons, print progress reports, and track study time.

  • Ability to reward your child for offline achievements with Scoops.

  • Many more features that are already available on our sites - and even more to come!
How much does it cost?
How much does it cost?
Always Icecream is free of advertising. We never sell or rent any user data. The membership fee is $24.95 per month. We also offer annual and lifetime memberships. We use the funds we receive to develop, on average, one new educational game for our members every week. Your parent account is included at no additional charge.
I have two daughters. Do I need two accounts for them?
I have two daughters. Do I need two accounts for them?
On Always Icecream, every girl should have her own account and yes, this means you'll need to purchase two separate accounts (but you only need one parent account for all your daughters).
We offer steep discounts for families and for siblings - please contact us at parents-help@always-icecream.com for more information.
With her own account each girl can create her own artwork, track her own learning progress, raise and care for her own pets and earn and spend her own $coops.
If you want to purchase a membership for more than two daughters (or sons on Clever Dragons), we recommend a Family Lifetime membership, which includes four children’s lifetime memberships that can be used on either Always Icecream or Clever Dragons.
We also offer a special Buy-Two-Get-One-Free deal, where if you purchase two children’s annual memberships, we will send you a code for a third annual membership at no charge (be sure to email us at parents-help@always-icecream.com to let us know you’d like this discount, and for which site you’d like the free membership, Always Icecream or Clever Dragons).
How can I cancel my subscription?
How can I cancel my subscription?
Please log into your parent account and follow the instructions provided in the "My Students" tab. If your child does not have a monthly subscription, there is no need to cancel because their membership will not renew automatically.
Can I get my money back if I don't like it?
Can I get my money back if I don't like it?
We offer you our money-back guarantee. If you’re not fully satisfied with our service, just send us an email to feedback@always-icecream.com with a brief description about what you didn't like about your experience with the site. If you have purchased a two-month, annual or lifetime membership, we’ll then gladly reimburse you for the full membership fee as long as you contact us within 30 days of purchasing the membership. In the case of a monthly subscription, we’ll reimburse you for the last paid month.
Can I purchase a membership for someone else, not my own kids?
Can I purchase a membership for someone else, not my own kids?
We do not offer gift certificates at this time.
I homeschool through a charter. Can you accept my purchase order?
I homeschool through a charter. Can you accept my purchase order?
If you're a homeschooling parent wishing to purchase a site membership with a purchase order from your charter school, please email us at charters@always-icecream.com. We're happy to work together with you and your school to become an approved vendor if we aren't already on their list. School customers paying via purchase order: please note that due to administrative costs, Miaplaza, Inc. adds a $8 check handling fee to each invoice. This will be waived for invoices over $100 as well as for all PayPal invoices. We would be happy to invoice your school via PayPal; please let us know the email address to which to send a PayPal invoice.
I'm a teacher. Can I use Always Icecream in my classroom?
I'm a teacher. Can I use Always Icecream in my classroom?
Yes! Please email us at charters@miaplaza.com to learn about our teacher memberships and special classroom deals.