This post, Elementary Students Can Learn Math Online with GPA Learn, was made possible with the chance to review GPALOVEMATH (online streaming platform) from GPA LEARN as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
Like many other kids, my boys are drawn to electronics. Given their natural affinity for the devices, it only makes sense to me for us to find ways to harness the power of technology to assist in their learning. While the computer or a tablet will never fully take the place of books, paper, pencil and a teacher guiding you on the path to learning, they can definitely make some children more willing to do work or allow for a child to work more independently.
How GPA Learn Works to Help Elementary Students Learn Math Online
GPA Learn (formerly known as Great Parents Academy) is an online, streaming platform that teaches students grade level math for kindergarten through 5th grade. You can access the account using a variety of devices (Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac computers, Apple iPad, or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.) Supported browsers include Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari 6 & 7. Subscriptions are by child with a regular price of $149 and using the promo code GPAINTRO15 will reduce the price to $129 per child. Alternatively, you can pay $12.99 per month. With the subscription, the child receives access to all 6 levels (K- 5) of the program.
Using a combination of the latest research in learning and the years of experience of educators, GPA Learn’s curriculum is designed to meet or exceed any standards benchmarks including the ‘common core.’ The material is laid out in such a manner that skills learned build upon each other so the student is prepared for more advanced skills down the line. Each grade level has its own animated learning coach who teaches the material to the student through a series of slide lectures and review practice before ultimately testing acquisition of the knowledge or skill through a quiz.
Students are encouraged to complete 4 lessons per week. Built into the program are a few different reward incentives, some in the form of “great job” accolades and others which are more tangible (including gift cards in their marketplace in limited quantities!)
First off, the child receives points for a completed lesson with the value being determined by the total correct. If they get them all correct or miss just one of the questions, they get a message saying they are a ‘rock star’ and are awarded 150 points. Fewer correct problems yield a lower point award and the child can only move onto the next lesson if they’ve achieved a minimum level of mastery. They CAN go back to redo any section of the lesson, including the quiz.
Parents can alter the designated rewards which appear after completely a certain set of lessons or earning a particular amount of points. These rewards could be as simple as ‘stay up 30 minutes past bedtime’ or any other reward that fits your child and family’s needs. All awards earned by the child are visible in their backpack. Some need to be approved by the parent (through the parent dashboard) before taking effect while others are automatic.
Our Thoughts About GPA Learn As a Platform to Learn Math Online
For this review, I had J (my pre-K / K level learner) access the material on my laptop. For the first few lessons, I sat alongside him and helped work the mouse while he occasionally used my laptop’s touch screen capability to answer the quiz questions.
Our initial session had us working through the guide to the program where the child meets their grade level animated learning coach and gets an understanding of how each lesson is set up. A key point in this background material is that the program does NOT save your point within a particular segment of the lesson. So, if a child gets frustrated half way through the instruction, practice or quiz component and walks away from the computer, they will have to start at the beginning of that particular section. Thankfully, the instruction component allows you to quickly ‘fast forward’ through slides if they have already done them once.
After he had a few lessons under his belt, I felt comfortable allowing him to control the pace. So, he was able to work semi-independently with me in the room but not hovering over his shoulder unless he asked for help. We did find that the instruction section of the beginning lessons (on each numeral) was repetitive enough that he could still achieve rock star status without listening to each slide or taking a long time to complete the practice. However, if he tried to go too quickly so that the coach hadn’t read everything, he could make mistakes from not knowing what was being asked for the question. When he allowed the lesson to proceed at a typical pace with the coach reading everything for him, the entire lesson (instruction, practice and quiz) took about 20 minutes. Skipping through the instruction slides more quickly took it down to about 10 minutes.
Overall, this has been a fun addition to our homeschool. Given the alignment to standards, I feel confident having him use this as the primary source of math education rather than a supplement. And, his ability to do the work with some level of independence makes it a perfect fit so I can be working in the room on other tasks while he completes his math lesson.
How do you approach teaching the math in your homeschool?
Do you use online learning, whether supplemental or not, for this key subject?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the GPA Learn Review post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.