Devastated after being told she “couldn’t do math” and rapidly falling behind her peers, Brooke was further devastated by a series of disruptions in school.
Then she found the math app, Elephant Learning, restored her math confidence, and quickly caught up with her peers.
At ten years old, Brooke had lost any confidence that she had in her ability to do math.
Her mom watched helplessly as Brooke’s lack of confidence grew, and a series of school mishaps made things worse.
“I believe a teacher from her private school told her she wasn’t good at math,” says Brooke’s mom, Amy. “She is so sweet, and now she is convinced that she can’t do it.”
Confidence is critical to learning, especially in subjects like mathematics.
Confident students can perform under pressure, and they are more likely to be able to rebound when things are tough.
They are also more willing to take risks and try something new. They are, in short, okay with failing in the short term and more likely, therefore, to succeed over the long term.
In the fall, Amy pulled Brooke from her private school and placed her in the public system, where she hoped her daughter would find the help she needed.
Amy quickly learned that her daughter was extremely behind her peers, and Brooke would receive extra help in the form of small group tutoring.
However, a series of mishaps compounded Brooke’s issues with mathematics.
Her teacher left the classroom and was replaced temporarily with a substitute until the school could find and hire a replacement. At the same time, the small group help that Brooke received took a scheduled month off.
A lack of continuity in the classroom can be harmful to the best students, but for a struggling student like Brooke, it can be devastating.
It can spark a cyclical effect where a student fails to trust those who are supposed to help and then falls even further behind. This can further undermine a child’s confidence.
Even though she was willing to hire someone, Amy was unable to find anyone who had the time to tutor her daughter. It was a perfect storm of circumstances that threatened to destroy any chance of Brooke catching up and restoring her confidence in her ability in math. “We can’t win for losing,” says Amy.
As an involved and proactive parent, Amy did the right thing reaching outward for additional help.
Wanting to catch your students up in math in their early years, helping them develop the problem-solving skills they will need for the rest of their lives, is integral - especially when we see that 75% of high school students are not proficient in high school mathematics (and that is up from 66% the previous year).
Once students get into algebra, if they don’t understand the concept, it’s game over.
There’s no way to memorize algebra. The best they can do is memorize mnemonics, but as soon as the equations become more complex, which happens fairly quickly, these strategies no longer work.
Because math concepts build on top of each other, if your child doesn’t understand math during their first year, they’re not going to understand things later.
Early math readiness is significant because the research also shows that children who do more math at the preschool level are better readers, writers, and problem solvers. They also have better grammar and better reading comprehension.
As children, they may not fully understand counting, but now they’re on to addition and subtraction using memorization as a technique to pass, instead of comprehending the subject.
Once they get to multiplication, the children that were great at memorization look like they are doing well, but it is as if you entered a third-year biochem class after missing the first two years. Everyone sounds like they’re speaking English, but you would not understand what they’re talking about.
In fact, one study showed that preschool math scores predict fifth-grade overall scores, not just fifth-grade math scores.
Frustrated by Brooke’s lack of confidence and knowing she was slipping farther and farther behind, Amy searched for help.
She found the math app, Elephant Learning online, and was intrigued by the app’s many good reviews, particularly from parents whose children struggled with mathematics.
Brooke was immediately engaged with the gamified curriculum.
Elephant Learning was created with the most effective mathematics activities documented by early-age education researchers who dedicated their lives to discovering the most effective way to teach.
Because of this, Brooke easily exceeded the recommended 30 minutes per week, excited to continue the puzzles and games as she learned.
In addition, Amy loved that there were coaching videos provided to help throughout the entire process, as well as advice on how to work with students on mistakes so that there is never a ton of pressure.
Parents will also find games to play with their children outside of the app that further supports learning.
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 that outcomes for students are better when parents are involved.
Math tends to be like mental gymnastics: it exercises your mind.
Children who are doing more math are practicing mental skills more often; just like you might practice a simple skill like chewing gum and walking at the same time, children can practice counting while holding a number in their head.
When she started Elephant Learning, Brooke lagged behind most of her peers.
At age ten, she tested at an Elephant Learning Age of just 7.5 years. An Elephant Learning age is determined by an average of what most children know at a given age.
To her mom, Amy’s pleasant surprise, within only six months of using the app, Brooke had gained over one year’s worth of math and was quickly regaining her confidence.
Once there’s a gap in your child’s math understanding, math anxiety builds due to that gap.
If your child doesn’t understand the teacher or topic during a math lesson, they assume they’re not good.
Our society tells them it’s okay if they are just “not a numbers person,” encouraging them to give up trying.
Once it is okay not to be good at one subject, it makes it easy to have excuses for being deficient in other subjects.
At Elephant Learning, our only goal is to ensure that children are empowered by mathematics. Not only do we aim to empower the student but also the parent. You no longer have to be afraid to take your child’s math education into your own hands.