Saturday, November 21, 2009

Combining Phys. Ed. and Math?

I had a girlfriend years ago that was attempting to homeschool her four young boys.  They were like little stair-steps going from age 11 to 5.  One of her sons had a lot of energy.  Now, here's a little secret about me, I don't believe that all the children diagnosed with ADHD really have ADHD.  But this little friend of mine had her oldest son tested and he was ADHD.  Since she wanted to avoid medication, she got some tips from the experts and one was to put a mini-trampoline, or an exercise bike right where they did their schooling.  When he would finish a subject, or start to get distracted, he hopped on the bike for a few minutes.  It helped him to focus.


This idea of combining book learning with exercise is really intriguing.  That's why I was really interested when I got the opportunity to review the Exploramania DVD "Gymathtics."  Exercise is not a regular occurrence in this household.  I'm embarrassed to admit it, but in the interest of full-disclosure, I have to be truthful.  I was hopeful that this DVD would be the solution to all our exercise woes.


This is an interesting product.  While you are exercising, there are math problems being presented to you.  The math is not difficult, mostly review of common facts, such as simple geometry.  But combining this kind of learning while exercising is a research-proven technique.  I was recently reading an article about a recent research project that showed how much better children who had exercised prior to a test did than those students who did not exercise.  So, I was happy to have this DVD/exercise program in my hot little hands!


The exercise was challenging.  Keep in mind that we are an "exercise-challenged" family.  The math was not complicated, but a great review.  But the commentary of the program was a little youthful for my 11 and 13 year old.  I tried to get them to focus on the exerercise, and not the commentary, but they really didn't enjoy being "talked down" to.   This DVD uses math geared to 2nd to 5th graders.  The exercise is for EVERYONE, including me!   The exercise program included a warm-up, aerobics to keep your heart rate going, and a nice cool down.  During the cool-down the commentary went off of math and onto character.  I couldn't argue with any of it, but sometimes a mom doesn't want an outside product trying to develop character in their child.  The cool-down included some yoga poses.  I love yoga, so I didn't have a problem with that. 


I'm sure I will  be able to force the boys into using Gymathtics again.  I did really like the concept.  Check out their website.  It's colorful and full of interesting products.  The Gymathtics DVD is available for $24.99.  And there is also a second DVD if your children get tired of the same routine each day.


 Contact information can be fund here.  Do check out their products, they are quite interesting.  And don't forget, there are other crew-members reviewing this same product so you can get a wide-range of reviews, here.

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