Confessions of a DreamBox Parent
When I received that first email from DreamBox, I couldn’t believe my eyes. What an outstanding surprise! All my prayers had been answered. It was like manna from the heavens. My wishes had come true.
Well, that might be an exaggeration, but let me tell you, I sure was excited.
If you’re anything like me, you are curious about what your children do every day at school. Are they enjoying themselves? Are they learning anything? Are they progressing as people at all?
If your child is anything like my kindergartener, then you know full well that getting answers to those questions from them is like pulling teeth. Except that with the teeth you actually end up with something in your hand. You might get a “Nothing” if you’re lucky to enough to distract them from their Legos or Barbies. “I don’t know,” is likely what you consider the long winded version.
When it comes to the math part of his education though, DreamBox gives me all the answers I need. Actually, I’m getting much more than I would have asked for. And I’m getting feedback on his math progress as soon as he and his teacher are.
Whenever my son completes a lesson on DreamBox, my wife and I each get an email letting us know just how he is doing. We learn about the math concepts he is working on. We get an understanding of the progress he’s making. We also are notified when he is struggling with something. These emails come every time he logs on to his account using the character he chose and the picture password he chose as well. If he’s working through the DreamBox lessons every day, then DreamBox sends me an email every day.
How many times do you get to sit down with your teacher and get some insight into your child’s learning? Once or twice a year? If you are persistent, maybe you’ll be updated more regularly. If your teacher happens to be into technology on a personal level, maybe you’ll get some kind of general update about what the class has been doing the past few weeks, and possibly where they are headed in the next few weeks. Those updates are unlikely to carry the level of detail that I as a parent am looking for though.
If this regular communication from DreamBox wasn’t just the bees knees to begin with, then the recommendations they make following the update are just plain sweeter than honey. After a few sentences telling me what math concept my child is working through, DreamBox provides a suggestion about how we parents can reinforce this learning at home using live manipulatives. Here’s an example of ideas I recently received.
On-the-Run: Counting Fun: Ask your son to make equivalent amounts of objects, such as knives, forks, spoons, and napkins when setting the table; or to determine the number of items needed for all family members so everyone gets one.
Finger Play: Hold up some fingers using two hands, but only show them briefly then put them behind your back. Ask your son to try to make the same arrangements with his fingers from memory.
Is that the coolest thing or what?
I am so happy with the progress and fun my child is having with DreamBox. It seems to me that the folks at DreamBox “get” learning so much better than some of these other computer folks. They understand that it’s not all about the computer, or all about class time. They realize that parents and guardians must be involved. They know that to successfully engage a child in learning and creative thinking, time must be spent away from the computer using real world examples.
With DreamBox, I’m learning what my child is doing in math in real time. I’m learning how to help my child think and learn about math in the real world. That is what makes DreamBox really, really great!