I have been searching for a math program that my girls would enjoy. One that they would be eager to use and still learn (and recall) essential math concepts. I believe we found it in Math-Whizz.
For the review, we were given an annual subscription for each child. I was able to create a profile for my two girls as well as a parent profile for myself. The parent profile is so that I can monitor their progress, know how to assist in problem areas and look at what the next lessons will be – without affecting their profile.
Before beginning any lessons, the child is given an assessment. This assessment takes the student answers and turns them into what Whizz Education calls a Math Age. The Math Age is then paired with the student’s actual age to give you an idea of their current skill level. Based on the assessment, Math-Whizz then sets up a customized program for each child with the goal of increasing their Math Age.
The assessments are also a great learning tool for the parent. They are prepared based on the child’s actual age. As I was hovering over each child during their individual assessments, I saw learning gaps in certain areas. It let me know what I needed to cover. I was grateful that Math-Whizz provided an “I Don’t Know” button for concepts the student does not yet know or understand. In my opinion, it kept potential frustration and disappointment to a minimum.
Motivators for Learning
Until the assessments are completed, a portion of the program remains locked. The games console. For my kids, that was motivation enough to get through the assessment. They wanted to be able to see what games were available to them. Not to mention, once the assessment is done, each child is awarded 200 credits. And credits can be used to purchase items to customize the child’s room/study, purchase pets, purchase supplies for pets, and to play games.
An additional motivator to continue with each lesson is that credits are awarded after the lessons. And bonus credits are awarded at various time spent milestones. It was not unusual for me to have to bribe my kids with snack time or art lessons to break them away from their Math-Whizz credit accumulation ambitions. In fact, each of my students easily surpassed the 60-minute mark in their weekly progress. One week, they surpassed the 120+ minute mark!
I like the parent dashboard that allows me to see each individual student’s progress. If they are progressing well, a checkmark appears for their status. If the student is having progression issues, an exclamation mark will appear. This happened with my oldest when she was unable to complete her session because of a power outage. As a result, a test was incomplete, and she did not reach her goal of 4 lessons per session. However, Math-Whizz automatically started her where she left off and she was able to complete that lesson’s exercise and test.
Also, on the parent dashboard is the option to view the student’s upcoming lessons. The parent can see the student’s current lesson and the next two lessons that will follow once they pass the current one. This helped me a lot as I was able to prepare a quick lesson on certain concepts I knew my oldest would need to go over before the Math-Whizz lesson began. Again, a good way to avert frustration and disappointment.
Another way the parent dashboard helps to minimize frustration is the message tab. This can be found on the dashboard and in the student reports section as well. A parent can send messages of encouragement or reminders to their students. And there are three pages of stickers to choose from that can be added to your message.
When the student logs in, they will see a bouncing envelope in their study to alert them they have a message waiting. Your students can also send messages to you from their mail.
Additional Parent Help
Math-Whizz also provides guides and tutorials in the form of videos for the parents to better understand how to get the maximum benefit for the student.
A bonus that I found for students who may be part of a cooperative school or options program is the ability to add the school. If the school also uses Math-Whizz, it allows the teacher to monitor the student’s progress as well. Students are also able to connect (and check leaderboards) with friends who use the Math-Whizz program.
Even though not every homeschooler has the option to use these added bonuses, I still consider the Math-Whizz program a win-win for parents and students alike.
It’s an educational program that – although not a substitute for the parent-educator – takes a lot of the guess work out of understanding what math concepts your child has a firm grasp on and what they need to continue to practice. It also provides at least four pages of fun, interactive games paid for by the students with credits they are awarded as they progress.
Thanks to Math-Whizz, I’ve gotten used to my kids asking me, “Can we start with math?”
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