When the opportunity to review GPA LEARN and their online math supplemental program GPALOVEMATH came up, I was super excited. The program looks amazing and I knew my kids could learn from it. I requested a Great Parents Academy membership for five of my children. Liberty is 11 and in 6th grade, but I knew she’d want in on the fun, so she did the 5th grade level since that was the highest level offered. Eden is 10 and in 5th grade and worked on the 5th grade level, Sterling is 7 and in 2nd and did 2nd grade level, Ruby is 6 and in 1st grade and was able to work on the 1st grade level without issue, and Charlotte is 4, has yet to begin kindergarten but is starting to read and she worked on the Kindergarten level and kept up with that quite well. The encompassed most of their levels; it’s offered for grades K-5.
Our review period was not without frustration. When we first began, my computer would struggle to play the videos for the kids, and would freeze and cut out. Often the whole program froze and after a time, we’d have to shut it down because it wouldn’t run. I contacted GPA LEARN’s customer service and was asked about my operating system. I replied, and was thanked for my reply and told I’d hear from them soon regarding an answer to our issues. I didn’t hear back, so I sent another request for help. I heard back again from another rep with an apology for the delay, I explained my issue in detail, and never heard from them again. I have to say, this was disappointing.
What we were able to use of the program was well done. I set rewards for the lessons and while I could set anything I wanted, suggestions were “Bake a cake” “Go to the zoo or park” and “Mom does chores” and these were thrilling for my kids. They each really enjoyed telling me when they won something. (The bake a cake option was the favorite, hands down. Eden baked. We had dessert. Everyone benefited from that one!) The kids enjoyed it on the days we could get it to work. More often than not, though, we couldn’t get it to get all the way through the lesson before we had to shut it down. Since the lesson wasn’t completed, it was lost, and the kids were required to go through the same lesson again. If it froze again, they would get really, really frustrated – they kept repeating the same lesson. Sometimes, though, it would work well without issue and the video was well done, interesting, and it taught concepts well. The kids scored well on the quiz afterwards when all the electronic components cooperated. Sometimes the screen would freeze, though, and their scores would be poor because it wouldn’t work properly and wouldn’t let them choose an answer.
GPA LEARN would email me whenever the kids completed a lesson. I really appreciated that. I was working in another room when my phone dinged with the emailed notification and I knew just what they had accomplished. They thought it was pretty cool – I can “see” through the wall that they’d done their lesson.
Overall, I don’t know what the issue is. Our computer is not new, but runs well. Our internet runs quite fast and runs other videos without lag or load time. The whole computer did not freeze, only the GPA LEARN program. I tried to find a place where they listed the computer requirements to see if mine failed to meet the grade, but I cannot find any info on that. It wasn’t a firewall issue. I always run Chrome, but I did try Firefox and IE to see if that was the problem. It did not solve my issues. When I told customer service of my operating system, they did not respond in a way that makes me think it was inadequate, but… the computer is four years old. It’s possible.
I can’t recommend GPA LEARN because it was a frustrating experience. It was a great program when it worked well, but it became groan-worthy for my kids when they began and the whole things continued to free up. I wish it would work well for me, since what we were able to get to run was quite good and the kids learned new math concepts and, more than anything, names for concepts. I appreciated that they were learning new names for things they had already been doing – they just didn’t have a name for it. If you can get it to run for you, it’s a great program. I’m just not sure if it’s for an older computer – or maybe it’s another issue entirely. I don’t know.
To read what everyone else on this review thought of GPA LEARN and to read of their experiences with the programs available, visit the Review Crew Blog.