I have since been happily satisfied that all three of my children - despite being at totally different math levels with completely divergent learning styles - are benefiting from the program.
Through parent reporting I have discovered this child does well on exercises, but not as well on tests. Reviewing parent reports, I also now know which math skills I need to work with him 1:1 on through using provided replay modes or doing offscreen lessons of my own making.
He is succeeding so well with Math-Whizz that I am considering making the program a "spine" for his math studies for he remainder of the year. My thought is that he can use the program at will on his own, and, then, once a week or so, I can review reports and create some tailor-made pencil and paper exercises, math games, etc. for he and I to tackle together, thus making this supplementary program a full program for us.
I am sure my other son would like if I did the same with him, However different child - different needs. Unlike my younger son, who truly likes both the learning and the game aspects of Math-Whizz, my older boy tends to do the bare minimum in order to get to the games. In fact, he has spent an average of 130 minutes a week on Math-Whizz, yet has only increased from a 13.42 math age to a 13.43 one largely due to the fact that about 1/3 of his time has not been used in tutor mode!
A note on the parent report alerted me to his odd time spent vs. progression made ratio, and, after reviewing reports and talking to my child, I realized that was spending a good portion of time in the game mode - earning just enough credits to play, play, play. This did not surprise me, since this child is one who prefers online play to online learning. It did not upset me that much either, since I am grateful that he enjoys Math-Whizz and has had to earn his playtime with the program by doing some work at least. It did, however, make me realize that Math-Whizz can only remain a fun supplement for him this year, not a math spine. For my son just does not have the attention and diligence to make the most of his math learning time with Math-Whizz.
He can - and does- however, learn some things and, interestingly, I have seen that his exercise scores are unimpressive while his test scores are great. I am not sure if this is due to his ADHD and sensory things coming into play, with the graphics in the lesson exercises being more of distraction than a help to him, while the plainer style tests allow him more focus, or if it is just because my son prefers trying to quickly work things out in his head rather than using pencil and paper, and so tends to make careless errors sometimes - which are showing up with his exercise scores. Whatever is the reason, I am confident with observation and persusalof another week or two of report, I will suss it out and, in the meantime, my son is still making incremental progress and thoroughly enjoying Math-Whizz.
His sister is also progressing. In just a few weeks, she has moved from a math age of 10.84 to 10.86 with only 43 minutes of Math-Whizz use on average. This pleases me since she has had to overcome frustrations to make such progress.
These setbacks aside, my daughter is still progressing with Math-Whizz, and I am getting some good data that can help me help her progress more. Detailed reports help me know what to prepare to work with her on 1:1, so she can improve her math prowess even more.
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Upon receiving our log-ins for Math-Whizz, each child had to take a fairly lengthy assessment test that had common math questions based on my children's actual ages, with some questions "above grade level", some "below", and some "at", so the program could see where each child's strengths and weaknesses were.
Because the test was long - and contained too much reading for my child with dyslexia, I was glad that the test could be paused at any point, and, then, resumed without problem during a child's next log in.
I also appreciated how, once the test was over, I was sent a notice about my child's "math age" and my children could then use and play with the program.
The program is designed as a series of interactive, tailored lessons and fun games and is meant to be an affordable alternative to a math tutor for children ages 5 to 13 which can help them develop confidence and improve math abilities by 18 months in as little as a year. I have yet to see if that kind of result will happen since we have only been using the program for a little while, but with current standings, I can see how it may!
In the Children's Words...
My daughter, as I mentioned, does not like placement tests nor text heavy learning. So, she said:
When I first started Math-Whizz, I really hated it, because I did not like the placement test. It felt dry, boring, and long, What I did like about it, though, was I could pause it whenever I liked and come back to it without losing my place.
After I finished the placement test, I liked the other part when I do it from my study. I had options to tutor, play games, go to the store, challenge other people, and paint the walls.
The studying is okay, but I wish they had an option to have all text read aloud and I also wish some things were explained a bit better. Besides that, it's all good.
My favorite game is Mathman.
I would recommend this to kids who like online programs and who are like my brother and like credits, buying things, and stuff like that. For kids like me, it's good after the placement test. (I never like placement tests, so it is not just Math-Whizz.)
I will add that my daughter often does not like online learning, so her liking this program is telling of its quality and appeal!
My youngest child likes overall package - fun and learning. he said:
It's fun! You earn credits by doing math questions, taking tests, reviewing, and challenging other people. Then, you can use the credits for playing games, buying pets, and stuff in the store.
I like the games. Jimbo Jump, Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road, and Keep 'Em Up are my favorites. In Jumbo Jump, you jump and try get past ghosts. In Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road, you use the arrow keys to dodge cars, go over rivers, and stuff. And, in Keep 'Em Up, you use the moue to move a ping pong paddle to hit balls up.
None of the games except one have math, but I am learning math, too, so I can play the games and challenge other people.
He liked the idea of challenging other people, and the option to do so motivates him to review and improve his skills.
My oldest son favors the games. He said:
Math-Whizz is an online math program designed to help kids learn their math.
When you first start, you must take a placement test, which is long, long, long, but, you can take breaks, and, when you are done, you find out your "math age". I thought this was pretty cool, because my "math age" is greater than my regular age.
Then, you can get into your virtual study and you can change it by adding pets, toys, and plants which you by with credits. You can also paint it and change how it looks.
You can also click through the image of the computer to learn new stuff or on the tablet to review old stuff.
When you are learning, you get taught things with interactive slide shows, graphics, and stuff, and, then, you do problems that will actually challenge you. The program uses what you know from the placement test, and moves from there.
Every so often, there are tests, too.
I think they should add a place onscreen to write, draw, and do your math work with a digital pen, not just the keyboard. The calculator also needs to be able to shrink smaller. Now, it covers up a lot of the screen and messes me up.
When you do math, you earn credits which can be spent in the store or on games. I like the games. One of my favorites is a space games where you shoot blobs of goop at enemies who are shooting blobs of goop at you. I also like Pac Man and the panda game.
I would recommend Math-Whizz. It is not as fun as some other math programs I have used, but it is better than a majority. Its greatest aspect is the way there is a study and you can choose to go to any of the digital spaces from there - to buy things, to play games, to learn... I feel like I am learning.
So, there you have it. Math-Whizz is working for all three of my children and holds up to its promise:
- Artificial intelligence adapts to each of my children's needs.
- The program acts as a supplemental tutor, evaluating student progress and guiding a child through advances in math skills
- Included parent reporting helps me track my children's progress and hone in on which math skills and knowledge my children would do well to practice 1:1 with me.
- Between the customized lesson delivery and options for children to skip portions of exercises after proving their prowess with them, there is little wasted math time. If a child is having trouble with something, practice is there. If a child get something, the program moves on.
I have been pleased with Math-Whizz for its kids appeal, customized math teaching, and ease of implementation. I appreciate how it works to help my children progress with math independently while keeping me abreast of where hey are succeeding and getting stuck, so I know how be to utilize our precious 1:1 time together. I am glad the program has come into our homeschool and think it is worth checking out!
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You might also like to see what thirty Homeschool Review Crew families thought when they tried Math-Whizz. Find all the reviews.