Case Study: Emma and Kreyton

Math Lessons Can Be a Huge Challenge for a Homeschooling Mom With Math Anxiety

By Elephant Learning | Case Study

Apr 20

Summary

Emma’s mom watched as her daughter consistently struggled with learning math, and her confidence began to slip away in all subjects. Within a few months of playing Elephant Learning, Emma’s confidence returned, and her math skills improved dramatically, eliminating math anxiety for both mom and daughter. 

1.) Challenges

For Emma and her mother, math time at their homeschool would more often than not end in tears. Both mother and daughter were frustrated, and worse, Emma felt defeated. She would frequently give up. “I’ll just never get this!” and, “Why can’t I understand when my friends think it’s easy?” Her mother, who also struggled with math, felt like she was letting her daughter down. “I felt very defeated as well, both as a teacher and a mother,” she says.

When Emma’s mom decided to homeschool her daughter, Emma was just about to enter grade three and was already significantly behind her peers in terms of her math skills. The family had decided that it was best for everyone if Emma’s mom stayed home with Emma and her brother, nine-year-old Kreyton. However, this meant that the family was forced to live on a single income, which put a mathematics tutor out of reach.

Kreyton didn’t struggle with math; he excelled at it. What he needed was a challenge. And while Emma was proud of her brother’s skills, the fact that even though he was three years younger, he was almost at her learning level was an additional blow to her self-esteem.

“What we needed,” says Emma’s Mom, “was a program that will help Emma get back on track and hopefully find a love for math to replace the animosity she currently has towards it.”

2.) Finding Elephant Learning

“We’ve tried supplementing with Khan Academy and other resources people have suggested,” says Emma’s mom, “but nothing is making math click for her, and I feel like we’ve run out of options.” Emma’s mom began to search online for supports that would meet both of her children’s needs. “I heard great things about Elephant Learning,” she says, “and it was what her family needed to make math become more fun and easier to comprehend.”

She and her family won an initial scholarship to try Elephant Learning, and both Emma and Kreyton were quickly hooked. So was Mom, especially once she saw their results. 

Related: It’s About More Than Just Math: Fear, Growth and Adaptation

3.) Emma and Kreyton’s Experience With Elephant Learning

Emma’s eagerness to learn was evident in every other facet of her life. She loves to read and play the piano and is an active community volunteer. Mathematics was the only thing holding her back academically. That kind of damage to a child’s self-esteem, though, can be insidious. It can make them question their intelligence and even their capabilities in other areas, which can lead to poor academic results across the board. Learning to “hate” math can exacerbate this problem.

Using a gamification approach, Elephant Learning allows students to become excited and engaged by math, which in turn encourages them to keep trying until they understand and find success. And by focusing first on the foundations necessary for each concept, Elephant Learning helped Emma excel and gain confidence at her grade level before propelling her even further. The approach worked. Emma embraced her math and learned the foundations she needed to move forward and catch up with her peers.

Kreyton also excelled with Elephant Learning as the program both engaged and challenged this young mathematician to move even further ahead in his mathematics learning.

Related: Later Elementary Math Concepts and Strategies: What Parents Need to Know for Grades 3-6

4.)  Emma’s Results 

  • Age: 11.7 years
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 9.6 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 11.3 years
  • The difference after six months: 1.7 years

5.) Kreyton’s Results 

  • Age: 9.6 years
  • Starting Elephant Learning Age: 7.2 years
  • Current Elephant Learning Age: 10.2 years
  • The difference after six months: 3 years

She does her best but honestly prior to Elephant Learning, it was a struggle and most days math time ended in tears for both of us.” ~Emma’s Mom

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