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Math anxiety — a fear of getting math concepts and problems wrong and the resulting avoidance of math because of that — is something I’ve seen many times over my life and not just in children. It’s just as prevalent in adults and, believe it or not, despite my PhD in math, I experienced math anxiety as a child, too. While some children allowed their math anxiety to grow into a lifelong avoidance of math, mine fueled my competitive spirit and led me to push ahead of my peers, learning advanced math concepts even when I wasn’t able to get into the advanced math classes my middle school offered.
It is never too late to understand math. At a young age, many of us had the experience of being told that “we are just not a numbers person.” Books have been written on this social phenomena, and half of all Americans report Math anxiety. As it turns out, mathematics is really about learning jargon, a jargon that is so fundamental to humanity that we consider it vocabulary.
At the end of the day, algebra comes down to these three steps: define, recognize and produce. No matter if your child is in middle school or a PhD math program, it’s all about defining (can you understand it?), recognizing (can you identify it?), and producing (can you use it to produce results or new research?). If you can help your child with these three aspects of algebra at home, they’ll be better set up for success in the classroom and in the future.
Most students learn to multiply in school by memorizing their multiplication tables. There’s nothing wrong with memorizing multiplication tables, but a child must know what the multiplication tables mean. If they’re multiplying seven by six, they need to have that picture in the back of their head of six groups of seven or seven groups of six. If not, they don’t have a true understanding of what multiplication actually is and it won’t serve them later on in life. Take, for example, a child who knows that five times four is 20. She can solve the multiplication problem with ease.
In early elementary education, the first concepts that we work with are counting and comparisons — that is, quantity comparisons versus what's bigger and smaller. We might show a child an image of four objects and an image with 12 objects, and ask them to identify which has more or fewer. It's important for children to know the difference because it sets the stage for addition and subtraction.
Making math fun for your child within the confines of your everyday world is easy. Let’s say you’re walking down the sidewalk with your child and they say, “Oh, there’s a train.” That’s an opportunity for you to ask how many train cars they can see. How many engines are on the train? Even if it’s just their toys sitting out on the floor, you could ask them, “Can you give me three toy dogs right now?” Then your child has to identify what’s a dog, what’s not a dog and how many of them equal three. Take whatever your child can identify and formulate a math lesson that’s on their level.
Studies show that early math skills have far-reaching benefits beyond just school performance, so naturally, you want to teach your child math concepts early to give them the best edge throughout their life and career. But when do “the early years” begin? How early is too early? And, for that matter, where do you start when the time comes? Here is everything you need to know about teaching early math, from understanding when they’re ready to learn, to tips for teaching foundational math concepts.
Teaching math effectively is so much more involved than giving your child a math sheet filled with problems or asking them to memorize some multiplication tables. It requires passing on the experience of math concepts and ensuring a child truly comprehends a math concept before going on to the next one. However, with a little bit of work and a lot of patience, parents can teach their children math in a way that sets them up for future success.
Evaluating your child’s math skills is so much more than just giving them a math sheet filled with problems, or looking at how well they’re doing in class. It’s all about ensuring they have a strong math foundation that holds up over time as they move into harder and harder concepts. Evaluating their comprehension based on the language surrounding math makes building this foundation that much easier.
Many math apps are parent-free zones or, at best, parents are an afterthought within the app. Elephant Learning knows that the best results come when the parent is involved in the child’s education. Every study shows outcomes for students are better when parents are involved. The truth is, when I started this company, my first child was on his way. I created this system as a tool to ensure that he receives the benefits of mathematics education and avoids the American educational pitfall. We live in a time when, increasingly, if you are not the person creating the automation, you are the person being replaced by it. Our reports detail exactly how we intend to teach each topic down to the milestone level with advice on how you can further learning with fun games outside of the system. This turns your child’s playtime in the system into a tool to succeed in playtime with you. We provide advice on how to work with the students on mistakes so that the pressure is always off. At any point in time, if your student is struggling, we are always happy to look at the data and advise. That is why Elephant Learning can guarantee results. The math app you choose for your child’s learning matters. Apps that focus on games and graphics with math sprinkled throughout may end up turning those math problems into perceived work for your child (and can become addictive). Elephant Learning begins with a proven curriculum and scientific understanding of how children learn math. We then build games and puzzles around the curriculum, empowering students to truly grasp math concepts. Knowing that parental involvement is key to student success, we also ensure that you, the parent, are involved every step of the way.
Elephant Learning accurately tests and evaluates kids at different grade levels to see if they truly get what they should be learning. It then adjusts what they’re learning to ensure they understand math conceptually right from the start. The app provides educational games for the kids while also providing parents with reports and information on how the app is actually teaching a concept. Parents will find games to play with their children outside of the app that further support learning. We break it down for you, telling you how to help your child along every step of the way and showing you how to identify your child’s misunderstandings simply. For instance, rather than correcting them or showing them how to do the math problem correctly, ask them why they think they’re correct; you’re going to see what they misunderstand nearly immediately and be able to give them a hint on how to overcome it. This way, Elephant Learning is empowering to the student, but it’s also empowering to the parent. You no longer have to be afraid to take your child’s math education into your own hands.
Make no mistake. Math anxiety can and does affect the course of your life. The wife of a friend said to me, "I wanted to get a degree in physics, but it was all differential equations, so I became an English major." When she was a child, that's what she wanted to do; she wanted to be a physicist, but she gave that up because of math anxiety. The reality is, there’s no such thing as a “not a math person.” Whether it’s you or your child, those who aren’t confident with mathematics are typically individuals who have math anxiety. Regardless of how much math anxiety exists in your household, remember: there is a solution.
Does your child enjoy math class? When you see them doing their math homework, does it feel like they don’t really get the concepts? Do they appear to blindly apply strategies they’ve been taught in class to solve their homework problems? In the classroom, many children are unable to develop a solid math foundation due to the typical way math is taught. The good news is, you can remedy this issue at home by simply looking at math instruction through a new lens — so that your child goes into the classroom prepared to take on mathematical challenges.
Elephant Learning teaches math concepts from a logic and reasoning perspective, so students learn the underlying basic skills of math before attempting to tackle intimidating numbers and equations. These basic skills are the aspects of math that set up your child to succeed throughout the rest of their life. Get started with the Elephant Learning app and see how I used my knowledge as a Ph.D. mathematician to change the early learning math experience to remarkable results. Our users learn at least a year of math in three months, just by using the app 30 minutes per week, or your money back.
Setting your child up for success in math and then later in life isn’t as easy as teaching them to count before they go to preschool. When children simply learn to memorize math facts, they’re not internalizing the math-related skills that influence that later success. Students are more likely to succeed when they begin to understand the logic behind numbers, rather than being able to just spout off multiplication tables on command. In fact, your child’s skills in math might not have anything to do with how quickly they can solve basic problems; when your child takes the time to think about the numbers, they get closer to cracking into the problem-solving and analytical skills that give math its value in any career.
A homeschool parent's review of Elephant Learning.
A parent sent this to her homeschool group and carbon copied us. We asked her if we could put it up on our blog and here it is!
Elephant Learning and Math Matters has awarded 100 1 year full tuition scholarships to homeschool parents through the Homeschool Foundation!
We tell our children in the United States that they can grow up to be whatever they want. It is the quintessential American dream and why thousands if not millions of people want to move to our country. Find out why the dream is over before students even have a chance. It is all due to a gap between parent's understanding of what counting to 10 is versus what kindergarten means by counting to 10.
You may cancel at any time by logging into the website and going to Manage Account > Plans & Payment. There is a cancel button on this screen. We only ask that you complete the month that you are on.
Your student's Elephant Age will go up by 1 year over 3 months if they use the system 10 minutes per day, 3 days per week. If it does not, or if along the way you do not feel your students are making sufficient progress please contact us.
At 3 months if the goal is not achieved, we will either give you 3 months for free with additional person-to-person coaching OR a full refund.
We are not common core. We created our system independently of any other curriculum or standard as a way of "starting over" and "doing it right." Having said that, we cover the essential topics and treat mathematics as a language, so we are compatible with ALL curriculums and standards including common core.
Many parents find common core frustrating and confusing. Our system is straightforward, and our reports allow parents to understand how we intend to teach each subject. We also provide activities that parents can do with their students to take learning outside of the system.
We cover from counting through Algebra. We have seen students as young as 2 years of age achieve success. If you have an older student who is struggling with upper-level mathematics, it tends to be due to a misconception that occurs in Algebra or earlier. Our system will detect gaps in understanding and fill them with activities that were proven by third-party research to teach the concepts effectively.