Gingerbread Mama Posted February 15, 2012 Share Posted February 15, 2012 (edited) I signed up for the free trial on Dreambox for DS8, this is my child who is struggling with reading and math. At first, it seemed wonderful. One big plus was that it allowed him to work on math without worrying about reading for the moment. I love that it has audio instructions. Quickly, though, our experience started downhill. First, there are these excercises where it "flashes" a card at you and you have to recreate the pattern or click on "how many" from memory. The flash is so fast, even I have a hard time. You can look at it twice more, but the flashes are so gosh darn FAST! It seems like there are many of these excercises as well. It's very frustrating for him, and for me. Another issue is those backpacks that pop up with prizes. Sometimes it's a coin or card, and that is fine. A few times, though, it's been the "jewel" or "egg" that we were "looking for to complete the story". Well, once we found the item it would close out that part of the lesson. For instance, DS had completed three excercises, but there were still three he hadn't done, the backpack with the emerald appeared and, when he clicked on it, it closed that portion of the lesson. We couldn't go back and finish the other excercises. I can't see how that is beneficial, am I missing something? Does it, perhaps, only do that on the free trial and allows you to go back on a paid subscription? I'm really floundering here. We do Reading Eggs and he does well with it, for the most part, I'm looking for something kind of like that, but math based. I do other things with him, but he struggles so with handwriting that it just seems that adding in a user friendly computer program makes our lessons go more smoothly. I've tried just using the manipulatives ourselves, Dreambox style, but he HATES manipulative excercises, as well. At least on the computer I can say "You have to finish 3 excercises", if we are doing manipulatives he takes every opportunity to wander off or get off track. He doesn't love Dreambox, in fact he says "I hate this" every time we start it....but....he also says that about everything we do. I really think, at this point, it's more reflex. If it's learning/educational, his first knee jerk reaction is "this stinks". He will complain about Reading Eggs when we first start it, but once he's into the lesson, he sails right through without further complaint. I love the counting mat/abacus excercises on Dreambox. I love the verbal instructions. I love the gentle correction when he misses one. I just DON'T love the whole warp-speed timed excercise concept on half the excercises. ARGH! It's just a little too expensive to use when you only like 1/3 to 1/2 the program. Sigh. Any recommendations? Would a paid subscription to Dreambox be any better, would it allow me to "tweak" so he wouldn't do the flashcard ones yet? Is there another, similar, site to check out that would be better geared to what I need? He isn't ready to be shown "4+4", or the like, yet. I want something that SHOWS the number value, like Dreambox does. FWIW, I do sit with him as he does it, and I explain "You had five red beads to start, then you ADDED 2 white beads, let's count them.... how many beads do you have now? Seven? So 5+2=7!" That can also hurt him on the game, because sometimes it will say "Can you do it faster?" I'm not worried about faster at this point, I just want him to GET it, KWIM? I should add that basically ALL I ask him to do is Reading and Math. We do Reading Eggs and use a FIAR type approach to doing a book each week. I have an activity to go with the book each day and we add it to his lapbook. He does seem to enjoy the lapbook, but does not enjoy DOING much of what goes in it (doesn't complain but doesn't get into it, says things like "Can you cut this out?" or "I don't want to color it.") The only thing I've found that he WAS excited about was when we sewed a Corduroy out of felt last week. We will be doing a mouse next week. We are doing super easy books like Corduroy and Goodnight Moon. It isn't over his head and I'm finding many times he can read most of the words on the page to me, but he will usually say "I don't want to read, you read it." Anyway, my point is that he isn't overloaded on work. We don't even do history or science, unless it's something that happens to come up within the story, so I can't see where I could cut back further. Surely 30-45 min a day on reading and math (each, so an hour to an hour and a half total) isn't too much? I've printed some worksheets but those often turn into a struggle with getting him to complete even a short one. He holds his pencil loosely, doesn't press down hard enough to leave much of a mark, and balks at everything on the page. I'm sick of fighting with him about it, and I'm waiting to get in to have him evaluated so I hate to keep pushing and then find out at the eval that this was due to some delay he has and wasn't just him being, for lack of a better word, a pissant (LOL) Oh, and this isn't new to homeschool - he didn't necessarily balk at the work but every paper I got home from PS looked like a two year old had scribbled on it. I don't even know how his teacher graded them. Edited February 15, 2012 by Gingerbread Mama Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.