Early in the summer, when I was new to blogging and had just put away the schoolbooks in favor of warmth and sunshine, rest and fun, I came across an opportunity from a company called Smartick. They were looking for homeschooling bloggers to try out their math curriculum for three months in exchange for a blog review. Always looking for new maths to excite my non-math-loving children, as well as ways to homeschool on the cheap and also, looking for opportunities to write reviews on my blog, I happily contacted them and with their prompt response, we had each other a deal and a plan. I would start my children on Smartick Math in August and three months later I would write an honest review of our results. As for their prompt response- that’s very typical for this company, I’ve found. Their emails have always been prompt, courteous, and helpful.
It’s been two and a half months since we began our journey with Smartick. The balmy days of August have transitioned to the blustery days of October.
And I have not had to fight with my kids about math, once.
I’ve been homeschooling for twelve years. This is the first time I can say that.
That’s monumental. It has been so lovely to close our geography science, and social study books at the Amish-made dining room table where we “do school”, put down our writing pencils and put away our read alouds and promptly send the children upstairs to where the computer is, to complete their math. They usually fight over who gets to go first!
I can rest assured that they are getting some great skill practice. I know this because I get an email report of their progress and performance each and every day. And if they miss a day, I receive that email as well. I’ve been summoned to help on a few occasions, but not often as the method is so good at working at the childrens’ individual skill levels and helping them to master it prior to moving on.
It takes only fifteen minutes a day to complete a lesson and that is perfect for the younger children to learn to enjoy math while progressing in knowledge. I have a kindergartner, second grade, fourth grade and an eighth grader doing Smartick. I know it’s generally common for an eighth grader, especially, to spend more time on math than fifteen minutes a day, but I truly believe that this short session is fostering her love of learning without burning her out.
The kids love that they get rewarded with each right answer. They earn points through more “ticks” (right answers) they get that they are able to apply towards a game time at the end of their session.
Wrong answers are gently corrected and the student is talked through the process.
The only supplemental math we do is flashcard practice. We do flashcards every day to supplement this program simply because my kids could all use improvement with their rote math facts ability and speed. I would say if your kids are solid with their facts, no supplementation is necessary.
From the website: smartickmethod.com
94 out of 100 children improve their calculation skills
83 out of 100 children improve their school grades in math
“Students work on mental calculation and algebra while also developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills while improving both math and reading comprehension.”
“Children develop at their own pace, building self-confidence, avoiding frustration, and developing a positive attitude to math.”
“Short, daily sessions at maximum concentration. No commuting or schedules. Access Smartick from your PC or tablet. Anytime, anywhere.”
“Smartick does not follow the official curriculum or State standards. Smartick allows your child to advance faster than in school”
Because I want my review to be completely honest, I have simply two complaints with the method so far:
-My nine year old with dyslexia sometimes struggles to read the word problems. She’s working at a fourth grade level in math, but reading at a lower level and it can exhaust her and frustrate her to read the problems. With the younger children, there is an audio button available so that the question can be read to them. I have not found that this is true for the higher levels. So oftentimes, I, or her older sister will sit with her to help her with any reading she struggles with.
-Price. This hasn’t been an issue with us since we’ve been using this method for free obviously, but I’m afraid that the price to continue using this curriculum is too restrictive for us. For 3+ children using the program, the price would be 39.99/month per child. We cannot afford to spend $120 a month on a single subject curriculum, no matter how great it is, sadly. Undoubtedly, other families will still find this price “worth it”. And while I agree that the benefit of a solid math knowledge, as well as a love of learning (two things I believe this program provides) are so important, we simply cannot swing it. I truly wish we could stick with this program for the rest of the year until standardized test time rolls around to truly gauge their progress and skill performance. I’m sad to have to say good-bye to such a great program.
Overall, I’m so grateful to have had this experience to remind them (and me) that learning math can be fun and rewarding! I give it 1+1= two BIG thumbs up.
On the fence? You can try it for free for 15 days, with no strings attached. It’s super simple to set up and begin.
Here’s the link: https://www.smartickmethod.com/plans-pricing.html