Friday, November 20, 2009

TOS Crew review -- Gymathtics


Math drills can get dry and physical activity can always play a greater part in our school day. Put the two together, and you get GyMathtics, the "Fun, educational workout."


Product: Gymathtics DVD by Exploramania
Details: 30 minute exercise DVD that also teaches and reviews math facts and patterns during the workout.
Price: $24.99

What we loved . . .
  • Getting active! Sometimes the school day gets a little sedentary. This video provides a simple way to bring more movement into the day while still assisting another subject - math.
  • Kids and adults show you how it's done. Rather than just an adult leading, the DVD also includes two kids that participate in the activities.
  • Helps in learning some patterns and skip counting. I could see using this concept to help my kids with skip counting or other pattern type learning they are working to master. We can easily do jumping jacks while counting or hop on one foot while we count or some other physical activity. My boys don't need the encouragement, but this would be a simple way to encourage my girls to be more active.

Some challenges we faced . . .
  • The people in the video seem a little inauthentic and put on.
  • The music did not inspire my kids to participate. My four and five year old loved it, but the skip counting went too quick for them to keep up with. My 8 year old was on the fence, and my 10 and 12 year olds did not enjoy watching or participating with it.
  • While I love the idea behind this video, I feel that it attempted to combine two activities and didn't do a very good job of either one. The target age range for math skills is 2-5 grade, but it seemed more like 1-3 grade to me, maybe even kindergarten. However, at the same time, the counting went too quickly for kids that young to stay with them. And, the video was not enjoyed by most of my kids that were in the target age range.
  • The cool down didn't take advantage of that time for more math, but talked about big dreams, healthy living, and being nice. Maybe okay things, but they seemed out of place to me, and I always feel that talking about being "nice" without integrating Scripture is kind of fruitless. That's my personal opinion, though, so take it or leave it.

Overall, I could see a benefit to these DVDs, but I think I appreciate the concept behind them more than the actual product. We will definitely work to incorporate more activity in our school work as the day too easily slips away without it. If your kids like getting active with their videos this may be a great addition to your collection. My kids tend to prefer to sit on the couch and critique them, or encourage their younger siblings to participate.

They did put together a well structured program with a warm up, work out and cool down which could make PE planning very easy, especially during the winter months.

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This DVD was provided to me free of charge from Exploramania as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

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