How a Mom of Five Turned to a Math Game for Kids When School Kept Changing Curriculum

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Once you understand math concepts and the language of mathematics you and your child will be able to cope with the changing methodology and curriculum.

You can also set your child up for lifelong success in mathematics, STEM, and overall problem-solving. 

When Paris realized that her kids were not growing to their full math potential at their French immersion school, she knew she needed something effective and engaging - quick.  

Luckily, on her search to find the most effective math games for kids, Paris found and fell in love with Elephant Learning, which helped her boys yield outstanding results.  

Challenges with Changing Math Curriculums

For many parents, it seems like the approach to mathematical problem-solving and the curriculum is changing almost daily. 

This can make it difficult to know how to help your child, especially if they are struggling or behind in math.

As schools grapple with the implementation of common core and other changes in the way mathematics is taught, children and their parents are often caught in the middle, left confused. 

To make matters worse, schools can implement these changes with little warning for parents, students, or even teachers.  While these quick pivots may be intended to offer the best curriculum for students, children are often puzzled with the adjustment, with their parents entirely unaware of their struggle. 

This rapid implementation is what happened at the school where Paris’ three sons, four-year-old Trevor, five-year-old Garet, and seven-year-old Trent attended. 

“It seems as though the method was different every day,” she said. “It was frustrating because my eldest son was barely grasping the concepts using the previous methods.”

The boys attended an excellent French immersion school that Paris called, “a great school.”

However, teachers there made little effort to tailor instruction to meet each child's learning style, skill level, and ensure their success. 

While the language experience was immersive, the mathematics instruction was not. 

Trent and Garet struggled to solve any kind of word problem. And the change in instruction methodology proved to be an impossible challenge for the family to keep up with. 

As it was, Trent had math homework three times a week, and younger brother Garet was about to start mathematics instruction in school. 

At the same time, Paris gave birth to twins. Suddenly their busy family of five had ballooned to seven. 

Something had to give. 

“Things were hectic at home and I no longer had the time to sit for long periods to help them with their homework as I should,” Paris explained. 

The Search for Effective Math Games

Paris began to look for games that could help her boys with their math comprehension and stumbled upon Elephant Learning online. 

She hoped the program could step in and give the help that she no longer had the time to provide.   

“I had heard great things about Elephant Learning and wanted both boys to take advantage of the program,” she said. 

But the addition of twins meant that money was also tight.

Determined to not let her children miss out on the opportunity, Paris applied for and received Elephant Learning’s Math Matters scholarship.

Elephant Learning teaches mathematics conceptually. This is very similar to how immersion programs (like the one Garet and Trent attend) teach a second language. 

Through a series of puzzles, the Elephant Learning app provides mathematical exercises that build fluency in the language of mathematics. 

This helps develop a child's intuition for math, and they gain a more in-depth, true understanding of the concept, which can be applied to math homework and everyday math.

Teaching mathematics is very similar to teaching the concept of colors to a young child. We need to show them the color red for them to start recognizing that, for example, this truck is red or that ball is red.

You can't teach 'red.'

Elephant Learning's math games help demonstrate the meanings of mathematical concepts in the same way that showing a child colored objects, can teach colors.  

An Elephant Learning game might cover addition by asking that the student provide five items, and eventually, four more. 

This allows the parent to connect the particular math subject to the experiences that their children have everyday, via the Elephant Learning app. 

If your child sees five plus four and struggles to answer it, you can ask them to bring you five items. Then four more items. 

Because your child already did this in their Elephant Learning math game, they will be able to connect the written concepts to the experiences they've had in these games and real life. 

They now have the tools to understand what the concepts mean through experience and demonstration, instead of language instruction. 

Additionally, Elephant Learning provides a written description for each subject on how it will be taught for your review.

The app also provides a safe space to experiment and play around with mathematical concepts.

This safe space is critical to building a child's confidence in mathematics.

It's a game. The exercises have less pressure than a math test or homework. They want to win, and if they fail the first time, they will try again until they master the puzzle and ultimately, the concept, instead of feeling defeated and giving up. 

Children deepen their understanding, and mathematics becomes more accessible and fun.

This approach allows Elephant Learning to guarantee that children will learn one years' worth of math in as little as three months.

Related: The Three-Step Method to Teaching Math Effectively

Trent, Trevor, and Garet Take On Elephant Learning


Needless to say that the Elephant Learning app exceeded all of Paris’ expectations. 

Confirming Paris' concerns, Trent, Garet, and Trevor tested below their age groups when they began using the app.

However, within just six months of using the app, all three boys' progress showed an understanding of mathematics that far exceeded their peers. 

They leveraged the fun and challenge of the math games for kids, designed to aid in mastering math concepts, as they continued to move through the learning sequence. 

When Trent first tried Elephant Learning, he had an Elephant Age of 6.3 years. In just six months, he had gained 3.1 years of mathematics and was testing at 10.4 years. 

Garet's progress was even more remarkable. Within the six months, he had gained 3.5 years of mathematics. 

Even four-year-old Trevor gained just over two years' worth of mathematics understanding!

Related: It's Possible To Take The Dread Out Of Math Lessons

Trent’s Results: 

  • Age: 8.3 years
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 6.3 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 10.4 years
  • The difference after six months: 4.1 years

Trevor’s Results: 

  • Age: 4.8 years
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 3 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 5.1 years
  • The difference after six months: 2.1 years

Garet’s Results:

  • Age: 5.8 years
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 5 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 8.5 years
  • The difference after six months: 3.5 years

Elephant Learning makes math fun. Your child will learn the concepts, develop an intuition for math, and ultimately, be set up for lifelong success. 

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