Obsessed … with learning! How an unexpected shift to homeschooling led a family of 6 to embrace Osmo year-round
Elisa Lachance hadn’t planned on homeschooling her children. Her sister-in-law had homeschooled her children long before Elisa’s were born and she always found that to be nowhere in her life plan.
But when her then-3-year-old daughter seemed to take an interest in learning things like letters and numbers, and then the free printouts from Pinterest with learning activities and then was reading by four years old, she felt like she found a system that worked for them.
“It just snowballed,” Elisa said of her daughter’s early education.
Elisa’s daughter is now 10 and is the oldest of four children – her siblings are 7, 3 and 1. Elisa is homeschooling her 7-year-old as well with plans to add in their younger siblings when they’re school-aged (though she says she and her husband have always offered the option of going to a traditional schooling if the kids want).
A few years ago while looking for a Christmas present, her husband noticed Osmo in a Toys R US and they decided to give it a try.
It ended up being a huge hit. “Right away, the kids were obsessed,” Elisa said. “They love it. They loved it and they played with it for such a long time, and I could tell right away that this could be a great learning resource.”
Last year, when her son was struggling with math, Elisa had him try Osmo’s Numbers game. “I found that he didn’t even complain about it because for him it was just a game,” she said. “He didn’t realize he was practicing his addition.”
With the extra practice and confidence, she said, he’s zoomed into a much better experience with math this year. Her daughter, she said, is a fan of Osmo’s Coding games and her 3-year-old son, she said, has been noodling around with some of the games that his older siblings play and has started to recognize some letters, Elisa said.
And during the summer months, Elisa said, she’s quick to have her kids spend some time on Osmo so that they keep learning even during vacation. “I find it really important to keep kids learning throughout the summer,” she said. “If not, it’s really hard, I’ve noticed in the Fall to keep them going again. It’s better to keep a schedule – even if I wasn’t homeschooling and my kids were in school – I think it would be a huge change to not learn anything at all during the summer break so it’s important to keep them going and I think Osmo has some really great products for parents to use to do that.”
Before a recent move, one of the family’s bedrooms was set up as a full classroom, which became of special interest especially during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many parents were homeschooling for the first time.
“None of my friends homeschooled, but during the pandemic, some of them had no choice so of course. Even before that, because it was something different to them, everyone seemed interested in what I was doing. When someone would come over, they’d gravitate towards the classroom to see what learning resources I was using,” Elisa said. “And the Osmo has always been on the shelf with the big red camera logo popping out.”