Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal

(Excerpt) Pursuing an Academic Edge at Home

July 22, 2009
By Joseph De Avila


Kimberly Kauer was worried about her 6-year-old daughter’s math skills. Her school doesn’t assign homework, and Ms. Kauer wasn’t sure which math concepts her daughter fully understood. To quell her fears, Ms. Kauer started her daughter on an online educational program for young children called DreamBox Learning. DreamBox uses interactive games to teach math and analyzes users’ progress as they complete lessons.

“It was really well-geared to her age,” says Ms. Kauer, a 38-year-old stay-at-home mom in Emerald Hills, Calif. “They really tailored their questions to meet her needs.” After monitoring her daughter’s progress, Ms. Kauer concluded that her daughter was up to par for her age…

DreamBox focuses on delivering individualized math instruction. As learners finish their lessons, answers are analyzed taking into account a problem’s difficulty, how quickly a question was answered, lesson pacing and other factors. Lessons are customized based on the user’s answers. DreamBox, founded this year, has mainly focused on the home market, but says it now is also selling to schools. Subscriptions for home users are $59.95 for six months.

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