Products We're Using

10/2015
We're using this program right now, level 1. My daughter loves it so far.

Math Resources Review: Smartick Method Online Math Supplemental Program

I recently had the opportunity to try "Smartick Method," an online subscription based supplemental learning program for math. that helps "foster the development of math skills using interactive tools." We received a free 3 month subscription in exchange for sharing our experience with the program.

A little about the program
As I mentioned, Smartick Method is a supplemental math program.  The recommended age range of the program is for children ages 4-14. It provides students with short sessions (of about 15 minutes) and it is stressed that for maximum results, students should use the program daily. It is an adaptive program so it adjusts to your child's skill level and builds upon that. Students are given an avatar that they can customize. There is a virtual world for them to explore and by accumulating credits, they can buy and customize their virtual world.

Our Experience
We started the program in December, while we were on a break (my public school ids were on winter vacation so I decided to schedule our homeschool for a break).

Getting started
Once you set up your accounts, your child creates and customizes an avatar.

Each day, when your child starts a session, the program greets them:


Next, the program asks you how you are feeling:


My 8 year old daughter said she enjoyed these two features.


This is what a typical study session screen will look like. There is a progress bar off to the left that fills up as students progress. This earns them "ticks" (stars). Kids can later redeem the stars for things in their virtual world.


Another type of exercise my daughter has gotten:



After your child completes his/her session a few things happen:


1) Your student is asked how they felt about the session:




2) the program asks if they want to go back and make corrections. An incentive is given if he/she goes back and makes corrections.


My kids don't generally don't feel compelled to go back and make corrections, even with the incentives.

3) Next, they are given the results of the session:

To encourage daily use of the program, ticks are awarded for the number of consecutive days completed.

At this point, your student can stop, or explore the virtual world. In the virtual world there are different options:

Buy things for your room with your accumulated ticks:



Compete against other users in games:


Or play games on their own:







The games are arranged by type: attention, memory, perception, and reasoning:


My daughter really enjoys the mini games. She says they "challenge her mind."

There is also an area where they can make and add friends. They can make a suggestion as to how the program can be improved:

My daughter made a suggestion on her own that kids be awarded ticks for the mini games.

She really enjoys the program and looks forward to using it. I have to remind her to do it, but when I do, she is usually quick to get to it. My 11 year old son, well, he is not so interested in the program and it is more of a chore for him.  Sometimes he complains about the sessions being so long, but I think it is more from just a disinterest since it is educational related.  When he earns his ticks, he usually lets his baby sister buy things in the virtual world to decorate his virtual room.

Parent Involvement
One thing I like about the program (which I found annoying at first as I wasn't really paying attention) is the amount that it involves the parent.

As soon as a session is completed, it will send you an email of the results:


It contains a "here" link where you can see details of the session, which is very helpful when they don't do so well.

If your student hasn't completed a session that day, you get a reminder email. After the first reminder email, if your student has still not completed a session, you will get a second email:



At first this was annoying, but it really was helpful because sometimes I just forget to have them work on it. (They always need a reminder). I looked in the settings, but not sure if you can change this notification. But it is helpful.

Parents have their own separate login and they can view their kids progress from their parent's dashboard:



Our assessment
Overall, I think it is a good program. I think with consistent, daily practice it can be very helpful.  It is kind of a struggle for me to get my kids to do it everyday, moreso lack of discipline on my part. My daughter gives the program a thumbs up. My son is not so interested in it (and really any supplemental math program that we've tried). I think that the virtual world may be too young for him as he wasn't really motivated to earn ticks to buy things in the virtual world.

Some things my daughter said she liked:

  • competitions against other users (however, I think it randomly assigns users to compete with and they may or may not be online I guess because it says that it could take days for the user to respond, so it's not like a real time competition, well, at least not the one I watched my daughter do).
  • the pets
  • that the program greets you with "good morning, (afternoon, etc) and that it asks you how you are feeling and how the session was
What she didn't like:
  • Some of the activities were hard and she couldn't figure them out on her own. When she got something wrong, only the solution was given, but it didn't give an explanation (not sure if it was just that type of problem, or if this is in general just to give the solution).
A nice feature is that if your student is not a fluent reader, they can click on a megaphone and hear the exercises read.  You can also assign another tutor (dad, a sibling, etc) to help out with managing the program.

This program is an international program, not just specific for US students, so some of the wording may be a bit unfamiliar in the problems and the awards are referred to as "ticks" instead of stars. 

I'm not sure if we will continue on after our trial, not that I don't like it, but moreso just because I am frequently really bad at follow through and I wouldn't want pay for it and we don't get a great deal of use for it.

I recommend checking it out if you have a student who is struggling with math and see if it will work for you. You can check it out at  www.Smartick.com (I receive a discount if you purchase a subscription through this link and YOU receive a 25% discount).




Happy Math-ing!