LeapFrog Leapster Explorer
My daughter (aged 7) really struggles at school, and we have had extra tuition for her so she can cope better. But we actually found that made her more resistant to school. In desperation I wondered if I'd try a learning game system for her, but before I had a chance to evaluate and see what would be best, my mother-in-law gave her a LeapFrog Leapster, and some of the explorer games.
At first I was really mad that she had not consulted me, apart from our initial conversation when I said I was thinking about it. I hate electronic games, and really was not at all sure if they are not just a gimmick to sell more toys, packaged up as education.
At first I really kept an eye on how long she was on the Leapster and was really limiting the games because I really did not think they would work for her since tuition really had little effect.
However, I was surprised that my daughters teacher took me aside a few months ago, saying the tuition was really paying off, that she seemed to be getting to grips with school at last. When I told her I wasn't using the tutor anymore, but she had be using a leapster for about 3 months, she was quite agreeable. So I thought I had better take it a bit more seriously.
I am embarrassed to say I did not initially set it up properly with the online learning path that LeapFrog have. Stupidly my resistance to electronic games, and my mother in law, who has in the past been very interfering meant I didn't really support my daughter properly with her leapster. Despite me, she actually was doing very well, and having successes never before seen. I don't understand why an electronic learning game would have a better result than a qualified tutor, but it certainly has worked for my daughter.
We have now set it up properly online, and she is loving it. I actually think that maybe me not pressuring her may have also helped. She was treating it as a game, or a treat and not study or tutor time, and I think things just seemed to click.
I have since done more research into Leapfrog and am quite impressed despite my initial reaction.
So for anyone out there who doesn't think these toys are actually teaching much, think again, don't make the mistake I did!
(I do actually get on well with my Mother-in Law!)