Jennifer Never Said “Sit Still” to Her Child With Elephant Learning

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Rambunctious kids just need to learn how to sit still… right?


Wrong.


But how can we help them focus? Well… with the right tools that engage them enough to be!


Reading Kingdom grabbed a quote from Brian Gatens, a superintendent of a school in Emerson, NJ: “We need to recognize that children are movement based… in schools, we sometimes are pushing against human nature in asking them to sit still and be quiet all the time.”


Sure, most of us know that sitting still isn’t great for kids. But parents like Jennifer practice what they preach, and find solutions that keep them both entertained and engaged.


Her son Cannon was one of those ‘bounce off the walls’ kids who were often asked to sit still. His teachers might call him a loose cannon, but really, Jennifer knows he’s just a kid being a kid. Unfortunately, what he doesn’t bounce off the walls about is math, which has already started to show even at 5 years old, and she knew that she wanted to find something that got him just as excited as running outside.

Challenges

The pandemic hasn’t helped Jennifer’s rambunctious 5-year-old son, Cannon, who hasn’t gotten it easy with schooling since the pandemic.


Though she wanted to place him in Pre-K this year, the school didn’t provide transportation to and from, and as a single, full-time working mom, her schedule doesn’t allow for her to bring him to and from school.


Jennifer has worked as a paramedic for over 9 years, just recently graduating nursing school. She’s continuing her education still to eventually work towards her masters in nursing, and is equally dedicated to her self-growth as she is to her childrens’.


Lucky for Jennifer, math had always come easy to her, but that meant explaining it to her kids in a simple manner was nearly impossible.


Trying some options, she invested in Adventure Force, but just like school bored Cannon, so did it.


When remote learning became the norm, she knew it was a sign to find a long-lasting solution so Cannon could be set up for success. She’d already heard from the teachers about him not sitting still, but never believed she should stop him from his own unique ways of learning and expressing himself.


Finding Elephant Learning

Jennifer took the school closures as a sign to set Cannon up for success. Though he wasn’t learning concepts that were as challenging as his big sister, she still wanted him to be comfortable and ready for when they came.


With a search of Google, Jennifer came across an option that she hadn’t noticed before: Elephant Learning.


A platform meant specifically for math, it seemed like a fit that could work. One of the key factors that sold her on Elephant Learning was the specific usage of gamification to engage and retain learners. In other platforms, she’d see it either be too much fun with no education, or all education with no fun.


Jennifer valued the importance of ensuring Cannon could continue learning the way he needed to, not the way his teachers wanted him to. In that sense, she needed to find a platform that would meet him where he was at, not just blandly occupying him. So, she got the platform in the hopes that Cannon could find fun in math without losing his natural knack for movement and play.


Related: No More Failing in Math for Ambrosia: Math is Now Just as Fun as Art!

Cannon’s Experience With Elephant Learning

Cannon was always bopping around, ready for the next adventure. And what surprised Jennifer was that Elephant Learning didn’t break this flow at all. Because the platform can be used on an iPad just like a game, he practiced math while standing, walking, laying upside down off the couch, or laying on his back floor-side.


The initial assessment was first, which is an examination of the learner’s capabilities, and what Elephant Learning uses as the Elephant Age. This is a typical exam used at the beginning of many platforms, oftentimes charged separately. But for us, knowing the importance of hopping right in, we knew it right to have it part of the program. 


In school, students like Cannon get a passing or a failing grade. But in Elephant Learning, there’s no fail; when Cannon got a question wrong, the AI in the platform continued feeding him the same types of problems so he had to master it in order to move on.


Think about it-- we don’t ever lose knowledge; we only gain it. So why would we take away points from a learner just because they got a question wrong, which is part of the learning process anyway?


This challenging but fun process was one of the reasons why Cannon didn’t find the tool boring or frustrating. It was a combination of the UI and the questions: the UI aging on the tool also ensured that the game was captivating enough for his age level, and the math questions were developed by scientists and mathematicians to ensure long-term retention.


What was even better was the time it took Cannon to learn math through Elephant Learning. We know tutors can take at least an hour a week, but with Elephant Learning, all you need is 10 minutes a day for three days a week. That’s 30 minutes a week, without any time needed to drive to and from that tutoring session.


So, Cannon would hop on 10 minutes before dinner, or 10 minutes before his sport-- no fuss. This was all great for Cannon, but what was even better was how Jennifer worked with the program.

Jennifer’s Experience With Elephant Learning

Jennifer’s involvement in Cannon’s life already set him up for success. She was always ready to help him with homework, no matter how tired she was from working. But she knew that finding a platform that helped him gain his independence and learn by himself would be even more of a gift to her son.


With how Elephant Learning works, it’s not necessary for parents to look over their kid’s shoulder. Our team believes in the power of child-led work, which is why our platform is meant for them to do on their own (plus, we know how busy you are as a parent already).


Parents like Jennifer are great in giving their children space, and with Elephant Learning, giving their children independence in math was now a whole new level. 


Jennifer studied the email reports that we sent out to her, detailing all of Cannon’s improvements, blind spots, and Elephant Age growth. She utilized our video coaching tools to better understand how Cannon was working and how to best encourage him while using the platform. That way, she could support as a cheerleader, without feeding him answers or making him feel like he wasn’t capable of doing things on his own.


In about two and a half weeks, Cannon’s Elephant Age lifted from a 3 (two years below his actual age of 5) all the way to a 4.5-- learning a year and a half worth of math in less than a month.


So, no, we’ll never ask your kids to sit still. We’ll give them something that they can do anywhere, anyhow.


Related: With Katie’s Family, Math Works for School and Business!

Cannon’s Results: 


  • Age: 5 years old
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 3 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 4.5 years
  • The difference after 1 month: 1.5 years

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