I've got a secret! I have never revealed this before on my blog. But you have to promise me that you will keep this secret. If you can't, then just scroll on down to the next paragraph. If you can, then read further. I was once a teacher! What's that? You can't read it? Ok, I'll make it a little bigger. I was once a teacher! Still too small? Ok, ok, I will write it loud and clear. I was once a teacher! There! It's out! I was a teacher in a private Christian school in Florida for eleven years! Well, actually I was an educational therapist for eleven years. What's an educational therapist? It's a person who works one on one with kids who have learning problems.
"Well", you may be thinking "that is all well and good, but what does that have to do with this new product you're reviewing - Exploramania's Gymathtics?" Actually it has a lot to do with it. I learned that many times kids learn better when moving. The traditional thought is that you have to be quiet and sitting still in order to pay attention to the teacher and learn. However, I can tell you from experience with my kids that isn't always true. My son Joshua, for instance, likes being upside down. He can actually listen and repeat what I said while standing on his head! He also learns well when he is moving around. As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was given a free copy of Exploramania's Gymathtics DVD in order to try out and review on my blog and I found that is the theory behind Exploramania's Gymathtics.
Gymathtics, though, takes it a step further. Instead of just willy-nilly moving around while learning, why not learn while exercising? They take healthy exercises and combine them with basic math. During a typical Gymathtics session, you may be learning the different shapes while warming up, counting by 2's or sequencing while doing aerobics, or learning healthy living skills while cooling down. In fact, a Gymathtics session is divided into four parts:
- Shape Stretches Warm Up
- Counting Calisthenics
- Pattern Power
- Well-Being Wind Down
Although it is encouraged to do all four sections at once, my son, Joshua, started out by only doing a section at a time. After several time through the sections, though, he was able to do them all together. During the sessions, Ms. Carrie and her four helpers, lead you through the routines. During that time, Ms. Carrie is explaining the math concepts that you are learning. There motto is "Get fit! Get Smart! Have Fun!" and they certainly do all three on the video. During "Shape Stretches Warm Up" you are making different shapes and angles with your body while Ms. Carrie is explaining them. In "Counting Calisthenics" you are counting by twos, fives and tens, as well as learning odd, even and prime numbers and place value. "Pattern Power" has you repeating different exercises in a pattern. Finally, during "Well-Being Wind Down", you're learning well living skills while cooling down.
It's all a very unique idea that my first grader Joshua loved. My toddler Jacob even tried it out for a little while. However, although it has teenage children performing the exercises in the video, 13 year old John Allen was not impressed. I could see this video working well with children that have learning problems. As I said, Joshua, who has Asperger's syndrome, loved it. Toddlers through younger elementary children would probably do well with it as well. However, the younger children in the video did have a difficult time with some of the activities, especially the cool down ones. You may need to do it a section at a time with the younger ones. They may not understand all of the math concepts or even be able to do the skip counting etc, but they should be able to do most of the exercises and sooner or later the math will stick.
All in all, I think this is a great video for the younger crowd. The exercises, along with the basic math skills, make it an excellent learning video for those ages. Exploramania even has a second Gymathtics video that just came out. And, they have other great exercise equipment on their website as well. The videos sell for $24.99 and you can find the Exploramania's website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. If you want to see what the other TOS Homeschool Crew is saying about this product you can click here. Happy exercising!
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Updated: Saturday, 21 November 2009 12:12 AM CST
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