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Jun 23, 2016

LearnBop TOS Review

Math is my nemesis.  Well, I like arithmetic, but the boys don't.  90% of all tears shed in our homeschool originate over a math lesson.  I am always looking for something that works.  Enter LearnBop for Families 12 month subscription.  LearnBop is a personalized online math program and part of the K12 family of courses.  LearnBop for Families offers a single student plan or a family plan for up to four students.

Originally, LearnBop was developed for schools and recently introduced for families.  The program is for grades 3-12, but also offers "road maps" by subject which start at a lower grade and guide the child through the lessons at their own pace.  It is designed to identify learning gaps to help the child catch up and get ahead in math.  The student does need to work through the lower grades to catch up in the subjects, but the better they do, the faster they move through the Bops.  If they are on par for a grade level, there is no need to use the subject road maps.  Just jump right into the grade road maps and skip all of the catch up work.

I set up our account and assigned the boys' user names and passwords and assigned road maps.  Together, we chose a fun avatar from the selection.  Right away the Bops from the assigned road map begin. 

First, a warm up is used to determine placement.  Then the lessons are introduced by video, after which the question and answer section will begin.  On the student dashboard, a quick glance shows what is next every time they log on.  Some videos are required, others are extra optional videos which aren't required to begin solving Bops, but may be needed at some point if solving becomes too difficult.  While answering questions, the guys can Ask For Help solving where they will be guided through each step of the problem.  First and most importantly, the questions will confirm that the question is being understood by asking a few comprehension-type questions.  After that, the student is walked through every single part of the question in order.  If, at any step, there is still confusion they can Show Hint for that point in the problem.  It's like your own online math tutor.

Xavier thought it was hilarious that there was a question about "Jody's family."
I liked that, as the parent, I was able to move the boys around from grades to subjects easily and without contacting administrators or forcing the boys to continue through things they already knew.  Although, I had boys in grade level and changed one to the road map for measurement and data which started at grade one.  When I looked at the student reports, though, I could only see the information about the current road map and not the grade level activity.

I was able to see what the boys had completed and what score they reached.  They begin at 0% and right and wrong answers raise and lower their score.  Once they reach 90% or higher, they've "mastered" the concept.  I only required them to reach that level.  It's very difficult to get to 100% and missing a question could have lowered their score back under mastery level.  For some reason, no one seemed to want to risk that. 

When there is an error in the program, the kids can report a problem.  When they do this, I receive a copy of the email that goes to LearnBop.  Xav had some trouble and he ended up being so frustrated that I told him he didn't have to continue with the program.

Malachi ended up with a couple of confusing Bops that gave us trouble.  One was a multiplication issue.  Three of four questions would be "row times column equals" type and the final one would be nine red dice in 3x3 grid.  They were looking for 9 dice times the number of dots on the dice.  He kept wanting to use 3x3=9.  The other used a polygon tool to draw a quilt.  He had no idea how to use the tool, the videos didn't explain it, and I was completely useless in that instance.  I ended up googling the tool and playing around with it for 20 minutes to figure out how it worked!  While he was confused a few times, he actually had a much better experience than Xav and is happy to work on LearnBop.

Mal achieving mastery!

We loved these little motivational images that showed up in the student dashboards.

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