Friday, May 1, 2015

La La Logic (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)


La La Logic is an online preschool program is for ages 3-6 years.  It follows a sequential order that builds upon itself, allowing children to gain not just skills but confidence in their skills.  It's designed to take only 10 to 20 minutes per day, making it ideal for families who don't want a true "preschool curriculum" but would like some structured activities for their children.  We received a lifetime membership to the Preschool Curriculum for  Damien, age 3, and Jude, age 7.  While Jude is older than the suggested range, his language skills are around a kindergarten level, so I wanted to see how it worked with a student at the top of the developmental age bracket.

There are three parts to the La La Logic program:

Brain Challenge- online multisensory activities
Worksheets - to strengthen fine motor skills
Extension Activities - activities ranging from reading together to scavenger hunts to copy work, using what you have at home.

What makes LaLaLogic unique is that instead of focusing on teaching your child information, it teaches your child to learn.  Critical thinking and problem solving skills are developed to that allow them to further their education.

Brain Challenge


This is the part that the boys really were interested in.  On the pro side, the program is varied.  Among the activities are sorting, visual discrimination, focusing, and critical thinking.  Many times, answering a question was a matter of clicking on the proper answer.  Easy.

However, there were an number of activities that required dragging parts around - for example, sorting activity.


Both boys had an easy time determining which barrel the correct apples belonged in.  Getting them in there was the hard part.   They were using a laptop with a track pad, and kept running out of space, unless they started with their fingers on the far edges.  LaLaLogic is supposed to work on tablet devices, so we pulled out an iPad and tried that.  Drag-and-drop on a touchscreen is easy for them.  However, the program often froze or became distorted.  I loved the concept of the program, and how it could make learning fun, but instead the execution was frustratingly short of the mark.

Worksheets


I know some people think worksheets are just busy work, but I like them.  I like being able to keep a record of what we've done, and Jude likes having them to show Neal at the end of the day.  I had high hopes for these, because they were for kids who were still young and not-yet-literate.  Jude often struggles with worksheets because he can't read directions very well, and Damien doesn't read at all yet, so I was hoping for something that had very simple directions.

Again, this program fell short.   I knew some of these were going to be easy for Jude.  I didn't anticipate them being so easy for Damien.  This worksheet is from week 36.


He always had the worksheet done in about two or three minutes, and one like this in the time it took me to finish reading the instructions.  I was torn between printing them out (so he could work on drawing lines and fine motor skills) and just doing them orally on the screen to save paper and ink.

Extension Activities


Again, we struggled.  (At least we're 3 for 3?) Here's a sample activity sheet, again from week 36.


So we started working on the rhyme.  That seemed ok, and since language is where Jude falls short, it was a good place to practice rhyming.   Three minutes later, the boys are looking at me and asking "What now?"   I guess you'd move on to the math if you had a three year old or a young four, but almost-5-year-old Damien is already working within 10, so "within 5" was too easy for him.  (I didn't even bother with Jude because he's never been lacking in math, and is already carrying and borrowing.) With the suggestion of working "in the afternoon" to move ahead, we did try coming back to it later on, but then had to fight the "But I just did this!" battle.

Logical for us?


The creators expect you will only need about 10-20 minutes each day, and if you want to go at a more accelerated pace, suggest doing one activity in the morning and one in the afternoon. Often, we wound up doing an entire week's worth of activities in a single morning, and Jude could easily do two weeks' worth of  activities in a single day.  The program is supposed to last 100 weeks, and at the rate Jude was working through it, he'd be done in in under a month.  For Damien, the program was also too "gentle" - he wanted "big kid" work to do.  I could see this program having worked for Luke, being the oldest and nobody to chase, but Damien has four older siblings.  If somebody would just let him use the graphing calculator already, he'd be trying Luke's calculus!  I understand the idea that the program builds on itself, but  I wish there was a way for an older child to start it further into the program (other than just picking a later week pretty much at random and trying those activities.  I had great hopes for this program when we first found out about it, but ultimately, it wasn't the right program for our family.

For other reviews of La La Logic, click the banner below, or follow La La Logic on Facebook.


La La Logic Review



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