I received the DVD Gymathtics to review for the TOS HomeschoolCrew. Gymathtics is an exercise DVD that incorporates basic math into the exercise routine. The exercise leader is an adult female and she leads a group of children from approximately age four or five through teen. The exercises themselves are appropriate for children of all ages (at least in varying degrees), while the math targets 2nd through 5th grades. The exercise program is divided into four sections: shape stretches (warm up), counting calisthenics, pattern power, and a wind-down. The DVD lasts approximately thirty minutes.
I really have mixed feelings about this program. My children are too young to understand most of the math, but I was curious to see whether or not they would be interested in participating in the exercises. They have exercised with me before when I’ve used exercise videos. This time, Lulu was not interested in doing this in the least (although to be fair, she has had a difficult week after having dental work done on Wednesday, and this probably had something to do with it), but Louise was willing and mostly happy to participate. Many of the moves were ones she was not coordinated enough to do, but she had fun.
The following are what I consider the positives of this program:
- The idea of introducing mathematical concepts in such a setting is both unique and appropriate. Many of the moves one does during exercising (i.e. geometric shapes, patterns, etc.) are related to mathematics.
- The use of children of multiple ages in the program is good.
- The leader’s voice is positive and encouraging, almost cheer-leaderish (which can quickly become a negative in my book, actually).
- Diagrams accompany the mathematical concept that is being introduced in a split-screen format so that the exercise rhythm is not lost. (Go here to see what I mean.) Because we have a TINY (10″ or so) television, this was somewhat of a problem in terms of viewing for us, but for most people it probably would not be problematic.
And now, the negatives:
- In my opinion, the exercise leader does not always adequately explain or “coach” the moves. I am rather uncoordinated, so this is important for me. Especially on the calisthenics section, sometimes I’m not too sure I could adequately follow all the moves.
- While the idea of incorporating math into an exercise session is a good one, I’m not sure that the whole idea would be effective or useful over the long haul for how long one would expect to use an exercise video. In other words, I think the repetitiveness of the concepts might get old.
- I would hesitate before spending $24.99 on something that I’m not sure would get a lot of air time at the House of Hope.
At the age my children are, routine, programmed exercise is just not right for us right now. However, if your children are older, this might work for you. Visit the Exploramania website is learn more about Gymathtics, or visit the TOS HomeschoolCrew blog to read more reviews of this program.
This product was sent to me free of charge for review purposes.