Thursday, April 23, 2009

Great Educational Resource, Anyone??

So most of you know (I think) that I home school my kids. It was a decision based on the school we were originally zoned for, and, once I started, I realized it was the perfect fit for our family.

Of course, depending on where you live, and the support there, one can face rather significant challenges in making sure that your kids are not only socialized, but are getting a wide-range of experiences and academic exposure. I have a curriculum that I love, and many on-line sites that provide educational games and tools that allow my children to self-navigate and explore, all while learning rudimentary principles and concepts.

Recently I was given an opportunity via Sited and Blogged to review a math website called Dreambox. This site is a new online math game for kids that is especially a great fit for homeschooling. In fact, when I went to the site and signed up, I was impressed with the format AND that they have a “parent dashboard” where I can track my son’s progress. DreamBox Learning K-2 Math is different because it provides a fun and complete learning experience in an adventure game format, which includes different story-lines and characters such as dinosaurs, pirates, fairies and animals. DreamBox Learning uses an "in-depth, standards- based math curriculum", and features the "patented GuideRight™ technology", which "customizes all aspects of the lessons according to each child's learning behavior needs." This part of the curriculum is fantastic and I love seeing what concepts Jacob gets to skip over and how the program determines what he needs to work on.

To test it out, I simply turned up the volume on my computer, and sure enough, Jacob came running over to check it out. He practically pushed me out of the way, and without any prompting from me made his character, listened to the instructions and was on his way. Jacob is in second grade and virtually needed no help from me in navigating though the menu and choices, as it is all visually clear and includes voice direction as well. I didn’t tell him it was school or math related (heh heh). While the site recommends about 15-20 minutes per day, Jacob, on his own, does about 30-60 per day. He is highly motivated by the constant reinforcements the games provide, such as winning coins to use in the amusement park (which is his favorite part, ALSO cleverly disguised as skill building!). It’s so fun to watch him hoot and giggle as he gets through the actual math concepts that are generously peppered with fun characters and story lines.

Once he is done working on a segment for the day, I get an email summarizing his progress, and as he completes each segment he receives award certificates, which have his name, that can be printed out.

I check the dashboard after each session and also show him his progress. As the game develops he gets more involved and he asks everyday to play. And it’s MATH!!! Um, let me say that again, he is ASKING everyday to do MATH! *fell over on the floor just typing that*.

As a matter of fact, it’s time for him to do it now!

I highly recommend this program for anyone who homeschools, OR for anyone that wants their children to get away from the video games and play something educational and fun. Check out this site ASAP and sign up for their 2-week trial. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Check it out here: and watch the videos here.

Featured in the New York Times, DreamBox is the next generation of online learning technology, and it's proving to be more effective than other kids' learning games. Sign up HERE for a free two-week trial today!


Vickie said...

his out. Lindsey has issues with math.

Vickie said...

Whoa! What happened to my message? I wrote. I have to check this out. Lindsey has issues with match.

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