Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Math Whizz (A Homeschool Crew Review)

When I was in school, I really struggled with math.  I always excelled in English and in Science, but numbers and formulas have always eluded me.  Even today, I have to rely on a calculator or apps on my phone to figure out equations that require math.  Because of this, I fear that my struggles with math will carry on to my children because I don't have the proper foundations in my own knowledge to help them build their own, causing them years of frustration.  I often worry that if they fail to understand important skills early on, they will struggle with other concepts that build upon those skills.  

For the last few weeks, the kids have been using  Math-Whizz  from Whizz Education.  Designed as an online math
tutoring system, Math-Whizz helps to first identify gaps in a student's mathematical foundations and then helps to fix those gaps in math learning.   For this review, we were given a 12 month subscription to Math-Whizz for both Ashleigh and Garrett. 

Math-Whizz is designed for ages 5-13 years old and is tailored to identify your child's particular math knowledge so that the program can then providing the right lessons at the right time and in the right order to improve math learning and understanding. 

Getting started with the program was fairly simple.  After creating an account for both Ashleigh and Garrett, they were each asked to take an assessment that gauged what they knew.  These assessments took roughly 20-30 minutes for the kids to complete.  Fortunately, they could take a break from the testing and pick up where they left off if they got overwhelmed.  

Ashleigh and Garrett are both at different levels when it comes to where their learning gaps are.  Because of this, they were both given different lessons to work on.  Garrett needed to work on his multiplication tables, which I already knew was where he was struggling while Ashleigh struggles with measurements like telling time and counting money. Once the assessments for both kids were completed, Math-Whizz then provided tutoring lessons based on what their assessment results showed. 

I really liked the set up of how the lessons were designed on this program.   The kids log into their account and are brought to their dashboard where they can select the tutor and start practicing.  Students are encouraged to use the program at least 30 minutes a week.  

We tried to use the program at least 15 minutes a day each day and the kids often would do more than an hour each week.   Usually in that 15 minutes, they could finish a full lesson as well as the skills test that followed.  

As they work thru lessons, they receive incentive coins as well as bonus coins for time spent.  These coins can be spent on virtual trinkets and pets the student can purchase in the shop to decorate their room.

Garrett was super excited to see Halloween Decorations in his study 
The lessons themselves are very interactive.  The concept is shown and then students doing various activities that help them gain understanding as to what is being taught.  Here is one of Garrett's lessons on Properties of Numbers where he was having to skip count backwards.  

Once the student answers at least four questions correctly, they are given a skip button (the fast forward button under the OK on the screenshot above).  This allows the student to skip the remaining questions for that lesson and go straight to the test.  This might be great for some students, but I'm a "mean mom" and did not allow the kids to use this function and instead made them complete all the activities just so I knew for sure they understood the concepts they were learning. 

Ashleigh working on reading an analog clock
Both kids really have enjoyed using Math-Whizz and I think it has quickly become a favorite math supplement for the both of them.  I really like the fact that I can log into my parent account and view reports for both kids to see what lessons they worked on, how well they did on those lessons, and what progress they have made overall.   These reports show that both kids have made improvements on the math skills that they have worked on and I can indeed see how using this program will them to fill in the gaps in their learning. 

This is definitely a program that we will keep using in the future.

For more information about Math-Whizz from Whizz Education, connect with them on the following social media sites:

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