Friday, February 13, 2009

DreamBox Learning K-2 Math is a winning combination of entertainment and learning

My son's adoration of DreamBox Learning K-2 Math is like a frat guy after finals with a new video game. A Mac fiend gazing upon the latest Steve Jobs vision. Heck, he reminds me of teenage me in my orthodontic headgear with my Nintendo Tetris back in 1989. Charlie is totally engrossed in playing DreamBox online, and he has no idea that his allotted computer time with this game is thoroughly teaching him serious arithmetic.

The former camera magnet can't even turn his eyes away for one quick snap

DreamBox Learning K-2 Math is an online game where kids have fun learning math. It launched in January 2009 and thanks to Parentbloggers, Charlie and I had the opportunity to be beta users. Charlie is having a blast, and I'm really impressed. My pre-kindergarten five year old is learning an in-depth math curriculum and receiving completely individualized learning in an engaging, creative manner. The game guides him to learn in age-appropriate progression, but he still feels he's "choosing his own adventure," much like when he plays purely fun games. See how it works.

dreambox learning
Screenshot of DreamBox's "menu" map of kids' learning game choices

As his parent, I am receiving regular emailed updates of Charlie's progress, the skills he's learning, where he needs to improve, what obstacles he faced and then worked out through the games. I can also access a parent dashboard anytime that shows me what he's learning, what lessons he's completed and the grade level of each skill he's accomplished or working on.

parent dashboard
Screenshot of the DreamBox Parent Dashboard

In an email CEO Lou Gray sent to all parent beta testers, Gray writes that the DreamBox team "consists of top notch educators, entrepreneurs, technologists, and creative designers" who "spent over 3 years developing this product." I think their attention to detail is evident. My kids and I have tried out various online and CD-ROM learning games, and I do feel that DreamBox was intuitive for my child so he could begin learning immediately, captured his attention and imagination, and had a winning combination of entertainment and learning.

Some really cool concrete results: Charlie can now count by tens to 100, understands the number grouping concept, and is starting to "get" the idea of counting by twos/even numbers. Hey, hopping over every other number when you're barely five years old sure beats hopping over sliding mushrooms!

And you and your child can check out the learning games for free too! Click here to try DreamBox Learning K-2 Math FREE for 14 days.

Graphic design by Jeannine Marie Soden of ROYGBIV Design

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