The grandparents, the iPad and a 200 mile journey to teach their grandson maths

The grandparents, the iPad and a 200 mile journey to teach their grandson maths

One afternoon earlier in the year, there came a tentative knock at the door of the Komodo office. 

I opened the door to find an elderly man and woman standing there, clutching an iPad. 

‘Is this Komodo?’

‘It is. Come on in.’

Now, as we rarely get unannounced visitors, aside from delivery drivers, our office instantly filled with surprise and intrigue. We looked at each other across our desks for clues. Are they lost? Someone’s relatives perhaps? Or could it even be part of an elaborate prank?

The couple came in and introduced themselves - let’s call them Molly and Declan. Their grandson had been using the Komodo app until his tablet broke, so being keen to see the maths learning continue, they bought him an iPad to replace it. 

Now, it’s generally a fairly simple two minute process to download the Komodo app from the app store. Easy, that is, when you know what the app store is and how to use it. Even that slight difficulty could have easily been ironed out with a quick phone call or email to us. But Declan and Molly just wanted a bit of extra support in the form of a real live human standing in front of them to sort it out.

‘Where have you come from today?’ I  asked.

‘Oh, we’ve come from Dublin…’

A two hour train journey. A 200 mile round trip, to visit us and get our help to put the app on their tablet.

So, the Komodo app was installed, cups of tea were had all round, and a good chat ensued about the tourist attractions they could check out while in town.

And that was it. As Declan said, ‘We have all the time in the world and we’re pensioners so the train is free.’ 

It’s a nice little story. We got to meet a couple of our valued subscribers, and they got to meet us.

But it did make us think about grandparents and how they fit into family life in a techy world that is so very different to the one in which they raised their own children. 

With many parents now depending heavily on grandparents for minding their children while they’re at work, it’s the grandparents who often help out with the drop offs, pick ups and, most importantly, the extra learning that takes place at home. 

And, praise to the grandparents, they do it all!  How would we cope without them? 

There is a host of really useful, interactive educational apps like Komodo that can really give kids a boost. And of course it helps to be tech-savvy, but it’s important that grandparents take advantage of this new way of learning in the same spirit as Declan and Molly. 

Learning at home, particularly with young children, requires an adult to organise, motivate and support the learner. Whether the adult is a parent or grandparent doesn’t really matter - it’s more important that they have the time, patience and an encouraging nature. 

Komodo is designed with this ‘family-factor’ in mind. It embraces the motivation provided by parents and grandparents through its supporter and reward system. It also provides a personalised learning plan for each child so supporters feel assured that there’s an invisible teacher in the room.

We love what we do at Komodo but as an online education company there’s always distance between our work and our subscribers. This made it all the sweeter for us when Declan and Molly came to visit. Sometimes we all just want a real person to help us out, no matter what age we are. 

I’m Ged, co-founder of Komodo, ex-math teacher and dad. If you have any questions please get in touch.

About Komodo – Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost primary maths skills. Designed for 5 to 11 year olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning maths (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in maths – without keeping them at the screen for long.

Related Posts

How many times tables do you really have to learn?

Learning times tables can be really daunting for young children, so we've produced a video to show them that it's not as hard as they may think.

Starting primary school - how to make the first weeks go smoothly (advice from a teacher and other parents)

Starting school for the first time is a big milestone for every child, (and parent!). We asked a KS1 teacher and parents to share their tips on how to prepare for the first few weeks.