What we Received
We received a subscription to GPALOVEMATH from GPA LEARN for one student for a year. This subscription included access to all grade levels, Kindergarten through 5th for one student. We used the program for our daughter and for 4th grade math. We chose to use the program in the standard setup of presenting the materials in the “recommended order” rather than choosing the topics to cover ourselves (which is an option). We used the program several days a week as a primary math program.
GPALOVEMATH is a stand-alone math program that streams from the internet. It can be used on computers and some tablets and can be used anywhere you have an internet connection. The math program is from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Each grade has a “coach,” which is an animated character that guides the student through a lesson, practice, and a quiz. The program guides the student through over 150 lessons and over 10,000 practice problems per grade. The program states that if a student completed 4-5 lessons per week, a child should complete one grade level in approximately 10 months. With an easy to use Dashboard for the parent and the child, each with their own login in information, the program is user-friendly and easy to use. It was intuitive from the moment we were in the program and the setup is simple yet effective. The screen was not cluttered with extras so it was easy to maneuver through the program during setup and during the lessons.
The program also states that the average lesson is 10-20 minutes. Then there is a practice review which is 5-10 minutes and a quiz over the lesson which is also approximately 10 minutes. This makes a lesson approximately 30 minutes long. Once the quiz is completed, the student is given a rating like “Rock Star” or “Nice Job.” There is a “Try Again” if you don’t get at least 9 out of 15 problems right.
The lessons are modeled for the student by the animated character. The practice problems give the student a chance to work through the new materials that have just been presented. They are given feedback by their animated coach. They also have “lifelines” they can use to help them work through the practice problems. After they have completed the lesson and the practice problems, they move onto the final lesson quiz. The child’s next lesson is unlocked as long as they get at least 5 of the 15 problems correct, but only ‘master’ the lesson if they get 12 or above correct out of the 15 possible. If the student does miss quiz problems, there is an option on the DASHBORD to view the missed problems, see the problem and see the answer. I thought this was a nice feature.
Once in the program, students can select lessons from the learning path. The learning path shows the skills that will be covered in each lesson. As the student moves through the lessons, more lessons are unlocked. A map of the learning path shows the parent and the student how the student is progressing through the program. It includes the skills learned as well as if the student has attempted the lesson and how he or she did on the lesson. Lessons they have tried are marked with 1 to 3 stars indicating levels such as MASTER (3 stars), MASTER (2 stars), and APPRENTICE (1 star). Lessons ready for the student to do are marked READY. Locked lessons are still available to view to see what skills are covered in the lesson and state what must be completed in order for the lesson to be unlocked. Though the child is unable to do the lesson without completing the prerequisite lessons, a parent can TEST DRIVE any lesson any time to see what it covers and how it goes when logged into the parent account. Parent can leave the program setup in the “recommended order” and this will leave the lessons locked until the student goes through the path. However, there is an option where the parents can choose topics to unlock. This is a good option if you are using this as a supplement to another math program or have particular skills you are trying to work on. You can choose to unlock those lessons and have the student work on them in the order you wish. It is nice that you can choose the option that works best for you and your family.
Each lesson used the acronym CLUE. C-Comprehension: checking understanding; L-Let’s Stop:Think about how to solve the problem. U-Use: consider what is learned and the prior knowledge acquired, and E-evaluate: review and check. My daughter liked having this to think about as she went through the problem and I think the acronym really helped her think through the problem a little more clearly.
When the student has completed a lesson, GPALOVEMATH sends an email to the address on the account letting you know that the child has completed a lesson. The email includes a summary of the lesson, what it was finished, how long it took the student to complete the lesson, the badge received for the lesson, and quick tips. There is also a link in the email to the account so you can go in and check out the progress if you want.
In the initial setup of the program, the parent can choose the rewards that the student will receive. The student earns points each lesson that work toward the rewards the parent has chosen. The rewards are setup under the MOTIVATE tab on the home screen and those rewards available are divided into categories like FAMILY, BEDTIME, TV TIME, PLAYTIME, COOKING, INDOOR ACTIVITY, and MONETARY (to name a few). You can chose rewards from a list in the system or customize your own. The system guides you through the setup effortlessly.
Things We Liked
My daughter really liked the reward system within the program and I loved that I could personalize it. Since the kids are saving up for something right now, I threw in some incentive for that as well. It surprised her when she saw she was getting something toward her goal so I think that motivated the math lesson as well because she didn’t know what the next reward would be.
I liked that you get an email telling you that the child has completed a lesson with a link to check out the progress. This was a good reminder for me to go and check out the progress and send a personalized message to her within the program.
I liked this personalized feature of messages as well. You can also invite other friends within the GPALOVEMATH program to be friends within the program as well. This is a nice feature if we discover friends using the program. But my husband and I primarily used it to send message to our daughter to encourage her progress.
My daughter also liked that it wasn’t ALL math. There was discussion about other things like constellations and habitats. Games and questions about things other than math. She felt she was having a discussion or conversation with Pi, not just being lectured on a math topic. She said she liked that part – and the games, of course.
I liked that the kids could see the next reward they would earn so they were motivated to work toward receiving the reward. For instance, if the next reward was “Pick a board game to play with the family” she would know that she would get that if she completed the next level to earn a reward and work toward it because she was excited for game night.
What We Didn’t Like
My daughter really did not like the coaches animated voice. It was very robotic and she was turned off from the beginning. She really had to push herself to get through the lesson. And, in the beginning, she would quit part of the way through the lesson because she didn’t want to listen to the voice anymore. She started turning down the volume and reading the words. (At least it had the words on the page.) But eventually she said she got used to it and now she goes through the lesson without trouble. However, when asked what she liked and didn’t like about the program, her answer was a resounding – “the voice was terrible.”
I thought it was a little pricey. But that is just possible our budget. Overall, you get a lot for the money and I do think it’s probably comparable to other programs available. I did like that you can pay by the month or the year. And that the price includes access to all the math grades.
My daughter also didn’t like the length of the lesson. She felt they were a little long and was frustrated when she spent almost 40 minutes in a lesson only to not get MASTER on it and feel she had to do it again. This is somewhat of self-pressure she puts on herself but the length of the lesson is longer than we typically tend to spend on one lesson in our typical day. She decided that she wanted to break up the lesson the first time and then realized that if you don’t complete the lesson then you have to repeat it the next time. This was very frustrating to her. I think she would have preferred smaller mini-lessons on each topic or skill within the lesson in order to break up the lesson easier. I would have to agree, that would be nice, though I’m not sure the logistics of that and it might take over a year to get through one grade that way. I would think that the program should be able to save your place when you only get so far in a lesson, things do happen that take children away from a lesson and we homeschooling moms know that this happens so I would feel very badly if she was over half through a lesson and we had to go somewhere and she would have to start over when we returned so this puts pressure on me as well.
Overall we liked the program. Though my daughter had her initial woes about the program, she decided after using it for a while that she liked it. I liked that the lessons were easy to audit, that I could adjust the rewards for her and even personalize them, and that we could chat inside the program with each other. I thought this personalized the program a lot and made her feel that I was paying attention to what she was doing and was a part of it even though it was online.
I also liked that the program was encouraging. In addition to being able to interactive personally by message or personalized rewards within the program, I liked that Pi was encouraging and so were all the lesson levels. If the student doesn’t get a perfect score it simply says try again or you did well on this but could use a little more work on a section. It did not make my daughter feel bad for not doing well on a particular topic but did a great job at encouraging her as well as rewarding excellent work.
GPALOVEMATH is available for Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac computers. It is also available for Apple iPad or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari 6 & 7 are supported browsers.
Subscription for GPALOVEMATH cost $149 per child. This gives you access to all six math grades. And if you use the promo code GPAINTRO15, you will save 15% off of an annual subscription. But hurry, we don’t know how long that code will last. You can also get a monthly subscription plan to GPALOVEMATH for only $12.99 per child.