Home Runs For Home Ed Programs

The personal computer software industry has always been dominated by business programs such as spreadsheets and word-processing packages. But new data from the Software Publishers Assn., a Washington trade group, show that a surprising shift is under way: Home-education software was the fastest growing category, up 55%, to $35 million in the second quarter of 1993. And several traditional categories, although much larger in volume, actually declined. Spreadsheet sales dropped 8%, to $211 million, during the same period.

Driving this demand are, of course, kids, who tend to be even more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about computers than their parents. The fact that more and more home PCs are equipped with CD-ROM drives and state-of-the-art graphics is also expanding the market for educational programs. Topping the list, for both the PC and Macintosh, is Broderbund Software Inc.'s geography game, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego, according to PC Data in Reston, Va. And the fastest riser on the home-education charts is Dinosaur Adventure, a program from Knowledge Adventure Inc. that teaches kids about brontosauruses, raptors, and the like.

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