It’s not always that a kid doesn’t know a concept when they’re struggling.
Sometimes, they’re just not able to show their proficiency the way they do best.
For many kids, public school requirements force them into learning and testing that doesn’t align with the way they perform their best. For Sherri, all seven of her kids have struggled within their public school district; suffering from dyslexia, testing anxiety, and more.
One of Sherri’s most recent struggles has been with her daughter Emily, who’s almost seven years old. Unlike her other siblings who have dyslexia and struggle in classes that are writing-heavy like English and History, Emily struggles with math.
But it’s not even that she doesn’t understand it. When Sherri tries to ask her math questions at home, Emily shows a clear grasp of her concepts. It’s when the tests come out where Emily really freezes up.
In their family’s particular public school district, there’s a high student-to-teacher ratio. This means that even if teachers want to stay after school to help students with a concept, they’re so busy handling the other classes that they’re not able to.
Sherri resented the public school in their town, especially since they haven’t given her children the resources they need to thrive when they’re fighting against learning adversities. Unfortunately, there are few other options that she could choose from, and few resources she could access from the town they lived in.
Her other kids found some solutions in things like tutoring, mainly because their challenges were through understanding concepts, not demonstrating their knowledge. But she knew that with Emily, things were a little bit different.
“My children are beautiful, creative, and imaginative,” Sherri explains. “But they struggle with academics. They are being left behind, some by years, in the public school system.” She continues about how she tries to seek help for them, and particularly for Emily, when they face a tricky situation; “I generally do a Google search and spend hours trying to find the information.”
Though this has helped with short-term solutions, Emily’s testing anxiety was still stopping her from getting the grade she wanted in math.
It didn’t make sense that she could explain the concepts perfectly, but on paper, she could barely get one question right.
On Sherri’s side, Google had few answers, but one that ended up being the solution. She’d heard about Elephant Learning on Facebook, but never really looked into it until she came across the website.
For Sherri, she knew that Emily’s testing anxiety came from a deeper place: confidence.
Emily had always had problems with her confidence. When she was younger, she never felt proud of her accomplishments in school, in sports, and in activities, always comparing her work to her friends or siblings who did better.
Sherri knew that if there was a way to translate Emily’s confidence in mastering math so it would reflect on the paper, that she could get lasting results as testing became more and more intense as Emily got older.
Sherri had tried a lot of solutions for her other kids but happened across Elephant Learning after a friend recommended it to her. She’d been familiar with the concept of gamification in education, which proved helpful to her other kids with similar platforms helping them with things like spelling and grammar.
What did surprise her was how little the game needed to be played per week for Emily to grasp onto it. For her other kids, playing typically required at least thirty minutes a day for them to understand the concepts, but with Elephant Learning, she was recommended to guide Emily to play just ten minutes a day for three days a week.
With six other kids, that sure was manageable; but let’s see how Emily liked it.
Emily started with the initial placement exam, which used AI to figure out what concepts she understood and what concepts she needed to work on. The crazy part? She got an Elephant Age higher than her actual age.
At almost 7 years old, Emily tested at over a year above with an Elephant Age of 8.
This furthered Sherri’s knowledge that it was really Emily’s confidence that was holding her back in math, not her understanding of the concepts.
As Emily proceeded through the game, Sherri noticed a difference in the way she worked. Typically, she’d have somebody to compare her skills to; whether her 6 siblings, her classmates, or her friends. It wasn’t abnormal for her to hear that although she thought the test was hard and got a weak grade, her friend passed with flying colors.
But when Emily continued through the game, she saw little celebrations as her Elephant Age advanced. Sherri would receive emails about how Emily was doing which included parent-geared training to help her best support Emily as she went on through the game.
This game gave Emily the agency to practice Elephant Learning without Sherri needing to hover over her while giving Sherri the full story on what she was understanding and what she was struggling with.
Through the game, without comparisons, Emily could focus on her improvement, not how her skills were compared to others.
For a child with low self-confidence, Sherri knew that this was big.
The more Emily played, the more Sherri noticed her celebrating her little wins. Mastering math was one thing, but upping her Elephant Age as she improved was a way for Emily to see her improvement right before her eyes. It was an environment supporting her improvement and her improvement only, without feeling like she was falling behind or getting off pace.
With Elephant Learning, Sherri found that her daughter could finally see her growth in a vacuum instead of compared to others. She had a feeling this might reflect on her math classes with her newfound confidence.
Emily immediately noticed a difference when she started working with Elephant Learning. To her, testing her math skills in a game was far less stressful than needing to answer them on a sheet of paper, just waiting for that red pen to strike through and mark “wrong.”
With the engaging, fun, game-like platform, the practice didn’t seem like it was set up for her to fail like it often felt in school.
Emily started at an Elephant Age of 8, which was almost a year above her age of almost 7 years old. Within two and a half months, she’d learned over a year of math and raised her Elephant Age to a 9.25 and growing.
What was most important was how Sherri saw her performing on tests.
Now, Emily was going into tests knowing full well that she was capable of acing it. She had tested a year above her actual age in Elephant Learning! And with her newfound confidence, sure enough, her next math test came to a B+ instead of the D's she was used to.
There’s mastery, and then there’s confidence. Sherri knew that for success to happen, she’d need to help her child marry the two. With Elephant Learning’s platform, Emily was able to uncover the knowledge she already had, and prove her skills confidently on her exams.