Have you been looking for ways your children can keep their math skills up, over the summer months? We found the perfect solution for this potential problem when we were offered LearnBop‘s LearnBop for Families to use and review via the Schoolhouse Review Crew. It has been a great experience for us (which is saying something, when a love-hate relationship with math lives in your household!) We received a prepaid version (12 month subscription) for the Single Student Plan (although there is also a Family Plan available for up to 4 students). It’s completely digital and online, and students watch, answer, and learn via the website.
What is LearnBop for Families?
LearnBop itself is a program which teaches math and gives additional instruction on concepts students miss or don’t understand….all online. LearnBop has been used in schools for some time. They developed their new program, LearnBop for Families, for students to use at home. It’s designed for students in grades 3-12 (although younger students have also used it successfully).
And how does LearnBop for Families work? It organizes math concepts into learning plans called Learning Roadmaps, which contain thorough lessons on them. There might be anywhere from 11-13, or more, plans or units in each grade level or roadmap. And each of those has a number of lessons in it. Students watch videos, answer questions, and are given additional problems.
Here is where things get interesting. In each roadmap, students begin by completing a Warmup. This warmup presents a number of different questions that illustrate the math concepts that will be taught in the particular unit. The student works through the questions and the problems and enters his answers. Then, based on how well he scores on the warmup questions, the website calculates his understanding of the concepts. And fabulously, it develops a plan of study, called Building Blocks, for the student! The Building Blocks provide teaching videos on each concept that needs to be mastered. After the student watches the teaching videos, he can either watch additional videos on the concepts or proceed to the Bops, where he’s given problems to work so that he can show mastery of those concepts. Once he has completed the Bops (math problems) with a 90% success rate, he can move on to the next Roadmap, which starts the entire process again.
My son will be entering high school in the fall as a ninth grader, and I thought that spending time with LearnBop over the summer reviewing the math concepts of his middle school years would be a great way to prepare him for the Algebra I class he’ll begin in September. So we used a Roadmap that started with graphing along the x and y axes, introductory algebraic concepts with variables, and geometry.
We have used some different curricula over Jackson’s middle school years, and another reason I wanted to use LearnBop for review is because I wanted to ensure that he’d covered everything in those various curricula that he’d need to be successful in math during his high school years. So as he worked through the roadmaps, I sat nearby so that I could make sure that the program itself worked and so that I could see what he was covering in each roadmap. This ended up being a great plan for us, because we had a lot of conversations about why the math processes worked as they did. And while I can’t say this about every math curricula we’ve used over the years, I LOVE LearnBop as a tutoring program!
The videos teach the math concepts VERY calmly and clearly. While students do need to watch additional teaching videos if they miss problems, my son never felt like that was a punishment. (And he is not really a math fan.) There is enough repetition in the problems that the student can really grasp the concepts by exposure and experience. I did feel that the math seemed just a bit above what I’d have thought was grade level. However, that was never a problem for us. We’d just slowly and carefully work through each problem (sometimes with math, the student’s challenges are not that he can’t do the math, but that he’s working through it so quickly that he misses something) until understanding was reached and mastery demonstrated by the Roadmap.
The program also has some nice kudos for the student, in the form of badges and accomplishments that are displayed on the bottom of their pages. In addition, the Single Student Plan that we used allowed us to have a student account and a parent’s account. So if I needed a personal refresher in a math concept Jackson was working on, I could create a Roadmap in my own account and work the problems through that. The parent’s account works in just the same way as the student’s, with Warmups, teaching videos, and Building Blocks problems. (I admit that I’ve forgotten more upper-level algebra than I thought I had!)
I really appreciated that we were able to work through a number of different grade levels via LearnBop. I know that we have covered some of these topics but it has been awhile; and they’re all concepts that will be vital for Jackson to clearly remember and understand as he enters high school. It has been a great learning experience that he’s been able to do with little anxiety (other than he’d really rather not be working on his least favorite subject during the summer months). But from the mom’s point of view, it’s as stress-free as it could be. Plus, it’s thorough!
I am a fan of LearnBop for Families. It came along for us at a time when we really needed some excellent math reviewing time. The lessons are easy to use, the video teaching is clearly presented, and the resulting and necessary problems provided for students really enable them to practice and improve on their math skills.
During our review time, we only experienced one issue in the program when it wouldn’t allow Jackson’s entered answers to be taken so that he could progress in the lesson. This only happened yesterday, but we submitted a help request and should be hearing back any time.
Other Crew members reviewed different age levels offered by LearnBop. If you’d like to hear more about their experiences, click on the banner below, which will provide links for other homeschoolers’ reviews. You may purchase subscriptions for LearnBop for Families on a subscription plan (month-by-month) or a prepaid (yearly) basis at LearnBop. If you’re in need of some math tutoring for your own students, this may be just what you’re looking for!
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