How to Juggle Single Parenting and Helping Kids Learn Math

How Julie Juggled Being a Single Mom and Helping Her Kids Learn Math

By Elephant Learning | Case Study

Aug 19
How Julie Juggled Being a Single Mom and Helping Her Kids Learn Math

Summary


Does parenting feel like a juggling act?

Do you feel like you’re barely pulling it off?

Another school year is drawing near. Many parents are trying to figure out how to juggle the list of responsibilities related to their kids’ education along with their jobs in the wake of Covid-19.

It looks like parents will need to tackle some form of part-time or full-time teaching, with schools trying to implement various combinations of onsite and distance learning.

This juggling act is even harder for those single parents who can’t afford to provide full-time educational support to their kids. 

Challenges

Julie, a single mother of two kids, Brooklyn and Tyler, is a familiar example. She says, “I have no family members available to help me, so I am basically on my own with them on all levels.”

Like many parents, Julie wanted to give her kids as much support as possible, but she simply didn’t have the extra resources. 

She explains, “I am trying to do my best to give them everything they need, including a good education, but I don’t have any extra money right now to hire a tutor or pay for expensive monthly programs.”

And Julie could tell that her daughter, 13-year-old Brooklyn, needed some extra support with math. 

She decided to home school Brooklyn last year for “many reasons, including her anxiety issues and bullying.”

Adding to those emotional and social challenges was Brooklyn’s anxiety around mathematics. “She has been struggling greatly with math for many years now… and her anxiety over math has greatly increased.”

The toll this takes on kids affects their parents too. 

Julie says, “She was coming home with a ton of math homework every day and we would spend hours trying to understand it and get nowhere with it, except for both of us upset and anxious.” 

Julie could tell that Brooklyn’s struggle with math “lowered her self-esteem drastically.”

Julie’s son, Tyler, was 4 years old and heading into kindergarten. She was hopeful she could find a math program to help build his confidence in math early. 

Finding Elephant Learning

Knowing your child needs help with math is the easy part. But there are a lot of math programs out there and it can be hard to know which is best for your child. 

Researching every single option is time consuming, and time is a precious resource that most parents simply don’t have enough of.

And there are some parents – like Julie – who admit, “I have never been good with math myself, so I’m finding it impossible to help Brooklyn.” 

If you’re a parent who is already intimidated by math, it can be hard to identify a math program that’s both appropriate for your child and also doesn’t require you to have a certain level of confidence or ability to help them.

In fact, Julie and Brooklyn had already tried many other programs, but nothing seemed to help.

Elephant Learning was the program they were looking for.

Related: Teaching Math When a Homeschooling Mom Has Math Anxiety

Why Elephant Learning?

There are many reasons why a student experiences anxiety with math. 

Math is often performed in front of other people — a teacher or a parent — which can make it hard for kids to hide their weaknesses. 

A child’s self-confidence is easily hurt when they’re put in the humiliating position of revealing just how little they understand.

So for kids like Brooklyn, who already suffer from anxiety, the Elephant Learning app is a major relief, and provides a much-needed boost to their confidence.

It’s just the child and the math app. No adults hovering to correct or judge. 

Just a child with their smartphone or computer who is ready to play some games focused on universal math concepts.

The app dynamically adjusts to each learner. There’s no demand on your child to answer questions they “should know at their age” to make your child feel they’re behind or not smart.

The app can identify the concepts your child needs help with depending on whether your child masters a game or struggles and adjusts the games accordingly. 

It teaches math that is tailored to your child’s needs. It meets your child wherever they are in their math skills and uses that as the starting point.

No two users of the Elephant Learning app have the same experience, because every child’s learning journey is different.

Brooklyn and Tyler Discover Elephant Learning

Elephant Learning adjusted the math games for Brooklyn to meet her at her comfort level, which was at the 9-year-old level when she started. Brooklyn didn’t know that her skills were at that age level, but the app did. 

Brooklyn didn’t need to feel ashamed about being “behind.” Shame is never a healthy motivator, which is why the Elephant Learning statistics are stored where a parent can review them privately.

By removing the shame around feeling behind, Brooklyn was able to embrace the fun math games and not worry about how she was progressing. 

The app secretly tracks her progress, and offers more challenging problems only after she’s achieved a certain degree of mastery.

The app doesn’t push or pull your child along. There’s no predetermined path they have to adhere to. 

Your child builds the path themselves, with Elephant Learning as their guide to gently encourage and challenge them.

This gentle guidance builds confidence and allows your kids to enjoy the learning experience, even as the material gets progressively harder.

By building their confidence, they’re less likely to feel anxious when they encounter unfamiliar content.

They’re learning that they don’t have to be scared of math, and that they are capable of much more than they realized.

After only six months of using the app, Brooklyn has already mastered over a year’s worth of math concepts, and shows continual improvement.

Thirty minutes a week is all it takes to get kids like Brooklyn on a track towards lasting math confidence and success.

And her brother’s results are astounding. Tyler started out over a year behind his peers, but within six months he has mastered two-and-a-half years worth of math.

If Tyler continues on this trajectory, he’ll not only surpass his peers, he will build self-confidence that will carry him through the rest of his life.

Building confidence in math has a lasting effect on kids who once struggled with it. They’ve learned that they can rely on themselves to overcome challenges. 

They’ve learned that failure does not mean they are not smart, it just means they need more time.

And single parents like Julie can breathe a bit easier, knowing their kids can enjoy learning math at their own pace without needing a parent’s undivided attention. 

That’s two fewer things Julie has to juggle this year and every year that follows. As a single parent, that’s a powerful thing she can continue to rely on. 

Related: Elephant Learning Helps Kids of All Math Abilities Get Better

Brooklyn’s Results: 

  • Age: 13.8 years
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 9.3 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 10.6 years
  • The difference after six months: 1.3 years
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Tyler’s Results: 

  • Age: 4.8 years
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 3.5 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 5 years
  • The difference after six months: 2.5 years
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“I would love for her to feel confident in math and enjoy learning again!” – Mother, Julie 

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