Have I ever mentioned how much I do not like math? And how much my oldest son hates it too? It’s a struggle every day. Seems to get worse and worse the further along we go. As concepts get more involved, as there is more than a couple minutes of problems on a worksheets- Its a fight I just try to win one day at a time. That sounds awful right? The whole purpose of home education is to instil a love of learning; a desire to understand and think about all things with a discerning and critical eye. I need help! We are always so thrilled to have the chance to try something new. All hoping it will light a fire for math within us. So when I received the opportunity to review Great Parents Academy (also known as GPA LEARN), with access to a full year’s worth of math for my children, it was too good to be true. I had my two oldest boys using this program. Alex, who is 5, used the kindgergarten program and my oldest son, Tyler, well he moved around a lot. He started in the second grade and then moved around to third grade math as well. Just so you know though, this program gives youb access to all levels from K-5th for an entire year for each child you purchase a subscription for. What a great deal right? 🙂
The GPALOVEMATH is a completely web based program. This means that you’ll need a computer with a strong internet connection so you wil be able to stream all of the videos and activities they have there for you. They recommend that you run the program on Microsoft Windows and Mac computers, using Google Chrome (recommended), Apple Safari 6 & 7, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, and Mozilla Firefox. We used both Apple Safari (on an iPad) and Google Chrome (on a windows computer) to stream this math program, and both worked great for us!
What is really neat about this program too (especially for my two boys) is that it is very story based. Each level stars a different super hero who, of course, is trying to save the world. Each lesson contains challenges, clues, as you complete the program, in addition to guiding your child through the concepts being taught. There is also a text box, so you have the option of reading this, or clicking on the text box and having it read to you.
When you first start this program, you will see multiple color coded paths your children can choose from in order to complete their lesson for the day. The three paths to choose from are:
- Blue = measurement, clock skills, shapes, etc
- Purple = Counting, number ideas, skip counting
- Green = Concepts of addition (and I’m sure later subtraction
For my 5 year old son, in the Kindergarten level, he did this program almost daily. And often he would complete 2-4 exercises a day. He just loved his tutor, a little detective who called him “gumshoe” (which he now calls everyone by the way haha) In the beginning we found some of lessons to be a bit too easy for him, and he became rather bored with the lessons. But then we learned we can skip that part and go straight to “practice” or “quiz” to complete the task at hand. This was probably one of my favorite features; I also would get an email any time a lesson was done to show their progress. Another thing to love about this program.
My older son on the other hand started out with the 2nd grade program, but he quickly got bored with it (plus he just did not like having a girl teacher!?!) Because he really does struggle in math I had him do one lesson in each of the paths, per day. This is where the concept of GPA (Learn * Engage * Motivate) really came in handy. He struggled a lot with many of the lessons; mostly because of his lack of focus. It was a lesson for mom here too because I think it was a way for us, together, to learn and engage and motivate one another when it came to some of those harder lessons. Needless to say we ended up moving him into the 3rd grade program and he was so happy to have a robot for a tutor. The change of character perked him up quite a bit! Again it was great to have instant results to see when he completed his work each day; if he did well on the quiz, he was able to move forward. When he struggled more, further review would be encouraged. And we have had a number of days where we have had to complete one of the tasks again.
I almost forgot to mention, the greatest thing, mostly for my older son, was the rewards portion of the program. But honestly both of my children love earning a certificate within the program, for all of their hard work. Some of them are thigs like: an extra bedtime story, choosing whats for dinner, someone else has to do a chore for you. This really encourages my oldest especially, to not just hurry up and do his work, but get it done successfully, taking his time and really trying to focus on each task at hand. There is also a prize store that offers many ways to reward your child, you can even customize the prizes. For example, I can make one of the prizes be “a cake pop at Starbucks” or “ice cream” or “bowling with daddy”. I love how the prizes built in even, are easy to provide, pretty much free of cost, and I think, really encourage family togetherness too. Of course I am also on a purging session in our house, as we get closer to baby number four coming, so anything that can encourage my children while not requiring spending tons of money or bringing more stuff into the house, thats great by me!
Overall, we have really enjoyed this program and are really looking forward to continuing with it as long as possible. I love how eager both of my boys are to learn and complete their math each day. I admit, the voices of the characters are a bit robotic (they all sound the same to me honestly) but my kids couldn’t care less. In fact it seems to add to their own entertainment, and if thats what it takes to make math a winner in this house, so be it 🙂
One last thing, subscriptions for this program go by child with a regular price of $149. If you use the promo code GPAINTRO15 it will reduce the cost to $129 per child. Of course you can also pay $12.99 per month. Regardless of what you choose, the subscription provides you with access to all 6 levels (K- 5) of the program. Think about checking it out. 😀