Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Smartick {review}

As a homeschooling parent, I am always looking for new, interesting or engaging programs to introduce to my children.  Smartick is a math enrichment program for children ages 4-14 years old.  It combines math, reading comprehension, logic and reasoning into a personalized 15 minute lesson.  The program uses artificial intelligence that adapts to the student's learning style and individual needs, and claims that children who use the program consistently, increase their school grades and calculation skills.  We were given a six month subscription to Smartick math practice service, and have been using the app to supplement our math curriculum.

Initially, I had all of my children do the assessment, but I've found, based on our other homeschool lessons and homework from outside classes, the program gets the most use from my six year old!  It is recommended to use the program 4-5 times a week for 15 minutes per day for the best results.  We school four days a week on average (we take "off" for co-op) so this means she should get 4 days a week in when we're on top of things, which I think is more than reasonable for a enrichment/supplemental program.

My first grader does a workbook based math curriculum with me during our "table lessons" but then she is encouraged to do her 15 minutes of Smartick on the iPad while I work with one of the other kids.  This is the only screen time she does for school currently, and I find it is a great way for her to practice independent work, because it is actually encouraged that the parent not help the student.  I know she's only going to spend about 15-20 minutes on the app, because the lessons are timed.  After the lesson, she does spend a few minutes buying pets or things to care for them, but then she returns to me to let me know she's finished!

Stars or "ticks" are awarded through the program, and they can redeem them after a lesson.  PDF certificates are awarded occasionally as well, so if your child is motivated by little rewards, this program has a few.

The sessions are basically sets of questions, and sometimes an interactive tutorial lesson is included.  It's not an in-depth math curriculum, but the artificial intelligence should eventually target any weak areas and improve math fluency.

I appreciate that there is a sound icon so she can listen to the question/instructions.  She is still gaining reading fluency, and this reassures me that she will not struggle to understand the questions.

Smartick is not a parent-intensive program, but I can check my emails to see how her daily lessons are going.

Setting up the account, I do not recall assigning her grade, and I can only assume that she was assessed at an approximate grade level based on her age.  I do believe she has been placed accurately - some things are "so easy!" and some are right on target for first grade, and there is the occasional frustrated whine as she is doing work more challenging than usual.

Online in my parent account, I can get an overall picture of her progress.  By clicking on any of the icons, I can see more detailed information about the specific topic. As far as improvement, we don't grade work at her age, but I do think she is gaining fluency in calculation speed - if that's a direct result of this program or or maturity is yet to be determined.

Overall, she does well with the program.  It's easy for her to use and she enjoys it.  It's also easy for me to implement and monitor, and it doesn't add much to our homeschool day because it doesn't feel like a chore to her.  I would recommend this for parents who want to supplement their children's math program with a personalized math enrichment program.

To find out more about Smartick, find them online and be sure to read the other crew reviews!

Math Enrichment Program {Smartick Reviews}

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