Friday, March 20, 2015

The Latest Engaging Addition to Our Eclectic Math Approach {A GPA LEARN Review}

Our family's approach to math consists of an eclectic mix of including an array of real-life math experiences, exploring many hands-on activities and games, reading plenty of math-based literature, taking occasional forays into traditional math curriculum, and enjoying periodic online fun.  GPALOVEMATH by GPA LEARN has become the latest addition to our math approach.  It provides an engaging way for kids to learn math online through lessons and games.

Critical Thinking Company Review

GPALOVEMATH is an award-winning K-5 curriculum which comes as online streaming software and offers far more than just typical online math learning.  In fact, it offers:

An Array of Math Activities 

When families register, they get access to over 150 lessons and over 10,00 practice problems at levels K-5.  

Once logged into, students are instructed by animated online learning coaches and may opt to for instruction, practice or quizzes withing three pathways at their grade levels. 


Rewards to Motivate Kids

As children complete lessons, they are awarded points, which can be redeemed for parent-selected rewards, as well as - much to my surprise and my children's delight - gift cards to places like Target and Toys R Us.

Mastery in Months

Used 4-5 times a week, GPALOVEMATH can help children master a grade level's worth of math in about 10 months.  Used less frequently, the program supplements math concepts well and keeps children engaged in learning.  

Regular Parent Notifications

Parents are kept abreast of children's progress through regular automated emails which come after children complete lessons, when they "nudge" you to approve rewards and when they send a message to you through the "engage" tab.

Parents also receive periodic tips about how to reinforce concepts taught through their children's lessons and are always offered an option to audit any lesson a child does.

Private Messaging

Interaction between parents and children is encouraged through an "engage" tab within the program interface which brings you to a private messaging system.

This system can be used to ask and answer math questions, of course.  It can also be used to spread love!

Audio Narration

Further, the program offers both written text and robotic-like narration within its lessons, so children who are not strong readers are not held back.

The program can be used with your MS Window or Apple MAC computer, ab Apple iPad, or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (10”). Google Chrome is the recommended for it, but Apple Safari 6 & 7, MS IE11 and FireFox also work.  (We typically used Firefox.)

Our Experience

Once we signed up for GPALOVEMATH, I had no problem following the onscreen registration and login process and placing each of my children (ages 4, 7 and 9) at appropriate levels within the K-5 range.
Then, I sat with each child, helping each to log on and move through a lesson.

Once it was clear that the kids knew how to use GPALOVEMATH on their own, I set them free to do so as they wished during screentime learning periods.

Sometimes, they actually did their lessons.  At other times, they got excited by the "engage" and "motivate" tabs and, instead, wrote me private messages or browsed what sort of rewards they could get.

Thankfully, seeing how many points they had earned and how many they needed for specific rewards brought them back to actually doing lessons!

Or, perhaps I should say, taking quizzes. 

When we began the program, I decided to set it to start "easy" for each child.  I did this for two reasons:

1.  I did not want the program to be "too hard" for my children at first, and, thus, to become something they disliked.

2.  I was curious to see what "holes" GPALOVEMATH might reveal in my children's learning as compared to children who are more traditionally "schooled".  (Since we use an eclectic math approach that touches on skills based on my children's interests and patches those skills together like a quilt, I am well aware that their a typical "grade level" topics that we have not explored yet and thought the linear trajectory of GPALOVEMATH would help me see which skills I might gently encourage further practice with during our everyday life and learning.

Setting the program to "easy" levels for my children worked well.  They did not find the too difficult and were, thus, not dissuaded from using it, but, rather, often asked for more screentime to move further along on their learning and review paths.  Further, I realized some traditional math vocabulary and concepts that could be bolstered in the kids' overall math learning.

However, the "easy" settings also created a situation that might not behoove us as the kids continue on with the program.  In short, they found the "Instruction" and "Practice" portions of the lessons a bit slow and often went straight for the quizzes, hoping to become "Rockstars" and, thus, to earn points for rewards!
Sometimes, going straight to the quizzes resulted in the kids getting less than "rockstar" status.  When this happened, I simply suggested that they go back to the related lesson and then repeat the quiz.  Sometimes, they did so on their own.  At other times, my younger children asked me or big brother to sit with them to do the lessons and practice sessions before re-taking the quizzes on their own, since the animated learning coach voices, although helpful, sometimes seemed to make lessons go too slow and get a bit grating with the robotic cadence of the voices and, therefore, they preferred a live, in-person voice to read the lesson material to them.

So far, we've been using the program for about six weeks and the children are still enjoying it, asking for it and sharpening their math skills. 
That makes GPAMATHLOVE a win in our home and a worthwhile addition to our eclectic math approach!

Whether your children learn math in a traditional trajectory, or in a more eclectic style as mine do, GPAMATHLOVE could be a "right fit" for them. 
Although meant as a supplementary math program, there is enough "meat" to it that it could serve as an actual core curriculum in my opinion. It also makes for a fun, engaging program for extra math practice for any child -- homeschooled or traditionally schooled.

Learn More

Try GPALOVEMATH FREE for 30 days!

Or, purchase it using a discount code. 

GPALOVEMATH is available now for a special introductory price of $129 per year per child with the Promo Code GPAINTRO15 or $12.99 per month per child.

See what other Schoolhouse Review Crew families thought of GPALOVEMATH.
GPA Learn Review
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What math resources have you been finding helpful?  Might GPA LEARN round out your math approach, too?  
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