There are two ways to use Elephant Learning. Elephant Learning is a powerful tool because the system is constantly evaluating, and the activities were shown to teach math concepts effectively. Because it is always evaluating and adapting to the student, it is important that the answers come from the students so that the evaluation is accurate and we are not feeding questions that are too challenging for the student as this may cause frustration.
We built the system with the idea that parents want to help their children in mind. That is why we provide parental advice that helps you take learning outside of the system in fun ways. For example, if your student is counting to 6, our reports will tell you how we teach that and may recommend an activity such as playing board games with one die. As you roll the die, the student must identify the number to move, and produce that many spaces. In this manner, you are reinforcing the same concepts in the application outside of the application.
Having said that, sometimes it is useful for parents to help children while a problem is on the screen and in context. What we recommend is NOT showing the student how to solve the problem. This is ultimately ineffective and can side step effectiveness by having the student memorize procedures. The thing about mathematics is that the language is like teaching a child about colors. You cannot explain what the color red is, you must show the student the color red and label it as red. In a similar manner, solving these activities exhibit mathematical concepts and as they solve them we place the language around it that help makes the classroom or homeschool environment effective.
What is extremely helpful is to give hints that help the student get to the solution. For example, you may ask a student what they believe the answer is. Ask them why they believe that is the answer. Once they tell you, you can determine what the misunderstanding around the concept is, and then ask leading questions that will help the student get to the answer. This is extremely effective for getting students over sticking points.