Recent Posts

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Great Parents Academy - Review

We have been trying out an on-line math program through Great Parents Academy, also known as GPA LEARN, and more specifically, the program we used was called  GPALOVEMATH.

This is an on-line resource for math stuff for grades K-5. So, we used it for all three littles.  V-girl, Kindergarten, S-Girl second grade, and A-man, 4th grade.  I will tell you a little secret, once the littles started earning their rewards, my big kids wanted in on the action too!  I will tell you more about that later!

As with most of these types of programs, you set up individual accounts for your student.  In this case, each of them had different guides or learning coaches that worked through their lessons with them.  The GPALEARN mindset is for Learn, Engage, Motivate.  But, those high-falutin' words just boil down to giving instruction, having them practice, and then quizzing them.  Sort of sounds old fashioned and simple, right?  Well, the reality is, the answer is sort of yes and no.  It is a simple approach with a very modern twist in the on-line game-like look and feel of the lessons.

GPALOVEMATH gives you a bunch of, a whole school year's worth.  They have 150 lessons which breaks it down to 10,000 problems!  You might not want to share that tidbit with your kids, because it would scare them off, and that would be unfortunate, because this is a pretty cool math curriculum.

So, all that happens is you get your kids accounts set up, they log in and get to work....but it is fun work.

As part of the "engage" section there is a way for you to allow the kids to chat and interact with other "friends" using this program.  I wasn't comfortable with that, but we did use it to send messages back and forth to each other.  Honestly, they were mostly little love notes back and forth to each other that had nothing to do with math.  But, it was fun and if I didn't log on and check my messages, I would get the little people saying things like, "Mom?  Did you check my math yet?"  Now, normally that is not something that would come out of their mouths, because it may mean homework or something dreadful like that.  But, with GPALOVEMATH, I knew when they asked that I either needed to approve a reward or they had left me a message!

Each of the kids is in a different grade level, so they all have different teachers/coaches/cartoons that they worked with.  They also each got different problem solving strategies to help them work through the math problems.  For example, V-girls, was the acronym C.L.U.E.   C - Comprehend the Question, L - Let's Stop, U - Use, E - Evaluate.  Seriously, I am not sure how they did it - but that is stuck in her head now.  I just asked her to remind me what her problem solving strategy was and she just spit it out!

A-man's was the acronym F.O.W.L.  F - Find Out, O - Organize a Plan of Attack, W - Work It Out, L - Look Back and Check.

S-girl's was S.P.O.T.  S - Study the Problem, P - Plan It Out, O - Operate and Solve, and T - Test and Confirm.

Seriously, when I was writing this review, I called them all over separately to remind me and they all just knew their problem solving strategies....and they even used the words "problem solving strategy"!  Crazy cute!

They send me e-mails when each of them completes a lesson,, how they scored on their quiz at the end of the lessons, or if I need to approve one of their rewards.  I can also just simply log in to my parent account and check on them or create individualized rewards to encourage the kids to complete their lessons.

That brings up the most unique part of GPALOVEMATH.  The reward system.  It is AMAZING.  It is clever.  It is exciting.  It is attainable for the kids.  I could have created some easy, more personal rewards for my kids, but, GAPLOVEMATH had created such awesome ones already, I didn't even bother!

They had rewards that they could redeem for monetary value (like spending their reward points to trade in for a quarter from mom and dad) and even actual e-gift cards from Target or Toys R Us.  Since we live in the Atlanta area, we could have also turned in points for local attractions too like the World of Coke, or the Varsity, but the kids were super, duper excited about getting some shopping money at a store we only go into rarely!  So, yes, they have each earned two $10 Target gift cards for themselves.  Actually, S-girl has earned three of them.

But, as great as those are, it was sort of crazy how legitimately excited the kids got when they earned other rewards.  Those "other" rewards were things like cooking with mom, having mom or dad do one of their chores, picking what we have for dinner, bake a cake with mom and dad, pick a game to play with mom and dad.  I mean it when I say that they were so excited when they could come and proudly announce to me that I had to do one of their chores because they had earned that in their computer math!  We did all have a good laugh at the "stay up 30 minutes late" reward, because, seriously, around here that would have them staying up into the wee hours of the morning.  We already stay up late, so, I could have eliminated that reward and created our own custom reward. But, I didn't.

There was only one thing that bugged me/annoyed me about GPALOVEMATH.  It was the computer/robot-like voices of their individual learning coaches.  Super annoying sounding whether I was sitting next to them or in the other room while they were working.  I can't even describe it...just a non-human robot voice, that, talked too fast.  In defense of GPALOVEMATH though, the voices did not bother the kids as much as they did for me.

Really, that was the only bad thing I can say about this one.  So, yes, we loved it.  Yes, this will continue to be part of our home school....even after our review period is over.  I can't always say that about the neat things we get to try.

Want to try GPALOVEMATH for your kids?  Right now, you can get a special introductory price of $129 for an annual subscription by using Promo Code GPAINTRO15.  There is also the option of a monthly subscription for $12.99/month.

See what other reviewers thought of GPALOVEMATH.