How Kingston Learned Nearly 3 Years of Math Despite his Struggles with ADHD

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If you’re the parent of a young child, you know the daily challenge of keeping them entertained.


While your one-on-one time with your child is important for their growth, you’ve also got plenty to tackle on your to-do list.


Searching for age-appropriate activities your kids can do independently and safely can be time-consuming for you. And, once you find those activities, your child’s interest in them can get depleted pretty quickly.


As social distancing and remote learning continue this year, even the most creative and resourceful parents are running out of ideas to fill the hours in the day.


If you’re a working parent, like Teresa, you likely already have limited energy and availability for your kids. And in Teresa’s case, she’s also faced with the challenge of accommodating her child’s ADHD.


When Teresa adopted her 7-and-a-half-year-old son, Kingston, she knew his birth mother suffered from learning disabilities. “We are doing our best to uncover his issues and help him overcome the same obstacles,” says Teresa.  


She noticed that Kingston struggled to focus on tasks and remained uninterested in learning. Kingston was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He is one of approximately 2 million children in the United States with ADHD.


The principal characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Though ADHD is not considered a learning disability itself, it can negatively impact a child’s learning.


According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, “30 to 50 percent of children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability,” which can make learning “extremely challenging.” 


If a child is already struggling with behavioral issues like inattention or hyperactivity, it can feel like a win just to get them focused on a task.


But if a child’s task is related to reading or math, there’s a chance a learning disability will quickly discourage them.


The Elephant Learning math games app is the solution Teresa found to simultaneously engage and educate Kingston.

Challenges

Not all children with ADHD are hyperactive or impulsive. 


In Kingston’s case, Teresa found he was mostly inattentive. Her primary focus was to “find something to get him interested in learning.”


ADHD children who are inattentive experience academic difficulty because they are easily distracted, which makes it hard to complete assignments. 


Their distractibility and lack of persistence may prevent them from being able to retain information. Researchers have found that certain teaching accommodations can positively impact ADHD learners.


Maintaining a daily routine is most important for ADHD students. Second, active learning situations that engage the senses have also proven effective. And, allowing students to choose activities is also highly beneficial.


In fact, student choice is a powerful teaching tool, regardless of whether kids have a learning disability.


When kids are empowered to choose their learning tasks, they become more interested and invested in those activities. Nurturing that active engagement not only facilitates learning, it leads to more successful information retention.


Basically, the more interested you are in an activity, the more likely you are to remember its affiliated information.


The Elephant Learning math games app fulfills all three of these critical components for kids like Kingston.

Finding Elephant Learning

As we’ve discussed, building a routine, engaging the senses, and providing choices are three important components to an ADHD child’s learning process.


Elephant Learning provides all three for lasting math concept retention — regardless of your child’s learning abilities.


The app provides unlimited access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When structuring a routine for your ADHD child, that means you can find the ideal time of day or night to schedule their playtime.


All your child needs are about 30 minutes of playtime each week. It’s best to spread those 30 minutes out over a couple of days. 


But many kids easily hit that 30-minute mark because they love playing the games. It's one of the few apps that won’t make you feel guilty as a parent if your child is overindulging in it.


The Elephant Learning math games engage your child’s senses to retain their attention for active learning.


In fact, the games are designed by education experts who have researched the most effective, lasting methods of teaching math concepts. They are not traditional math problems. They’re games involving attractive, age-appropriate animations that kids manipulate to solve puzzles.


The animations require your child to look, listen, and touch the screen to solve the puzzles. If your child doesn’t understand a puzzle or becomes frustrated, they can easily skip it and try a new game.


That level of student choice is what keeps kids coming back for more. With so many different games at their fingertips, they won’t become bored. 


The games adjust in real-time to accommodate your child’s growth. That means the games will get incrementally harder based on your child’s progress.


The app tracks which math concepts your child has mastered, and which concepts need more attention. Important concepts won’t get overlooked. Elephant Learning provides parents with data insights into their child’s progress. 


It also provides coaching tips and extra activities you can play with your child to reinforce their learning. That takes a lot of guesswork out of your homeschooling duties.


Related: Cameron Overcame ADHD, PTSD, and Math Difficulties with Elephant Learning

Kingston’s Experience With Elephant Learning

When Kingston started playing some math games, Elephant Learning used his performance to gauge where he was most comfortable with his math skills. 


It’s an important first step that many other programs overlook. Meeting your child where they are in their existing skills builds their confidence. 


There’s no point in frustrating them with content they should know for their age but don’t. Because frankly, most kids are behind where they should be when it comes to math. 


It’s rare that a child is performing at their age level when they begin Elephant Learning.


Seven-and-a-half-year-old Kingston began Elephant Learning at a 3-and-a-half-year-old’s skill level.


He played a variety of math games covering concepts like addition, subtraction, and skip counting. He got to manipulate animations that were interesting to him — like aliens, robots, race cars, footballs, and dragons.


He loved playing the games so much, he averaged over 40 minutes of playtime each week. 


Teresa didn’t have to feel bad about his screen time — she finally found something that held his attention long enough to teach him.


In less than six months, Kingston has mastered about three years of math skills. It’s a remarkable accomplishment for any child, and especially for an ADHD child.


With learning disabilities and developmental disorders like ADHD so intricately connected, it can be hard to unravel the problem and find an easy solution.


Elephant Learning uses research-based best practices to teach your child lasting math concept mastery. Consider it your Swiss army knife of teaching tools, ready to accommodate kids of all learning abilities.


Related: Tortoise and Hare: Elephant Learning for Homeschooling at all Paces

Kingston’s Results: 

  • Age: 7.67
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 3.5
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 6.4
  • The difference after six months: 2.9



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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.

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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.

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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.

What subjects does the system cover?  What ages does it work for?

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.

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