Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Review: GyMathtics DVD

*As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free copy of Exploramania's GyMathtics DVD for review. No additional compensation was given and my opinions are strictly my own.*

Most of my friends and family know, I'm a big fan of exercise and working out. My daughters are following in my footsteps and can often be found moving through their ballet steps (Abby) or taekwondo forms (Sierra), riding on my stationary bike, or even working out with me. My son? Well...that's another story. Ahem.

When we received a copy of the GyMathtics DVD from Exploramania, we were hoping it would be similar to my other workout videos. The children weren't too keen on the whole "let's incorporate math into our workouts" but they were up for reviewing it regardless. :)

GyMathtics is a 30 minute DVD that provides children in grades 2-5 with a low-impact workout routine while teaching math concepts such as geometry, prime numbers, and skip counting. The program segments include:
  • Shape Stretches Warm Up - Stretches cover lines, circles and polygons.
  • Counting Calisthenics - This is the aerobic portion of the routine
  • Pattern Power - Pattern combinations that get the mental juices flowing.
  • Well-Being Wind Down - A cool down routine with a very soft, flowing tone. Incorporates lots of positive imagery and thought processes. ("Eat super healthy foods...", "Relax your body and open your mind...")
GyMathtics seeks to encourage children to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle while incorporating gross motor skills to help solidify math concepts in the brain. Many parents and homeschoolers realize that movement is essential to kinesthetic learners, so the idea behind GyMathtics is great.

Our Opinion

Like I said, the idea behind this DVD is admirable, and we already enjoy and engage in regular exercise. However....my children did not care for this DVD at all. As the opening sequence began, Ethan and Abby stared at the screen. Then, ever so slowly, both of their heads turned toward me, their expressions mirror images of one another. ("Are...you...serious?!") They skipped ahead a bit, hoping there was something they'd appreciate or want to get up off the couch for but alas, no such luck. :o/

While they agreed it "wasn't a bad program", they felt it was "just too babyish" for them. Ethan (11) said it "felt like Barney with a math book" and Abby (9) said "it would be better for little kids--like kindergarten or first grade." (Of course each child is different, so please keep that in mind before totally disregarding this program.)

I think part of my children's dislike for this product may stem from the fact that they're used to adult level workouts. As a matter of fact, I don't think we've ever owned a children's workout video before now.

But while I can honestly say this product didn't work for my children, I can see it being a huge hit with other children I know (who are--yes, younger).

The tone and style of the instructors is very encouraging, and the quality and cuing of the movements are great. The math lessons covered various concepts we haven't even attempted yet, which I was appreciative of. I feel this would make a great phys ed. supplement for younger homeschoolers, while providing them with a fun "wiggle busting routine" during nasty weather days.

GyMathtics is available for $24.99 and comes with free shipping. To learn more about it and view additional screen shots and product information, please click here.

There are additional GyMathtics products such as GyMathtics 2.0 which is designed for older students (something we may look into), as well as Exploracise Floor Mat which is a yoga mat with math facts built in, and Exploracise Thumballs which help reinforce multiplication skills. To learn more about these products, please visit their website by clicking here.

We give GyMathtics by Exploramania one thumb up. :)

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