Background and learning approach
What is Always Icecream?
What is Always Icecream?
Always Icecream is an educational and entertaining website for girls from kindergarten through eighth grade. Always Icecream is unique in the way the site motivates girls to learn. 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?
Always Icecream offers much more than just a selection of teaching videos, learning games, and tests. 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 instructional documents. We are investing full tilt in our content: Five educational videos and 5-10 learning games are added weekly. 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 those of every other online curriculum, has areas that are more complete than others. Thus, we recommend supplementing the learning content offered on our sites with additional learning modules, 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? He/she can publish stories, poems, and other articles on our site newspaper, receive feedback from friends, and earn motivating Gold in the process.

Many of our lessons come with an introductory teaching video, and many others can be played without prior instruction. Our learning exercises are designed so children learn through trial and error. If a wrong answer is selected, the correct answer is shown. The question is repeated later in the exercise, giving children as many chances as they need to master the material. Some learning games are intended to be used as practice after parent instruction.

For an overview of Scope and Sequence of learning materials on our sites, please contact us. We're in the process of integrating a grade-level-based overview into the parent accounts, but in the meantime 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 learning challenges come with instructional videos?
Do all learning challenges come with instructional videos?
Many of our games come with teaching videos, and we have many more videos coming. Our games are designed so children can learn through trial and error whether or not they have been previously exposed to the educational content. When a child gets an incorrect answer, the correct one is shown, and the question will be repeated later in the game for review. A few learning games are intended to be used as practice or review after parent or teacher instruction.
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 (and are always improving it) for easy navigation. Younger learners may need guidance the first few times on Always Icecream. Additionally, a few learning games are intended to be used as review after parent instruction.
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. 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, girls participate in fun competitions based on their achievements. Always Icecream is the first website that 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 grade level by logging into your parent account and selecting the "My daughters" tab. There, by moving the yellow grade slider, you can choose an overall grade level or range for your child, or you can choose grade level by subject.
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-founders of Always Icecream, have three daughters and two sons. Both Johannes and Swenja were educated in Europe, Asia, and the United States and highly value a solid education for their 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 Always Icecream 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 watch our video explaining the basic functionality of the parents account. You can find this video under the “More Info” tab in the parents account. 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. Parents receive weekly email reports on the learning progress of their daughters. Through their complimentary account, parents can enable or disable the “community features” that enable girls to communicate with other members. In addition, parents can customize the educational content that is presented to their girls. There is also a unique way in which parents can use our site: Girls can be rewarded “$coops,” the site’s in-game currency, for accomplishing “real world tasks” such as practicing piano or exercising.

With an upgrade to a Premium Parent Account, parents can use the site even more systematically for their children's education. A Premium Account offers goal-setting, time-tracking, testing, and documentation of learning progress through customized reports.
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. Some boys may prefer unicorns over dragons and pink over blue. In this case, we recommend to choose the "educational-only" version of Always Icecream that allows boys to access the learning games, but not to interact with other members. We also now offer the option to change the color and background themes of the sites on both Always Icecream and Clever Dragons, so boys can create their own pink site on Clever Dragons as well.

Boys can also join our co-ed site Miacademy (www.miacademy.co) that offers the same learning content and is made for boys and girls.
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 parents accounts on both sites. You can, however, use the same email address for both accounts, and if you decide to upgrade to a Premium Parent Account you will only need to purchase one upgrade that will be good for Always Icecream and Clever Dragons.
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 students can move at their own pace. Our learning challenges focus on repetition and many come with a read aloud option. The pages have no advertisements and are designed to have very little distraction.
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 that children learn more when they are motivated and in a positive mood. Therefore, Always Icecream packages drills in academic core subjects in the format of fun games. Rewards are given at all levels, including recognition of creative artwork by their peers.
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 give 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 free 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.
  •  
  • Ability to reward your child for offline achievements with Scoops.

  • Option to upgrade to our Parent Premium account. This upgrade will allow you to assign specific lessons, print progress reports, track study time, and much more!
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 $19.95 per month. We also offer annual and lifetime memberships as well as upgrades to Premium Parent Accounts. We use the funds we receive to develop, on average, one new educational game for our members every week. Your basic parent account is free of 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). This way every 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 feedback@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.
I would like to purchase a membership for someone else, not my own kids. How can I do this?
I would like to purchase a membership for someone else, not my own kids. How can I do this?
Always Icecream and Clever Dragons are great gifts for nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or any other children. If you are not the parent, you can purchase a membership as a gift. You can find the various gift options by selecting the "Buy as Gift" link on the page where we offer membership plans to parents.
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.