I can't tell you how great timing is sometimes. On the same day that I was trying to figure out how to help our youngest with his math, we were offered the chance to review Math-Whizz by Whizz Education.
It's funny how things work. I have been having trouble figuring out how to help our youngest with math. He's been working on knowing all of his addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts. We've played games and completed worksheets. We used Legos, the white board, and paper and pencil. I really needed to move on with him and work on some other things with him. Math-Whizz really helped when I needed it!
Math-Whizz is an online math program. It's not really meant to be a full math curriculum. Right now, we are using it for our math, but we will not be continually using it that way. There is so much to this program. It actually adapts to your child's ability. I really like that. I like that if he's having trouble with something, it will work with him. If he understands something, it will move on. That's how we handle our homeschool. That's what I love about homeschool. That's how our oldest is moving along quickly with his high school. I digress.
The first thing that Math-Whizz has your child do is take a test. I have a love-hate relationship with tests. I understand that the program needs to know where he is in math and what he knows. My problem with tests is that it doesn't truly show what anyone knows. It took him 3 days to get through the test. That's a long time. Part of that was probably my fault. I wanted him to complete it by himself. One problem that I have found with math, especially, is that different people use different words to describe something. We all explain how to use different methods. If a child can solve the problem, but not with the method that the new program wants him to, he's not going to understand what to do. Another problem was that he couldn't stay focused on it. I ended up sitting with him and walking him through it.
Once we got through the assessment, it was better. He actually started wanting to do it. Whizz Education made it like a game for him. Brilliant! When he completes a certain amount of time on the program, he gets coins. He loves coins. He gets to buy stuff, on the game, with the coins. I like the time aspect, whether than lessons completed. This helps when he struggles with something, there's hope of a reward for his perseverance.
He has been working through fractions right now. As you can see from the picture below, we haven't done too much with fractions yet.
The gray portion of the graph is where he tested on the assessment. The blue is the improvement that he's made in the different areas. In the little time that we have had this program, he has already made great improvements in the area of fractions. I'm thrilled. This means that he is understanding what it is teaching him.
I like that this program has a "tutor" to guide him through the material. It does take him step-by-step through the process. Sometimes he doesn't understand what they are asking him. The voice that speaks isn't very clear and it has an accent. It sounds like it's a computer voice. He'll ask for my help and I'll then guide him through it.
Math-Whizz by Whizz Education is a good computer math program. I think that we'll continue to use it to help him with some of the math concepts that he needs some extra help. This won't be our only math work, but it will be a good portion of it.
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