Maths Help Online with the Smartick Method

Recently I found out that one of my twins, H, did rather badly in a maths assessment at school.

He’s only 7 and the youngest in the class. Both of my twins struggle a little bit at school, not to the extent of needing additional help, and because of them being premature August born, it’s almost like it’s to be expected! Which isn’t really fair.

Their teacher (who I really like and who my twins really like too) read out everyone’s results of the test to the class, which meant EVERYONE knew H got the lowest score (9 out of 40)… bless his heart! No one was mean to him about it but a few kids said things like ‘It’s ok, you tried your best’ ….. which singled him out and made him very embarrassed!

He cried when he got home and said ‘I can’t do anything, I’m rubbish at everything!’

I was so annoyed with his teacher…. I don’t want him to feel bad about himself because of a stupid maths test at only 7 years old! I made sure he knew that it really doesn’t matter at all. I told him in no uncertain terms that he is NOT rubbish at anything and he is in fact the most wonderful human being on the planet…. But something like this could put him off maths and learning for life…. his confidence had really taken a knock so I made a promise with  myself to help him more at home.

smartick method maths kids education

A lovely friend put me in touch with Smartick… an online maths learning platform for kids, as they were looking for bloggers to review their program. I jumped at the opportunity as I really liked the sound of it and felt it was something we could realistically incorporate into our schedule without too much effort.

Smartick is designed in short daily sessions of 15 minutes of maximum concentration. Children need to login every day and do their maths. This helps create a study habit and routine, it avoids burnout and keeps children motivated and coming back for more. Smartick recommends that they do it at least 5 days a week to truly experience the benefits of the program.

We started Smartick during the Easter holidays with the free trial period of 15 days, that anyone can try at any time, and I put all three of my youngest children on it as the age range is from 4-14. We then continued for another few weeks.

H was obviously the first to give it a go and the animated look of the website made it appealing straight away. We set up his profile and off he went. The first couple of sessions are assessment based, although they look exactly the same as any session, but the answers H gave and how long it took him to answer were giving Smartick an idea of where he was at. The questions weren’t too difficult, in fact some were ridiculously simple…. but this was intentional as going over the basics is the most important aspect of grasping maths. It was perfect for H. Other questions ranged from simple adding and number bonds, some games and then some problem solving questions. I sat with him and helped guide him through each question and it was great to see him get excited when he found the right answers.

smartick method maths program

There’s a temperature bar on the left hand side of the screen which shows gold stars, these add up the more questions you get right! This is a great incentive, my twins love seeing this bar go up when more stars added to their collection!

If the student gets a question wrong, a little pop up box will show them the right answer, and at the end they have the opportunity to do their corrections and obtain more stars! There’s also a fun area for them to go into after the session is finished. This is a little virtual world where they can create their own avatar and are able to spend their stars they’ve earned as money to buy things for their character, like pets and things for their house! It’s so cute, my children love this.

Because none of the questions in the sessions were too difficult and H was able to find most (not all) answers without help from me, he didn’t get fed up, bored or frustrated in any way…. which CAN happen to kids when they get the answers wrong regularly. I’ve also found that online games we’ve tried before where there’s a timer involved, makes both my twins upset if they can’t work out the answer quick enough. It makes them panicky and angry then they just want to stop. Which is absolutely pointless. With Smartick, although there IS a time limit to each question, it’s so long that this very rarely runs out. But it IS useful for times when kids are dawdling a bit!

Each screen is very simple in appearance and incredibly easy to navigate. We are using a laptop but you can use an App downloaded on tablets too.

The Study Program at Smartick is mapped in such a way that allows the student to progress naturally and fully adapts to the level of each student. There are video tutorials when new concepts are introduced and guided exercises when the program has detected that the student is taking too long to respond to certain questions. The exercises are generated on the spot and based on a number of variables that the algorithm behind the Smartick method measures. Among those variables will be effectiveness (if the child has responded correctly or not), the speed of the answers, performance history etc. The platform does not have preloaded exercises, but rather has its own “intelligence” that always seeks the highest level of competence of each student. Always backed up and monitored by a team of educators.

I find this incredible. The program is completely tailored to the unique way your child works!

My twins are not doing the same sessions each day but they quite often like to watch each other and see what the other is doing which is funny, and also means they’re kind of doing TWO sessions instead of one per day!

My daughter, aged 11, is doing ok at maths at school. She’s no mathematician but she doesn’t struggle. There’s always room for practice and improvement, so I was interested to see how she would get on with Smartick. Again, each session starts off with the basics. For her it’s timestables. This is an area that she does need practice on and doing the multiplication sums (which includes some very tricky ones) over and over has been drumming home the core necessities. I just think this is the best way to improve anyone’s maths! Then the session moves on to more challenging topics.

She is really enjoying the program.

H is thoroughly enjoying it too and I can already see him starting to understand concepts that he didn’t get a few weeks ago. For example he’s been working a lot on subtraction and now he knows exactly what to do when he gets questions like this….

smartick method maths

It’s also opened my eyes to how my twins minds are working.

I’ve learned that H doesn’t always read the questions properly and this was, obviously, affecting his results. I am working on this with him now as we go through the sessions. He was trying to reach an answer in the wrong steps but again… now that I know this, I can help. He also gets distracted easily, although I’ve noticed this already improving which is wonderful.

O likes to race ahead with his session. He actually WANTS to do it and asks me if he can do his daily session without me having to tell him! He also likes to get on with it on his own. He is more studious than H though, whereas H is a lot more laid back. O is eager to see his star tally rise so will work fast on his questions to fit more into the time frame! He doesn’t need me to sit with him unless there’s a new topic that he’s not sure about, then he will ask for help.

They both seem to enjoy their little log in area to their own program and the fact that it’s only 15 minutes makes it achievable. It honestly doesn’t even feel like it’s 15 minutes. The sessions fly by.

Parents get the results from their child’s session instantly delivered to their inbox. They can also access the tutor web anytime and check progress. There are detailed metrics on the performance of the student and lots of various tutorials that they can go over to reinforce learning. I like this area… you can even compare how your child is doing compared to the other children their age!

I’m so happy with the Smartick Method. I can honestly say I’ve seen H’s confidence in learning maths already starting to grow and I didn’t want to stop once the initial trial ran out, so we have signed up for another three months! The kids are loving it and I absolutely can’t wait to see what progress has been made at the end of these three months!

If the past two weeks are anything to go by, I’m sure H will be top of his class the next time he has an assessment! But seriously, that’s not what this is about…. all I want is for my children to enjoy maths and enjoy learning… and that is exactly what Smartick is giving them.

 If you want to give it a go, sign up now for your FREE 15 day trial and see how it goes.

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