My Preschooler Just Finished the Kindergarten Curriculum

As one of the National Board Certified Teachers instrumental in building DreamBox Learning K-3 Math, it’s especially rewarding to watch my own child play and learn!

After years of watching her cousin play, she was eager to get started. She’s been playing a lot this summer, likely a result of “You need to use your brain before you rest it”. In other words, play DreamBox or practice reading before you watch TV. Although I knew she’d been playing (I get the parent emails on her accomplishments while I’m at work), I was literally stunned when I saw she’d reached the end of the kindergarten curriculum.

Around this time, she also started asking me for more help. At 4 ½ years old, it was obvious to me that she’d reached a point where she would benefit from more practice. Again, easy for me to resolve. I restarted her from the beginning of the kindergarten curriculum.

As a teacher and a parent, I know the importance of practice (Read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Daniel Coyle’s The Talent Code or Geoff Colvin’s Talent is Overrated), and of making learning fun. There’s no hurry for my daughter to finish DreamBox, so I’ll gladly let her practice as much as she needs. After all, there’s more than a year to go before she starts kindergarten!

I’d love to hear your surprise stories. Share them here and I’ll send your child some DreamBox tattoos. My daughter’s favorite is the Hemmy & Bunny tatoo.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, please contact our fabulous customer support group (email support@DreamBox.com, or just click here). They will tell you about your options and help you customize your child’s experience.

  • My 3 year old is close to halfway through the Kindergarten section, although he’s slowing down a lot as things get harder he’s determined to keep at it and earn his first pirate certificate since his older sister already has a few certificates on her wall. He really loves the drawing game at the carnival and looks forward to earning tokens so he can go play it. He has seven tokens saved up and whenever he earns extra tokens he spends them drawing … why on earth he decided that “7” is a good amount of extra tokens to have saved up I don’t know but I’m glad he likes to save! 😉

    Some of the mechanical challenges are interesting … he has to contend with my laptop trackpad which sometimes interprets his touch as a “click” on the wrong answer, or sometimes he just takes longer than the program expects making a game time out before it’s finished (that hasn’t happened lately so maybe the software has improved or adapted to him?).

    I don’t have much more to say right now other than that we love dreambox for both kids, despite the fact that i was highly skeptical at first to have too much “screen time” or to use the computer as a baby sitter for our kids which is an easy trap to fall into with kid’s web sites. Dreambox stands out compared to even good online educational sites because of the way it gradually progresses, compared to most other sites which are static and easy to fall into a rut of the kids constantly begging to go back and do the same game at the same site again and again.

    The printouts are great sometimes they seem to play just to make printouts of things they have done. Suggestion: allow them to print in some of the lesson games also since they’d love to show it around.

  • Thanks, Paul! I love that your son is a saver, but also allocates some tokens to spend. Great suggestion about making other print options available for kids. My daughter is allowed to print 1 page a day, and she is very thoughtful about this decision.

  • As one of the developers of DreamBox, my son (now 6) was one of our early unofficial testers. So I thought it might be useful to relate some of our experiences here.

    Recommendation number one: Get your little one(s) a small “travel mouse”. They are inexpensive and seem far better suited to little hands than adults ones. And they are usually easier to click as well. I’d recommend a corded one if your setup allows, otherwise you may find it gets moved all over the house and is involved in other adventures outside the computer world!

    Be aware that even the brightest child will have difficulty moving beyond a level that they are developmentally ready for. Sometimes we all need to take a break for a few weeks (or months) and let little brains develop. A few years ago, I noticed my son was getting frustrated in the middle of the first grade curriculum and making less progress, so I raised this with Mickelle. She explained that he likely simply wasn’t yet ready for that material. So we took a break for a few months. When he came back things just “clicked” and he was able to continue on happily.