Welcome to the K-household!
No, not the Kardashians, but Jessica’s family, including her husband and her three kids: Kaidence, Krissy, and Kylie.
Curtain up to 6 months ago, when everything was looking okay (sort of). Jessica had just started her Master’s after years and years of waiting for the stars to align. Her husband’s work as a Field Service Technician helped her afford the tuition, and her kids were just starting to get back into the flow after their winter break of 2020, until-- you guessed it-- COVID hit.
All of a sudden, virtual school was sucking up more time and energy than she’d ever imagined. Between teachers trying to manipulate the new technological challenges to the girls getting distracted by online games, Jessica knew that there were going to be struggling if she didn't have a system. All of their after-school activities were canceled, and playdates were out of the question until further notice. Jessica knew her kids needed to continue excelling in school, as well as make up for lost time in the math arena-- but she also wanted to make sure that her kids were having some sort of fun while doing it.
Now that Jessica was fully-involved in her kid’s learning, she had to get down to the root of the problem. Each one of her girls had unique struggles with math, and their new remote learning situation certainly wasn’t helping. She'd been looking for a math accelerator to make her and her girl's lives easier, but so far, hadn't found it.
Kaidence, the oldest of Jessica's three daughters, never really jived with math. She’s struggled ever since she had one mean math teacher in elementary school. No fun games, no activities; all worksheets. Since then, math had been her least favorite subject, oftentimes referring to herself as just "not a math person." The older she got, the more she fell behind; math felt like a losing game.
Krissy, the middle child, likes to learn things on her own. Even when she needs help, she’s oftentimes too proud to ask. The best feeling in the world is knowing that she taught herself a concept without any help. This means a lot of “I’m fine!”s after mom asking her if she needs help, but not many As to further prove her argument.
Kylie is the baby of the family. Jessica spends most of her time just trying to make sure she understands basic concepts. When it comes to the execution, she seems to have a similar path as her older sisters, oftentimes getting frustrated with difficult topics, so Jessica wants to catch her struggles right then and there so she didn't start falling behind like her sisters were.
A lot of patterns that families saw while their children were in school were elevated when things went remote. The high achievers were getting higher grades, and the low achievers were getting lower grades (and sometimes even failing). Yet, teachers were trying everything to pass as many students as they could.
An article on Chalkbeat describes how, “one English teacher in California’s Coachella Valley said her school ‘strongly encouraged’ staff to adjust the lower end: What would normally get an F now get a D, and Ds have become Cs."
Other teachers are providing additional catch-up opportunities for those who failed, and some are even changing their grading scale completely to eliminate the amount of Fs they can give.
The teachers were in survival mode, and many parents similar to Jessica was in a similar boat. She needed a math accelerator that worked for her girls.
For Kaidence, the remote learning did not fit her fancy. She finally had a math teacher she loved and whose information she was starting to grasp. She was everything her elementary math teacher wasn’t, creating math games, 4-corners, and fun interactive activities that helped Kaidence grasp concepts with ease. Now in their new remote set-up, there was a limit to what her math teacher could do, and Kaidence felt more and more disdain every time she had to log in.
For Krissy, nothing was going to get in the way of her independent lifestyle-- remote learning included. Whenever Jessica offered to help her, especially when she saw her getting slightly distracted on the Google Meets calls, Krissy would insist she could do it herself, just like always.
For Kylie, Jessica’s ability to get her to sit staring at a computer for over an hour was a big enough monster to tackle. With her, it felt the most difficult, as many of Kylie's usual in-person activities consisted of movement, dance, and in-person playing.
When Jessica found out about Elephant Learning, she knew she had to give it a try. She’d tried a lot of alternatives in the distant and recent past. Homeschooling Facebook groups, Youtube channels, and even trying to help the girls herself-- but to no avail. She knew that with each year came more and more of a snowball effect. Her girls needed the perfect math accelerator to master the basics, and unfortunately, no amount of quick-fix videos could help.
Jessica created an account for each of her children on Elephant Learning. First step’s first: the placement exam. For her kids, this surprisingly didn’t feel like a test at all. The UI aging system in Elephant Learning’s platform gathers information based on each child's answers, and after the initial placement exam, sends a report to their parents that shows what Elephant Age their student is at.
After Jessica got each of her daughter's results, it was time to start her kids on the program. Knowing how much homework her kids had already, she was relieved to know that she could give her kids a break.
The team at Elephant Learning instructs that kids only need 30 minutes per week-- which could ideally be broken down from 10 minutes a day for three days a week. That's a trip there and back to the grocery store!
But possibly one of Jessica’s favorite part of the platform was how it placed each of her girls. According to their Elephant Age, the platform would start them on an appropriate level. This way, she could ensure that they don’t feel like they're falling behind a classmate (much like they did in school). With each incorrect answer, the system doesn’t give it a failing grade, but finds the gap in their understanding and creates the most effective continuation of the game to help the student master the concepts before moving on.
With lessons and scores advancing, the Elephant Age advances as well, giving each student a visual representation of their progress, instead of a grade to compare themselves to.
Kaidence’s improvement in her Elephant Age ranking is just the beginning of her becoming more and more comfortable and confident in math. Elevating her Elephant Age up by three months in only three weeks, she started seeing movement and growth in her math struggles without even realizing she was learning.
As she continues to improve within the platform, Jessica's equipped with everything she needs to be her cheerleader every step of the way.
At the beginning of Krissy’s Elephant Learning journey, she tested at an Elephant Age of 3.5, while her actual age was 8. Though Jessica wanted to try to help her, she knew she wouldn’t be able to, as Krissy's persistent "do it myself" attitude wouldn't be letting up anytime soon.
But for the first time when it came to math, Krissy really didn’t need any help!
As she flew through the games, practically begging to have extra time on the platform, her Elephant Age started skyrocketing. Cut to 8 weeks later, and she was up to a 6.50 Elephant Age-- a full 3.00 year of growth!
Kylie always loved asking her mom for games to play on her iPad, and now, Jessica confidently said "yes!" Kylie's pride in being able to play the same game as her sisters could be seen from a mile away, and the results were even brighter!
Starting at a 3 years old Elephant Age, almost 6-year-old Kylie certainly saw some results from working the program. By the end of the program, she’d gotten to an Elephant Age of 5.28, almost the same number as her age!
Jessica knew that Elephant Learning really could be for every aged child. It advances as kids got older, both in the concepts and in the platform itself. That means that 11-year-old Kaidence was going to be able to play on the same platform as almost 6-year-old Kylie with no complaints whatsoever.
With the struggles of remote learning ever-present, Jessica took steps to help her kids succeed, even amidst the grueling circumstances. As she selflessly put her education aside and focused her energy on her kids' learning, she found a solution that saved her family hours of frustration. Now that her girls could eliminate math as one of their main academic stressors, Jessica had been able to re-start her Master's program, learning alongside her girls instead of struggling with them.
Now that the family's together, they can all learn at their own pace-- even Jessica!-- without the tears.