Sunday, November 15, 2009

Review: GyMathtics

Prior to joining the Homeschool Crew, I had never heard of Exploramania and GyMathtics.  The idea sounded intriguing, though, and I hoped to be selected to review the product.  Basically, GyMathtics is a kids' workout DVD that also incorporates math facts and healthy lifestyle concepts.  Many of the kids' workout DVDs we own do the healthy lifestyle part, but math?  That's new and different.

They bill this as a workout appropriate for kids of all ages, and the kids in the video do represent a range of ages.  There is an adorable little girl who looks to be about five.  There is a boy who is around 10 years old.  And there are two teens, a boy and a girl.  Katrina absolutely adores the "little pink girl" and refuses to do the one segment that she isn't in.

My boys all like the teen boy, and while there were a few moments where the bigger guys thought this whole workout was a bit silly, looking at this older teenaged boy working out without rolling his eyes or anything convinced them to continue.  Richard, my 5 year old, thought the 10 year old boy was pretty cool too.

What about the math?  It is meant to be reviewing concepts covered in 2nd-5th grade, and that seems to be pretty accurate.

Okay, so section by section -- here are my thoughts:

The first segment is the stretch.  I thought she did a really good job of introducing geometry by doing things like stretching with straight arms above the head and down.  The stretch section incorporates lots of geometry - rays, angles, lines, circles, and more.

The next section is calisthenics, where you are counting in various ways -- odds, evens, skip counting, prime numbers, and so on.  When doing place value, there is text on screen that defines what place value is.  There is similar text for many of the concepts.  This section is aerobic, having the kids jogging, lifting their knees, and doing jumping jacks.

The third section is on patterns, and would be the strength training portion.  Trina refuses to do this, as the "little pink girl" isn't doing it.  This part has you doing things like a repeating pattern of pushups, Superman, swimming, and crunches.

The final section is the "well-being wind-down" which is a final stretch.  This section does not have any math.  As you do things like shoulder rolls and various stretches, a voice over tells you things like "Try to get a good night's sleep every night."

What we liked:  I loved that there were a range of ages included.  That makes it much better for my kids, as they all had someone to watch.  The workout is a good, basic and balanced one, which doesn't include fancy choreography.  The participants are all dressed in normal looking clothing, not fancy expensive "workout gear" or overly coordinated duds.  Everyone looks like real people too, which is always a plus in a workout video.

I love that they are reviewing math.  The first time through, some of the math parts seemed a little forced, but not so much on later viewings.

What we didn't like:  well, the high fives in the aerobic section got a bit much for me.  The kids liked it though, and I guess that is what matters.  The workout was not as strenuous as some of the kids' workouts we own, so I wouldn't want this to be our only workout DVD.

GyMathtics is available on DVD for $24.99, and a second volume is coming soon.  Volume 2 targets a slightly higher age for the math, 4th to 7th grade, including Algebra Aerobics.  I will be watching for this to come out, and it is something I will consider purchasing.

And you can check out what my fellow crewmates have to say about Gymathtics at:

Any questions? I'd love to know what you would want to know in deciding whether or not this is something you want to purchase.

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive GyMathtics for free from Exploramania.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.


Anonymous said...

Nice review, very thorough! I liked the details you included on each section of the video, and your "likes" and "dislikes" summary.

Thanks for sharing your images!

Debra said...

No problem on the images! And thanks for the kind words :)