The purpose of LearnBop is to act as a personal math tutor online. You select where each student will begin. They are then given a roadmap to work through math skills. There are multiple roadmaps to choose from like any grade from 3rd to 8th or upper levels such as Algebra I, Algebra II, or Geometry. You can also select subject roadmaps in 10 categories like Functions and The Number System. Once their roadmap is selected, they are ready to begin.
I had Apple begin with 7th grade math. Apple is currently working through Algebra I with another curriculum, but I didn't want this to be a stressful review period for her. I figured this would be a great program to help identify any weak places in her math abilities. Apple is working at very high math levels for her age, but math tends to cause her stress and tears as she doesn't really enjoy it.
Speedy started with 4th grade math. Math comes naturally to him, and this is the level he should be working on after finishing 2 separate 3rd grade math programs last school year. I was curious how evenly LearnBop would line up with other programs we've tried. So far it seems to be right on the correct level for Speedy. I had both kids work on LearnBop 4 times per week during our review period. It has been great as an over the summer program!
LearnBop is laid out in a way that is very easy for the student to follow. They log on to their account, and LearnBop tells them what they need to do next. Each level is divided into units and each unit is divided into Building Blocks (lessons). The unit begins with a warm up to "test" the student's knowledge on the subject. Following the warm up, the student is guided to the lessons. In each lesson there are videos to watch, and then bops to complete. The videos are short and easy to follow. The bops or questions are of varying degrees of difficulty. The point is mastery so the student is not allowed to move on until the question is answered correctly. If the answer is incorrect, they will be guided back through the question with "hints" until they can get the right response. The program automatically grades the student's progress, and they aren't allowed to move to the next lesson until they obtain a high score on the bops.
I initially had both kids jump on and use this on their own. We use Google Chrome, and LearnBop has worked well on that platform. As I mentioned before, it is really set up in a user friendly way so the kids could usually tell where they needed to go next without help. Initially both kids enjoyed the format of LearnBop, and they were experiencing easy success with it. As time has gone on, both have expressed some minor frustrations with the program. There have been some confusing problems and some incorrect problems in their roadmaps. Obviously that's disheartening for a student. It can also be very tedious to go through a missed problem again and again. I understand why LearnBop is set that way. but the kids have been addled by it at times.
I set myself up in Algebra I. I scored very well in math all through school and have never struggled with it. I also worked for many years in accounting type positions before having kids. The Algebra I was way too hard for me! I consoled myself by thinking I haven't worked on Algebra (other than helping Apple in a long time). I decided to try something easier and moved down to the Statistics and Probability section. I was a bit surprised when it gave me 6th grade tasks after the warm up! I wish we'd made it to more warm-ups so I could better understand how they work in LearnBop. Since this is a mastery program, I'd like to think there's an ability to test out of units or Building Blocks or unit concepts, but I'm not positive if that was happening. While I only had a few lessons in the 6th grade level, some of them were areas that I was certain I had answered correctly on the warm up. I too have found some problems that were incorrect on the program. Thankfully there's a very easy process to submit those to LearnBop. Of course to get past it you have to do process of elimination.
There are some things I really like about LearnBop. There are achievement logos awarded for various progress on the program. Since there isn't a cumulative grade on all work, the little achievements popping up are good motivation. I prefer the mastery work concept, and it closely models what we've done in our homeschool all along. However, I think it would be good to have some way to opt out or bypass a question that is incorrect on the program. Some lessons gave me a chance to restart, and I found one problem that even gave an option to show me an answer, but it still wouldn't let me past the problem. Obviously some kids would skip every question if given the choice but surely there's a solution that would be a happy medium. If one exists already on LearnBop, I haven't discovered it yet. I also think it would be great to have a master key to the roadmaps. That way I could see how many things the kids actually tested past. I do like that the website is so clean and easy to follow. I love that I get my own account to work on my math skills. I really like the parent page that gives me the ability to easily check everyone's roadmaps and progress. It is definitely a user friendly website. I think the bones of LearnBop are great and I hope to see the LearnBop for Families program continue to improve.
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