Jenny and her husband live the life they’ve worked hard for. They own their own farm, and a spacious home on it, with acres and acres of room to garden, grow food, maintain animals, and let their daughter, Ambrosia, have as much time in the outdoors as she wants.
Ambrosia has many loves and many talents. Some nights, she’s found playing basketball on her patio, swooshing the ball into the basket over and over again until the sun sets. Other times, she’s kicking the ball around, practicing new tricks, and working on her goal-shooting. Even the rain won't stop her. She’s in her basement, which is fully decked out with a wooden floor for tap dancing and dances, and mats for perfecting her gymnastics skills.
Movement is where Ambrosia likes to learn. For her, falling is a simple and quick learning experience to perform better the next time. She has bruises and scratches all over her knees and elbows, but she knows that the more she practices, the smoother she will be at whichever sport or activity she’s doing at that time.
She also loves being creative. Art class at school was her favorite because she got to smother her hands in paint and get dirty. But since the pandemic, her favorite classes like art, theatre, and gym didn’t have the same excitement they used to. For art, she has to do projects at home, which doesn’t have the same novelty and fun as when she can see her classmates doing the same. Theatre started turning into an English class instead of a get-up-and-play class, and gym required her to log her fitness hours, which wasn’t any less than what she’d already been doing.
What’s even more difficult about her situation is her dyslexia, which makes analytical classes even more difficult. She’s struggled in math since she was young, and her mom, Jenny, had tried almost everything to help her overcome her learning difficulties.
“It’s difficult for her to remember abstract academic information,” her mom explained before finding the program that worked for her (that you’ll hear about in just a little bit). “Her dyslexia has created great challenges for her… she is going into 6th grade, but is at a 3rd-grade math level.”
Ambrosia was already failing in math, so the remote learning environment certainly didn’t help. Along with that, her gymnastics gym had closed, her soccer program was at a halt, and her extracurricular art classes had shut down all due to the pandemic. She was forced out of all of the outlets that made her happy, and in turn had to work even harder to battle her dyslexia, now through a computer screen.
Jenny certainly wasn’t happy about the situation, either. She’d spent thousands of dollars on tutoring programs that didn’t translate well during Ambrosia’s closed-book exams and was at a loss at where to turn.
Typically, she’d find solace or short-term solutions in her Facebook groups, where she’d sometimes find support from other moms with dyslexic daughters, but this was most likely because she’d ask questions regarding specific problems around her daughter instead of around the bigger-picture solution.
After a particularly daunting assignment that left both Ambrosia and Jenny in tears, Jenny decided to have a different approach to asking questions in her Facebook groups. She knew that there were good and bad questions, and she realized that the questions she was asking weren’t yielding her the results she could get if she’d be a little bit broader.
She opened up her laptop, and typed into the group:
“My daughter is failing in math, but I know there has to be a way out. What’s the #1 solution you found was the most effective for your child’s math struggles?”
The next morning as Ambrosia was checking into her classes on her computer in the living room, Jenny opened up hers nearby in the kitchen. The responses and engagement she got with her post were more than she’d ever gotten, and the answers wowed her.
Some parents had some luck with in-person tutoring but expressed frustration with the fact that kids didn’t have access to in-person help anymore. Others found help with having a wonderful math teacher who was willing to spend extra time to help lift their student out of their rut, but Jenny knew that Ambrosia wasn’t that lucky.
What she noticed the most was the overwhelming support for a program called Elephant Learning, where kids “Elephant Ages” grew mountains as they progressed through the “game.”
Jenny knew that there had to be some sort of trade-off: a math program that would help her daughter who was failing in math not only to her appropriate math level but above it? She needed to do some further investigating but was shocked when the price was uberly affordable for what she was expecting compared to the tutoring she’d spent thousands of dollars on.
Jenny was excited, yet a bit hesitant to start Ambrosia on a new journey. Ambrosia had been through a lot of programs, only to be let down that her learning didn’t extend beyond the walls of the tutoring building. Still, she was determined to get Ambrosia on the right track and help her boost her performance and her confidence.
First came the initial assessment, which Elephant Learning uses to determine their user’s “Elephant Age.” This is a unique number that’s calculated through AI as the system gets used to Ambrosia’s strengths and weaknesses.
Jenny wanted to give her daughter the space to complete the assessment herself but did hear from around the corner the game-like structure that the program was in. It was interesting to her to see a platform that felt so much like a game, yet that was proven to help kids excel in math long term.
Ambrosia tested at an Elephant Age of 7.78, which was significantly below her real age of 12 years old. Though the age wasn’t a surprise to Jenny, what was a surprise was the platform’s ability to gauge her daughter’s progress so precisely.
So, Jenny and Ambrosia made a schedule: Ambrosia would play Elephant Learning for ten minutes a day, Monday through Friday. When Jenny initially planned this, she was preparing to have to haul Ambrosia over to the computer to work on her math every day as she’d promised.
Surprisingly, Jenny noticed Ambrosia heading over to the computer on her own every day, and even staying on the platform for 15, 20, or even 30 minutes longer than she needed to. Jenny was shocked but totally delighted that her daughter was unknowingly perfecting her math skills in a way that didn’t seem laborious or further her frustrations with her dyslexia.
In just two weeks, Ambrosia had lifted her Elephant Age over a year and continued to grow. She felt the excitement that she felt in her art, theatre, and gym classes when she perfected a skill, finished a painting, or remembered a line.
The science behind Elephant Learning? Experiential learning, for one. Using the latest research in mathematics education, the team at Elephant Learning is constantly working to keep the platform gamified, meaning that it utilizes a game-like program to keep kids engaged and excited.
Another game-changing aspect that made this platform better than the others is the coaching. Jenny’s involvement with her daughter’s work didn’t come out of her towering over her shoulder and watching her every move. Instead, the platform would send her progress report emails, giving detailed information on Ambrosia’s progress as well as in-depth videos so she could help coach her daughter throughout the learning progress.
Ambrosia wasn’t just improving her Elephant Age but was also getting better grades in math class. As she applied what she’d learned in Elephant Learning, Ambrosia started seeing higher and higher grades in school too. This meant that the platform was helping broaden her math understanding beyond the platform, which was the real reason why Jenny signed up in the first place.
As the country starts to open back up and activities become more and more prevalent, Jenny won’t have to worry about Ambrosia catching up in math. As long as she stays on the platform for 10 minutes a day every weekday (and let’s face it, Jenny ends up having to kick her off the platform because she likes playing so much), Ambrosia can have as much fun flipping in her basement, shooting soccer balls and painting a canvas as she is practicing her math!