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Confessions of a DreamBox Parent

My son will be 6 in October, and my daughter is 3 ½. I don’t think it will come as a shocker when I admit that I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants at this parenting thing. Sure, I’ve gotten better over the years. I’ve read the books and magazines, talked with friends and family about their experiences. But overall, I’m just hanging on, hoping that I don’t mess the kid up for life.

That’s why the decision to expose our children to the DreamBox online math program is so satisfying. I know for certain that I’m doing the right thing. Without a doubt, DreamBox is a great teaching tool for kids.

My wife and I deliberate over which school to send our kids to. Are they too young to start playing soccer? When should we expose them to a musical instrument? With each decision comes fear of the unknown. We wonder how our children will react to certain environments. We contemplate costs such as drive time and money. We try to balance fun with learning, being a kid with growing up strong.

DreamBox seems to have overcome a lot of those concerns for us. At its core, DreamBox teaches math curriculum based on national and state standards. I know this because of the dashboard that is available to me which highlights different skills that have been mastered. DreamBox adapts to my child’s learning style and speed, constantly making adjustments to deliver a customized learning program.

Regardless of how fast or slow my child is learning, DreamBox is rewarding him along the way. Part of my goal as a parent is to develop a confident person, one who is able to handle all that life will throw at him. So along with learning math, my son is gaining much needed confidence. He is rewarded by fun, talking characters. He is rewarded with certificates, and tokens, and new friends that he wins as he completes lessons. It doesn’t matter how advanced or remedial the lessons are, he is becoming more self-assured.

DreamBox doesn’t forget the importance of being a kid either. This program is set up like a game, with different storylines using fairies (they call them pixies), dinosaurs, pirates, or pets. There is a carnival arcade where my son can go to play games, which, by the way, are just more math problems. Kinda like hiding peas in their macaroni-and-cheese. There are hundreds of lessons and, so I read, millions of storylines that can be exposed on the fly as my son completes different tasks in different ways.

I’ve watched my son use DreamBox, and it occurs to me that he is not only learning math, he’s learning problem solving. That issue we have in our country about not having enough engineers and scientists? Well, that’s not only because we aren’t teaching kids facts properly. Engineers must think independently, approach puzzles from different perspectives. Scientists must forge new methods of researching problems. DreamBox forces my son to actually think, as well as memorize.

I know that computers can’t replace personalized instruction. I also know that my child needs time to play with 3 dimensional objects and real, live kids. Exercise and sports are invaluable to developing a well rounded, healthy child. But for 30 or 60 minutes a day, a few times a week, I know that DreamBox is delivering so much of what my child needs growing into a boy and man, and what I need growing as a parent.

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