Tuesday, March 17, 2015

GPA LEARN ~ GPALOVEMATH


I had the opportunity to review GPALOVEMATH™ by GPA LEARN.  This is an online self paced math curriculum. GPA Learn meets the CCSSM standards for K-5.

Each grade contains a scope and sequence, comprising the math skills and concepts covered in each grade. GPA LEARN has a private, parent controlled social network to enable both parent and student to connect with others using the curriculum. In order to keep your child motivated, there is a reward system to track your child's accomplishments as they complete the lessons.



The site is very user friendly. Both of my children were able to navigate through their lessons with relative ease. The graphics were definitely fantastic and captivating for a child. 

The student has a dashboard that includes the following items:
  • lesson summary
  • motivate rewards
  • progress tracker
  • week in focus
  • engage activity
I currently have a 1st and 3rd grader so I began the program using my children's current grade levels in math which are 2nd and 4th grade, respectively.

Each grade level offers two layout options; concept categories or recommended order. In the concept category option, the educator or parent is able to choice which concepts and lessons they want their student to do. The recommended order option follows a pre-guided order of concepts.

Each lesson has an explanation/lecture section, example problems, practice problems and lesson problems as well as quizzes to test your child's grasp of the material. There is an added story dialogue in the lessons to make the lessons more engaging. The parent has the option to "test drive" a lesson before the student actually does the lesson.



What my 1st Grader thought
My 1st grader's response during and after the first lesson was, "Mom, she talks funny and way too fast. She talks way too much too. What is she even talking about? Mommy she is hard to understand." Working through the lessons were quite tedious for my daughter. The concepts taught were appropriate for the grade level and provided a good supplement for her current math curriculum. She was able to navigate the 2nd grade site section and complete lessons on her own with minimal help from me. 




What my 3rd Grader thought
My 3rd grader was not a fan of this math either. She had similar complaints to that of my 1st grader. My 3rd grader also started bypassing the explanation/lecture part and going straight to the lesson itself. I think that this program helped to reinforce concepts that she is currently finding difficultly with in her current math curriculum. I gave her the freedom to skip around in the 4th grade sections and work on the material that interested her.  Allowing her to have this freedom, helped her stay engaged. 


My solution
After weeks of struggling through this math the light bulb in my mommy head went off and I found the solution for what works better for us. By bypassing the explanation/lecture part of the lesson and going directly to the practice and lesson problems, this program became much more enjoyable. My daughter began working through the lessons and came to me if she had questions. Many of the concepts and skills are ones that she has either already learned or is currently learning, so this worked great for us. 

My Thoughts
In my opinion, the lesson explanation/lecture part of each lesson are too wordy, long, and talked over the understanding level of the child. The animated characters that serve as the learning coaches have very robotic voices that at times are very difficult to understand. I echo my daughter's observation that the character coaches talk way too fast. The curriculum rapidly lost my child's attention. The concepts could have been presented in much less time and in a more simplified manner.



The reward system in GPALOVEMATH™ can either be customized or you can take advantage of the auto build list provided. I personally did not care for the rewards system. I prefer to reward my child for their overall academic progress at the end of the school year rather than all along the way. I feel that children today are rewarded way too much for too many things. 

"Children who expect rewards for an activity are less likely to engage in the same activity later than those who were intrinsically motivated." 
(Lepper, Greene and Nisbett, 1973) 

My 1st grader's first auto reward was, staying up a half hour later than normal. The reward store contains such categories as:
  • monetary 
  • tv time
  • outings
  • bed time
  • chores
Parents receive e-mails updating them on their child's progress. This feature is great for the busy homeschool mother that may not have the time to review their child's progress on a daily basis. 

Final Thoughts
Overall, I think that GPALOVEMATH has done a good job in their attempt at making learning math fun. I also believe that this program will be a good fit for some. Personally, this program was not the best fit for our children. If I could rate this curriculum, I would give it a 2 out of 10. I would encourage individuals to check the program out for themselves. In my many years of homeschooling, I have found that what works for one family or child does not necessarily provide a good fit for another. The beauty of learning is having many options to explore until the perfect fit is found. 

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1 comment:

  1. The accent was difficult for my daughter as well which surprised me as I thought she was used to different accents.

    ReplyDelete