Today’s review features a detailed look at the Elephant Learning Math Academy. This is an academic program that covers counting through Algebra but does not include high school courses. We received a 12-month subscription to this program which can be accessed online or via their app. This program was used consistently with my 4, 5, and 11-year-old cool kids.
The interface of this program looks the same no matter who is using it. As soon as you log in, you can choose who will be using the program. Each child is able to select and identifiable avatar and begin their coursework. Upon entering the learning area, they are able to pick a character that will be used for the day. This character will be shown and used to solve equations throughout their entire coursework session. The minimum time suggested for each coursework session is approximately 20 minutes. Once Algebra is entered, your child will still pick a character but rarely use it to solve equations.
As your child works through the program their correct and incorrect answers determine their Elephant Age. This age is displayed on the dashboard with charts and detailed explanations on their coursework. When your child progresses, their age increases; however, if they appear to have trouble the age will stay the same. The faster they progress, the faster their age increases and slows with minimal progress. At the end of each session, an optional homework worksheet is available to print and complete.
Our Homeschool Experience
Each of my call kids used this program daily for the recommended 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, they will receive a notification stating that they are coursework session was over and they will return the device to me. For the sake of this review, I had my younger children use this program solely on the app while Bear used it on both the website and the app. Each of the children was initially intrigued by the program but eventually, neither enjoyed using it.
Our first issue with this program is the characters that are used for younger children. Each comes with a quirky behavior that could be deemed cute but was extremely distracting. Princess and Bam Bam were often confused about how to remove the characters from the screen when subtracting or if they put too many when adding. I’d also find that they were easily bored with the games (lessons) because they didn’t understand the concepts. Sometimes I’d walk in the room to them piling characters on the screen and playing with them just to fill their required 30 minutes.
Our next issue is the overall clarity in which the lessons are presented to the children. For example, the dashboard may state that your child is learning addition with small numbers, however, that is never explained to the children through visible equations. Other programs have similar games but they clearly display through equations or explain with audio what they are learning. Bam Bam and Princess were often confused about the content and what they were supposed to do to solve the problem. After solving, the math equation would show on the screen in very small print. They never noticed it and I would have to point out to them that they just practiced 6 + 4 = 10. Again, moving the characters around was also at issue with this. If you tap on a banana and try to move it, it would wiggle and squirm which was very annoying and distracting.
Lesson clarity was also an issue for my oldest son. Bear found that there were no explanations given throughout most of his lessons. Once Algebra was introduced to him there was one screen that gave him several examples with minimal explanations about what he was about to practice. If he hadn’t already been introduced to this, he would’ve been very confused. As requested, he continued through the program but he didn’t feel like it taught him anything. He thought the graphics were for little children and the lack of explanation or an actual lesson was confusing.
“I don’t understand how I was supposed to memorize and immediately apply those few examples and paragraphs. I prefer the lesson and practice questions method when learning math. I might use this to play around with if I was my little brother’s age. I just like a different style of presentation for higher-level subjects like Algebra.” Bear, 11 years old
Pros & Final Thoughts
I like that Elephant Learning Math Academy allows you to set scheduled coursework time. I also appreciated that it does not account your child’s idleness towards the daily coursework time. If they are playing with the distracting graphics or stalling to answer a question, that time is not included in their required daily coursework. This was motivation for my children to push through and complete their tasks. I also like the dashboard which includes a very detailed breakdown of what your child is learning and working towards. Additional tips are also provided with how parents can aid their children in increasing their Elephant Age. Finally, I liked the availability of individual QR log in codes which allowed them to be able to work on different devices at the same time. This also allowed me not to have to log into the program each time a child was ready to use it. The convenience of this feature is priceless! I don’t deem this program as a curriculum but rather a game supplement thst would work well in homes with small children. Though Bear has moved on, Bam Bam and Princess will be continuing to use the 12-month subscription as a game supplement to our current math curriculum.
Click the photo below to read how Homeschool Review Crew members enjoyed this subscription in their homeschool.
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