Disclosure: We received a subscription free of charge for the purpose of blogging about Smartick.
Georgie and Lydia have been trialling a new method of practising maths at home, called the Smartick Method. We’ve been using it for a few months and although they haven’t been as consistent the last few weeks about doing it I think it has definitely helped them with their understanding of numbers and mathematics problems.
The basic idea of Smartick is that your child dedicates 15 minutes of quiet concentration to complete a set of maths exercises, each day. It is available online via a web browser, or you can use apps on android or iOS tablets. The girls mostly do their maths on their iPad mini, although they also have it installed on the MediaPad they use too.
As they complete the problems set each day, they earn what the girls call their “star-ticks” which they can “spend” at the virtual shop within the game. They each have a profile with an avatar, and they can buy different outfits for their little person, as well as buying toys, decorations and even virtual pets for their virtual room within the game.
Some of the in game items cost quite a few stars, and so they have to save up the virtual currency by doing well several days in a row before they can buy their coveted item. This has proved to be a great reward system as the girls know they will get extra stars for doing their corrections after a session, for getting everything right on the first go, and also for doing several days in a row.
Smartick recommend that your child does sessions at least 5 days a week, which is just 15 minutes a day. Younger users like Lydia start at 10 minutes a day and gradually do longer sessions as time goes on and their skill level go up. Once they have completed the session they can then explore the virtual world inside the game, and play several different games including memory and logic games. While most of these games are better for older children, there are some that 4 year old Lydia can enjoy too.
Georgie has always enjoyed numbers, and I am pleased to report that she really enjoys the Smartick app. We recently had her school report & parents evening, and she is now working above the expected level for her age group, and has been moved up twice in class over the last few months. She was even top of the class for some maths problems they did the other week… her teacher told us they want the children to work on that particular concept over the summer holidays but that Georgie already did the whole set of problems in class and without any explanations for the teachers.
As for Lydia, she is quite a bright little thing with numbers too, and can add up, minus and multiply small numbers fairly well. Georgie was testing her during parents evening with the 100 number square on the wall and Lydia easily recognised most of the numbers. The only thing Smartick can’t help her with is actually writing out numbers, which is what we need to start doing with her. The app has definitely helped her with learning left and right.
When you set up your child’s profile, you tell them their age, whether they are in school, and also whether they are capable of reading the problems or not. Then, when they are doing the exercises, they can press a button to have the problem read aloud to them. Smartick method is suitable for children ages 4-14, and is a great way to get your kids used to working stuff out independently.
As they continue to learn, they earn diplomas which they can print out, and display in their virtual rooms.
Parents can have a profile each where they can login and see the progress of their child(ren), and there is also an iOS/android app parents can log into to see some basic information. With the app installed you can choose to get push notifications to let you know when each child starts and completes their sessions. Parents also get emails after each session to let them know how well the child has performed that day.
Smartick have a summer holiday offer on so you can get a subscription for a bargain price at the moment, and you can also try it out free. At full price it is on the more expensive side of things, but it does seem to be working great for our girls.