If you’re a parent, you’ve likely worried about your kids falling behind in their academic studies as a result of distance learning this year.
We already knew that kids tended to lose some of their math skills during a typical summer break. That was already a challenge for teachers to overcome during a typical school year.
But this year has been atypical for students and parents.
Your child’s lagging math skills aren’t getting the attention they need with professional teachers so far removed from their daily routine.
And parents — especially moms — are bearing the brunt of filling this teaching role.
That’s on top of the household and childcare support they’re already trying to manage.
According to her recent interview with NPR, sociologist Marianne Cooper says, “even as more families become dual-income households, women still do 30% more of the housework and 40% more of the child care.”
That’s taken a huge toll on working moms during the pandemic, forcing many to make the difficult choice between staying in the workforce or dedicating themselves to their kids full-time.
While 1.4 million men have left their jobs due to the pandemic this year, “more than 2.2 million women have left the workforce,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
One of those moms is Amanda, who has been out of the workforce since March. Since her “funds are extra tight,” she’s been struggling to finance a homeschool education for her 11-year-old son Hunter and 8-year-old daughter Makenna.
Initially, Amanda was relying on Facebook groups, blogs, and YouTube videos to help her teach because “trying to purchase a curriculum for two kids has more than doubled my yearly homeschool budget since my son needs more content at a high grade. It makes things very tight.”
But once Amanda found Elephant Learning, she discovered a cost-effective and time-saving teaching solution to tackle each of her kids’ specific math needs.
Amanda’s son Hunter was homeschooled for two years before attending public school for six years. Amanda noticed that Hunter, “used to be very ahead in math before entering school, but we find each year he has started falling a little bit more behind.
“I feel like there are huge gaps in what my son learned in public school,” observes Amanda, adding that she was “having a hard time placing him at a consistent age-appropriate level in a homeschool curriculum.”
Amanda’s struggle is familiar. Your kids may find certain math concepts easier to grasp than others, and that can make finding a comfortable starting point hard.
This predicament took a toll on Hunter as well.
He lacked “confidence in his ability to solve math equations,” she says.
“We spent four months strictly working on multiplication facts to help him gain some of his confidence back.”
But memorizing facts isn’t the same as understanding the underlying math concepts. In order to move into more challenging math, kids need to understand how to apply math concepts to a variety of situations.
Amanda realized that memorization was only a short-term boost for Hunter’s confidence. It wasn’t a lasting solution to fill in the missing math knowledge.
On the other side of the math confidence spectrum is Amanda’s daughter Makenna. She has always been homeschooled, and in Amanda’s eyes “she is doing pretty well.”
But with more complex math concepts on the horizon, Amanda thought, “she could use some extra practice to master the earlier concepts.”
Once Amanda figured out what her kids needed, the next challenge became sifting through all the available tools to decide what was best for them.
If you’re like Amanda, you might be asking yourself questions like:
“Where is the age-appropriate spot to start my child’s math curriculum?”
“Is there a tool I can rely on for my child’s long-term math studies?”
“Is there an affordable option for my limited budget?”
The answer to these questions is Elephant Learning, a math games app for kids.
Elephant Learning was attractive to Amanda because it was affordable for her and effective for her kids.
For $35 per month, both of her kids had unlimited, 24/7 access to the app. But they only needed 30 minutes of average playtime each week to experience immediate, dramatic results.
Hunter was suffering from a lack of confidence in his math skills. Though he had memorized some multiplication, his mom had pointed out that there were some gaps in his math understanding.
Performing math in front of his mom was likely causing some math anxiety. (Studies continue to show that anxious minds are not good at mathematical reasoning.) And Amanda was struggling to find math problems he could solve consistently — her frustration was likely adding to his anxiety.
The Elephant Learning app was a major relief for both of them.
Elephant Learning teaches math concepts through games. Kids are presented with a variety of puzzles they have to solve using math concepts.
They manipulate age-appropriate animated icons, from blueberries and baseballs to aliens and puppies.
They don’t necessarily realize they’re showing their skills in a variety of math concepts, like subtraction, division, percentages, decimals, and equations.
If they get it wrong on the first try, they’re encouraged to “Try again!” And if their frustration gets overwhelming, they can always skip the puzzle and try something new.
Elephant Learning tracked the math concepts that Hunter struggled with and adjusted the math games immediately.
So even though Hunter had memorized his multiplication tables, Elephant Learning made sure he could apply multiplication skills in a variety of contexts.
It made sure he had enough puzzles that were easier for him to solve to boost his confidence. It only introduced harder puzzles once Hunter demonstrated he had mastered multiplication.
Keeping kids engaged means finding that perfect balance between ease and challenge.
And with 24/7 access to games designed specifically for him, Hunter could play whenever he liked. He didn’t have to worry about performing traditional math problems in front of his mom.
But Amanda can easily track Hunter’s progress in the app too, so she’s still in the loop. In fact, the app breaks down all of the math concepts into simple terminology that she can understand.
It’s teaching Amanda how to teach Hunter.
Amanda can see which topics Hunter is working on, and she can read about suggested games she can play with him to reinforce those concepts.
She doesn’t have to keep searching YouTube or Facebook for ideas and best practices. That information is all inside the app.
Elephant Learning was created by math education experts who know what effective math teaching looks like.
So she doesn’t have to worry about her kids relying on anything gimmicky or trendy that won’t stand the test of time.
In fact, the math concepts in Elephant Learning are appropriate for kids aged 2 through 16. So both Hunter and Makenna can rely on Elephant Learning to keep teaching them through high school.
It will continue to dynamically adjust to their strengths and weaknesses, making sure no math concept is overlooked.
When Hunter began playing on Elephant Learning, the app confirmed Amanda’s suspicions; he was doing math at a 7-year-old’s level.
But she didn’t have to worry about figuring out where to begin in filling that knowledge gap.
Elephant Learning started Hunter in a comfortable math-solving setting and progressively introduced more challenging puzzles.
After only seven weeks playing on the app, Hunter mastered over two years’ worth of math concepts.
He’s now working on identifying percentages in a collection, and the language of decimals.
Makenna was basically on track for math in her age group. But Amanda was smart to realize that Makenna could benefit from a refresher on previous math concepts before tackling harder math.
(It’s an easy pitfall for parents to assume that kids remember all those fundamental concepts.)
After nine weeks of playtime, Makenna is about a year ahead of her peers. She’s working on multiplication, division, and equivalent fractions.
Both Hunter and Makenna are averaging 30 minutes of playtime each week. Parents who are concerned about screen time can rest easy knowing their kids don’t need excessive playtime to achieve success.
With so many parents like Amanda facing unprecedented challenges teaching their kids, Elephant Learning continues to be a reliable, affordable choice for effective math education.