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Valuable Skills Your Child Learns in Math That They Can’t Learn Anywhere Else
Apr 16

Valuable Skills Your Child Learns in Math That They Can’t Learn Anywhere Else

By Elephant Learning | Math Readiness

If you caught my last post, you already know how math determines your child’s success in seemingly unrelated academic areas and in their future career.

Now I want to dig deeper into the more specific skills and concepts a child learns when they’re truly understanding math (versus just memorizing some facts), that can then help them in all areas of life.

When you have a mental tool like math, it really can change the way you think about everything thing else.

Related: How Math Determines Your Child’s Overall Success

Logic: The Secret to Your Child’s Success

I mentioned analytical skills and problem-solving, but what are some examples of this?

Personally, I saw math develop my own analytical skills in high school, during a time when I wasn’t even pursuing math as a career. I had just found my way into computer programming and that math-based field was teaching me math skills in ways I, at the time, didn’t even realize.

At the same time that I was taking computer programming in high school, I was also involved in speech and debate. I’m 100 percent sure that the logic I learned from computer programming affected my performance in this extracurricular. It gave me the precision and logic necessary to poke holes in the opposition’s arguments and do so in a succinct way that easily led to victories for my debate team.

The precision and logic that stems from math is irrefutable; math is just facts. When you learn the facts for math specifically, the logic and precision skills stick around, playing in the background when you take on other mental challenges and need to formulate an argument or a theory with the best chances of irrefutable correctness.

The Life-Long Benefits of a Good Math Foundation

Children who grasp mathematical reasoning at an early age go on to use their reasoning and logic skills to better both their careers and their worlds.

In one study, two cohorts of 13-year-olds in the top 1 percent of mathematical reasoning ability were followed throughout their lives. After 40 years had passed, those students with the highest mathematical reasoning skills had gone on to accomplish incredible things.

Across the nearly 1,700 students, they had…

  • Published 85 books
  • Secured 681 patents
  • Amassed nearly $400 million in grants

Their math acumen (and their corresponding aptitude for logic and reasoning) predicted their creative contributions and occupational leadership.

The Tough Truth About Not Grasping Basic Math

Children who never grasp basic math concepts conversely go on to become older students and then adults without the same precise, logical abilities.

When this happens, it’s easy to invent stories about why you might not be good at math. Maybe you tell yourself that you’re not a “numbers person” (an excuse not to succeed at numbers-related tasks).

There aren’t really “numbers” and “not-numbers people.” Everyone has the same mathematical abilities. It just comes down to whether or not you’re correctly exercising that part of your brain — the logical, precise part — that makes math easy. The more you use that part of your brain, the stronger it gets. Math is simply a tool you can use to strengthen your logic and reasoning.

However, if you’ve invented a story for yourself about why you’re not good at math, or if you’ve had a bad experience learning math and have resulting “math anxiety,” you’re less likely to want to develop that part of your brain later in life and learn math-related skills, because you associate math with pain.

See How Easily Your Child Can Obtain These Valuable Math Skills

Preventing your child from becoming an adult with math anxiety isn’t difficult. All it takes is giving them the right experiences with math as a student so that they (a) are comfortable exercising the logical parts of their brains using the tool of math and (b) understand math as a logical way of thinking versus simply a series of numbers and formulas to memorize.

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Elephant Learning teaches math concepts from a logic and reasoning perspective, so students learn the underlying basic skills of math before attempting to tackle intimidating numbers and equations. These basic skills are the aspects of math that set up your child to succeed throughout the rest of their life.

Get started with the Elephant Learning app and see how I used my knowledge as a Ph.D. mathematician to change the early learning math experience to remarkable results. Our users learn at least a year of math in three months, just by using the app 30 minutes per week, or your money back.

How Math Determines Your Child's Overall Success
Apr 09

How Math Determines Your Child’s Overall Success

By Elephant Learning | Math Readiness

If you could know that your actions today would guarantee a better future for your child, you’d make the choices necessary to assure the best future possible for them, right?

Of course you would; any parent wants their child to succeed in life and go on to be happy and secure.

Research shows time and again that early math skills heavily determine your child’s overall success. So what more can parents do to help develop their child’s early math skills?

From reading and writing to overall comprehension and problem-solving, math plays a huge role in your child’s future. They don’t need to go on to be in even a remotely math-heavy career field to experience this.

The Unexpected Industries That Require Math Skills

Studies have come out recently showing how critical math skills are to the job market. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found:

  • The fastest-growing, best-paying jobs are in STEM-related fields
  • Careers in banking and finance, information technology, health care and construction are all STEM-related jobs predicted to grow to over 9 million by 2022
  • There’s an increase in demand for STEM skills in non-STEM fields

PayScale’s latest College Salary Report is especially eye-opening. STEM grads have a mid-career average salary of $103,408. This is a big deal considering the cost of higher education and student loans.

As you see the digitization of different industries, you can watch as the skills needed for success in these industries evolve to include more math.

Take, for example, marketing. It’s now a completely different field than it was 10 or 20 years ago. With the rise of new ways to measure marketing performance, the field increasingly relies on analytics, data, and reporting. All of these require math comprehension.

It’s not just monetary success that goes hand-in-hand with math skills, either. Other studies find that math skills are necessary for jobs that have a better work environment and greater employee satisfaction as well. Aren’t these two aspects of working life we would never want to deny our children?

Getting the Most Value Out of Math

The way math influences your child’s success isn’t simply by enabling them to solve an equation. Below the surface, math teaches children a new way of thinking, analytical skills and methods of problem-solving that will always be true and precise, no matter the circumstances.

Even before a child reaches college or career age, math influences their success otherwise. Early math skills predict future reading achievement and other academic performance, regardless of a child’s socioemotional behaviors and socioeconomic backgrounds.

In this way, mathematics is a philosophy that’s also an exact science. In traditional philosophy, you might philosophize about knowledge and love and define those concepts any way you want. In mathematics, you define something precisely and then can extrapolate what’s true, precisely and exactly, from there.

Mathematical theories are more than theories, they’re logically true, unlike perhaps a theory in physics or other branches of science, where the theories can change over time with new discoveries and methods of measurement. Math, however, is always true.

Having that as a tool to approach other ideas and use as a scaffold for further thinking and theorizing is extremely important. I’ll go into this toolbox of math-taught skills further in next week’s blog post.

Memorizing Math Facts Doesn’t Add Up

Setting your child up for success in math and then later in life isn’t as easy as teaching them to count before they go to preschool. When children simply learn to memorize math facts, they’re not internalizing the math-related skills that influence that later success.

Students are more likely to succeed when they begin to understand the logic behind numbers, rather than being able to just spout off multiplication tables on command. In fact, your child’s skills in math might not have anything to do with how quickly they can solve basic problems; when your child takes the time to think about the numbers, they get closer to cracking into the problem-solving and analytical skills that give math its value in any career.

Learn 1 year of math in
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30 minutes a week x 3 months = 1 year of math concepts

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The Elephant Learning app helps your child learn mathematical concepts and truly understand them before moving on to the next concept, rather than just asking them to memorize numbers with a few flashy games and boring repetition.

If you’re looking for math resources for your child to set them up for long-term success, then you’re already on the right track. Get started with the Elephant Learning app to ensure your child develops the math-related skills necessary to succeed in any career.

Dec 12

Premium Voices Released!

By Elephant Learning | Announcements

Good Evening.  Tonight, we have made a new release.  Users on Amazon Kindle Fire and Android are required to upgrade the app to version 1.1.1 from their respective app stores in order for the upgrade to work.  iOS and Web Browser users have already automatically received the new update.  This update represents a major upgrade to the application and here is what you need to know.

Premium Voices

The most notable upgrade, is that we have added the first set of premium voices.  Prior to this upgrade, we primarily used the voices that come with the device that your student was using.  We did this because those voices had no bandwidth requirements.  Users of older devices and those who have not upgraded their operating system did not get upgraded voices because of this decision.  To make a more uniform experience across the different devices and to allow flexibility with voices, we have started using premium voices that are streamed to the device.  These voices require extra bandwidth.  If you do not wish to use these voices, you may turn them off by going to the edit avatar screen by clicking the edit avatar button above the avatar and turn off all premium voices.  By doing this, you ensure that the only voices available are the voices on the device and thus we do not use the extra bandwidth.  For all of our current users, you will never have to pay extra for the premium voices — you will be grandfathered into the premium plan when we roll that out later in 2019.

Preloading Games

On some older devices and slower internet connections, the assets were taking some time to load.  Due to this, some users were experiencing issues answering questions when the assets were loading games that were not already cached — namely sometimes answers not showing until the assets were loaded.  To resolve this issue, we now load all of the assets prior to launching the game and you will notice that when you click on the game that a loading spinner appears.  We are still caching the assets and on subsequent loads, loading should go much faster as we only ensure all assets are present.

Help Section Has Been Added

We have been answering user questions by email, and we have now figured out the key pieces of information that users needed to make best use of the application.  You will now see a help button on the website and within the app.

There were also major fixes to older versions of Android. Apparently, some libraries that were upgraded on a release in November broke Android 5.0 devices — it was browser compatibility mismatches and we have resolved this issue by filling the missing API which those libraries are using that caused older browsers to break.  We apologize for this issue and we have released as soon as we can with those fixes to get you back to working quickly.  Please take the update from the store in order to receive those fixes.

 

Dec 11

Homeschool Parents Love Elephant Learning — A Review

By Elephant Learning | Customer Reviews

My kids and I LOVE the Elephant Learning online math program! I am presently homeschooling the two youngest of my 7 children, a daughter age 7 and a son age 10. With nearly 20 years of homeschooling, I have dealt with my children’s various degrees of academic ease or difficulty. I have tried numerous math programs and know there is rarely a “one size fits all” curriculum.

That being said, I am very pleased with Elephant Learning. I was looking for an exciting, engaging online program that would give us a break from rote repetition. I wanted something to accommodate both my daughter’s fast paced but sometimes careless work style as well as my son’s slow, tedious, and moderately dyslexic approach. Elephant Learning is accomplishing that! This program has just enough animation to be entertaining without being a video game.

​There are several ways the students can personalize each session with avatars, themes, and voices. Students can work at their own pace and the program adjusts accordingly.  It is suggested that students use the program a few times a week. My kids look forward to using the program every day and usually work until the program automatically times out at about 20 minutes. This setting can be adjusted as desired.

I love that the program is very conceptual. I believe this enables the kids to progress further faster because once they understand the concept, the thought process can be used to solve harder problems. There is no lengthy lesson to listen to or read. A question appears in word and sentence style at the top of the screen AND is asked out loud. Students are prompted to respond in a number of ways like clicking a correct answer, moving items on a number line, or putting items into groups.

What I like the most is that each new concept is presented in a variety of ways, allowing repetition of the concept but through different learning methods. For example, students may be asked to count multiple groups of three, next choose one third of a set of items, next move items on a number line that has tic marks in sets of three, and so on. After each question and answer, the program will congratulate the student on a correct answer or allow them to try again. Then the actual math problem appears briefly in number and symbol style.

Most of the time, my children are able to work entirely by themselves, even with new concepts and no lesson. Sometimes though, they may need a little more explanation of a new concept or a reminder to use a concept they have previously learned to answer harder questions. At any time, the parent/teacher can access a student’s performance and detailed information in multiple areas of the curriculum. There are also periodic emails sent highlighting the student’s accomplishments.

I did contact the program designers about a small glitch and they responded personally and immediately, solving the problem. As far as learning mental math and understanding math concepts, this program can be used as a stand alone curriculum but at some point, the students will probably need extra practice writing and aligning standardized math problems with numbers and symbols. Elephant Learning has met and exceeded my expectations! It is fun for my kids and they are excelling by leaps and bounds. According to the program’s “elephant age” assessment, my slow, tedious, dyslexic son has progressed nearly 3 levels in about 2 months! I highly recommend Elephant Math!

Thank you
Elizabeth

PS.  To get started, go to https://staging.elephantlearning.com and click Apply Now.

Oct 11

Homeschool Parent’s Review of Elephant Learning

By Elephant Learning | Customer Reviews

Written By Pamela Dougherty:

Elephant Learning is a Math Acceleration App that I have been auditing with my now 5 year old, a 3 year old and now 7 year old.

What Elephant Learning is NOT: Elephant Learning is NOT a full math curriculum. Elephant Learning is NOT a collection of games created to teach your child math on the sly.  Elephant Learning is NOT a babysitter application.  It is not meant to be an app that teaches your child in your absence.  When I first heard it could advance your child up to one full year of math in just three months of using it 30 minutes per week, I was skeptical.  I watched the videos and I read through the reviews.  I was lucky enough to have a mother in our homeschooling group who had purchased the app in the past who did NOT like the app and whose children did not find it useful.  I asked lots of questions about how they had used the app and ultimately, I decided that we would give it a try.

What Elephant Learning IS: Elephant Learning is basic.  It is specifically designed to catch children who: May have not been introduced to math yet (children 3-6); May have been introduced to math, but were left behind because they failed to grasp one or more math fundamentals; May be ahead of mathematics and want to learn new mathematical concepts to stay challenged.  May be just learning concepts of math; May need assessment to determine where they are and what they actually do know; May need extra introduction/review of basics so that the concepts truly become ingrained in their mathematical education.

I need to start out by saying, my child had very very little knowledge of math prior to beginning to use the application at 4 years old.  She had used another product called “Doodlemaths” a few times and she seemed to enjoy parts of the application, but Doodlemaths quickly threw her into unknown concepts with it's limited games etc.  I can hear her frustration and saw how she quickly handed the tablet back because “it's too hard”, “I don't understand” and the one that breaks every parents heart, “I can't do this.” . I knew that what I introduce my child to regarding mathematics will either make or break her Asthmatic Confidence.

I have spent many hours in conversation with the creators of Elephant Learning and I have spent just minutes per week sitting with my child while she uses the application.  When the application is first set up, your child is introduced to concepts that would be equivocal to his/her actual age.  For Example:  The three year old was introduced to counting and instead showing her numbers (1, 2, 3) to associate her selected characters with, she was shown corresponding dots (think dice) and at times, a human hand holding up the numbers.  The application quickly determined which way she could identify numbers and stayed with the concept of finger counting to determine which numbers she could identify and which numbers she couldn't.  With a minute or two of parental coaching, she was then able to correlate the finger counting method with the dot counting method and the application switched back and forth between the two to confirm that she could indeed identify her numbers using both fingers as well as a dot a representation.  At this point, we chose to introduce simple child games (outside of the app) using dice to practice number counting.  Her confidence in being able to count on the dice was priceless!  She understood how to read a die and she could now play games which were previously unavailable to her because “she was too young” or “she couldn't count”.  She started counting LOTS of things all on her own.  Her self esteem increased and her math confidence increased.

Here is where Elephant Learning really does it's thing.  The parent Dashboard in phenomenal.  Not only does the application do the same simple things such as other apps: counting playtime, providing basic assessment information such as number of questions attempted, number passed etc, you know all of the pretty “numbers” applications think parents want to see.  But it goes WAY above and beyond! In case you were unaware up until now, this application was created in conjunction with a Mathematician holding a PhD, in the US.  This isn't another so/so questionable application that was pushed out quickly, translated into English or created just to keep your child busy while feeling educational.  This application has substance.  This application has real information parents can use. This application has REAL feedback and REAL guidance.

Your Parent Dashboard shows you exactly what your child is working on.  In relation to the three year old, her basic mathematical objective was “understanding small numbers”.  The application provided what she was learning, why she was learning it and the progressive steps of what she was learning.  It provided Milestones for her to achieve and where she was in relation to meeting those milestones.  This dashboard even drills down into which part of her brain she is using to complete the mathematical challenges in the application and how these basics build the foundation to make her successful in the future.  The dashboard is extremely specific.  For the three year old it told me she was working on counting random number by fingers, frames and numerals.  The dashboard even allows you to go into “parent mode” by clicking on the milestone and letting YOU do her activities in “Parent Mode”.  The BEST thing, the absolute seller for me.....This application provides activities for YOU and your child to do outside of the application to really set these mathematical basics in concrete.  It helps provide real life uses for what your child is learning.  As the child ages or progresses, it will even provide “worksheets” for you and your child to complete (optional but I highly suggest it!).  The three year old's first worksheet:  “Draw two circles”.  Worksheets are optional, but we have found them fun and beneficial!  They are not “premade” worksheets.  They are instructional worksheets to give you direction in working with your child to determine, confirm and visualize the progress your child is making.

Today, my now 5 year old logged in for her 10 minutes.  We are really doing our best to stick to 10 minutes three times a week.  And she finally had her “Elephant Age” surpass her actual age.  She was SO excited!  The Elephant Age projected for your child at login is explained as “the average age a child is doing mathematics outside of the Elephant Learning system”.  I have found the children get very excited when they learn they are “ahead of the game”.  My daughter has asked me to “do more”, to spend more time on the application.  By default, the application is set to STOP a child after 20 minutes on the application.  It took me a few days to learn why.  I guess I figured, the more the better.  I thought if she was having fun, why NOT let her play longer?   I then learned what the other mother was telling me:  If the child is given the application to use without instruction they have the possibility of being put into a task above their ability or they quickly get “bored” with doing things below their ability.

One of the things that I found was the MOST interesting and the best thing about Elephant Learning is the ability to access the creators for assistance at any time.  Have a question?  Need to know how to set up the application for special needs, need to know how to test out, need to know how to “dig in” and “drill down”?  A quick email and you have the assistance you need.  The programming behind the application is phenomenal.  Seriously, my daughter will change her “characters” often just to see what they do.  The application allows the child to switch up their “manipulative” or characters at any time and boy do they have a selection!  When you open the application, please don't get confused by the large selection of boxes.  Each box contains a manipulative/character your child can use within the application.  They act the same way and they do the same things, with a few exceptions. The programmer has implemented very interesting actions and characteristics into each manipulative.  They  giggle, they stick out their tongue, they sing, they dance, they do so many little things that really keep the child interested.  Remember, 10 minutes three times a week. That's it!  My daughter will change her manipulative at least 2-4 times during her 10 minutes.  That's OK!  It keeps them interested.  What you DON'T want is to push your child in the application or to spend more time than indicated.  I would highly recommend putting a limit (set a timer) for 10 minutes 3 times a week.  Use your dashboard.  Drill down and pull your worksheets.  Please, use this application for what it is really designed to do.  Please pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a math tutor to do what this app does AND prevents. 

After testing this application for many weeks with three different children, I feel this would be a great application to add to our Group Buys.  I really can't see any reason NOT to use this application with a child.  Again, if you're looking for a tool that is hands off, this is not your tool.  Parents need to set limits for use (to prevent burn out and to monitor progress and assess skills) as well as drill down each time the application is used by your child.  This is not a babysitter app.  This isn't another self directed app.  This is an app that has such a very important job of building fundamentals that you will find using the parent tools not only informative, but satisfying.  They're robust, they're useful and most of all, they're available every time your child uses the app.

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