Homeschool Posts

Friday, November 20, 2009

Review: Exploracise GyMathtics

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As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free copy of Exploracise GyMathtics for review purposes. I received no other compensation. This review reflects my honest, personal opinions and experiences while using this product.

Jane Fonda meets the Electric Company---exercise your brain while you build those muscles for a brighter, fitter you. GyMathics mixes math practice with the same stretching and aerobic exercises you’ll find on many fitness DVDs and it’s aimed at the kiddos, with math concepts appropriate for grades 2-5 and kid participants of various ages. You’ll explore topics like prime numbers, increasing patterns, polygons, angles and more. Math topics are periodically shown on-screen with the exercisers shown doing the exercise in an inset window. For the most part, though, the exercisers are shown full-screen. The cool-down segment dispenses with the math practice and intersperses exercise directions with “motivational” voiceovers, like Be kind, ride the nice wave and various platitudes encouraging healthy habits.

Production quality was mediocre. The focus was a bit fuzzy in places, one set was poorly lit, and the sound levels were uneven in places where mikes were used instead of voiceover. There were some strange camera angles used and I found it a bit disconcerting that for the most part the exercisers are not facing the camera and addressing the audience, as you might expect, but looking at some point off in space. Ironically, in the final cool-down segment, they are facing the camera, and their bodies are turned to face the camera to do the floor exercises, but it would actually be more beneficial for them to be turned sideways so you could better see what they are doing while you are on the floor doing the exercises yourself.

My almost 6-year-old daughter loves this video! It gives her an opportunity to practice some of her exercises she does in her weekly dance class at home. The math concepts are a bit over her head, though. She’s just not that far along, but perhaps early exposure will make them seem familiar when she encounters them again and I don’t think it’ll hurt.

My 9-year old boy was unimpressed. He thought it was a bit hokey, but it may just be that boys are not into exercise videos as much as girls are. It seems like the math concepts are appropriate for one age group but the appeal of the video is for a different age group---I can see this concept going over much better with the 5-7 girl crowd with kindergarten to 1st grade math.

The voice-overs in the cool-down segment had a new-agey feel that was a turn-off for me, personally, and the periodic “high-fives” seemed a bit forced, but maybe I’m just getting jaded in my old age. This isn’t a tool I wouldn’t want to be without, but it could be worth having for those cold, rainy days to help everybody get the wiggles out.

This 30 minute Exploracise GyMathtics DVD is available for $24.99. Free shipping for a limited time!

To read more reviews of this product by other homeschoolers, visit:

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1 comment:

  1. Oh, now that is funny. I said it was the Count from Sesame Street meets Jane Fonda! LOL! Guess we thought along the same lines! Precious.

    Have a good one!

    ReplyDelete

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