Confession time: maths was never my favourite subject – especially once the alphabet got involved – and so it’s one area of homeschooling that I’m less than 100% confident about teaching. I recently heard about Smartick Method and was intrigued enough to try it out.
I received a free subscription to Smartick Method in exchange for an honest review.
Why We Love Smartick Method
Smartick Method is not a standalone maths curriculum. It is a programme that helps children practice their maths skills in an enjoyable way.
Each student has a timed session in which they practice maths skills according to their individual maths level. As they progress they earn “ticks”, which they can use in their home section to buy accessories for their avatars, pets or houses. The girls both spent all their first “ticks” at once, despite being urged to save up for the cooler items. Angie has since learned to think a bit more carefully about spending hers, but Emmy isn’t quite as restrained. After their first shopping spree, I had to institute the rule that they could only spend their “ticks” on Fridays.
When the session is over, they get a chance to correct any wrong answers. If all their corrections are made, they earn an extra “tick”. Angie always does her corrections; Emmy would rather just go straight to her home page to explore.
The girls love it so much that I’m using it as an incentive for good behaviour. They are also very good at keeping track of whose turn it is to go first on any particular day.
Both Angie and Emmy were quick to get comfortable with using the programme. They work on my laptop so they have to use the mouse. Every now and then, they’ll forget and try to move something on the screen with a finger.
Angie is using Smartick quite independently. She doesn’t need me to read the questions to her, and it’s only if there’s a problem that she hasn’t seen before that she asks for an explanation. Some of the problems have been concepts that we haven’t yet covered in our homeschool, but she’s grasped them quickly enough.
The girls were thrilled when they got their first “diplomas”. Of course, their assessments fell on different days so there was the expected drama of why one had a diploma already and the other didn’t.
Smartick Method Online
Smartick Method is an online programme so you will need a reliable Internet connection. If you unexpectedly close the page in the midst of a session, it automatically pauses and you can pick up where you left off. Ask me how I know. (Yes, there was panic. There may have even been tears.)
A report is emailed after each session so you can see what concepts they worked on and how well they did. I do wish there was an option to opt out of weekend sessions because those emails reporting missed sessions make me feel a bit guilty. The girls also always miss out on the bonus “ticks” for seven consecutive days. (They probably would love to do Smartick every day, but we don’t do school on weekends unless the week has been a wreck and we need to make up the work.)
We work on my laptop, but it would probably be easier on an iPad, especially for younger students who might struggle with the mouse. If Emmy is working on a problem that requires objects to be dragged into place, she’ll trace its path on the screen with her finger, and then I’ll move it for her.
Smartick boasts the latest artificial intelligence to adapt to each child’s learning level and style. While it is mostly maths-related problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are exercised, the student also improves her reading comprehension.
The ideal age range is between four and 14 years old. The goal is to help children understand maths while learning to love it. Smartick recommends doing at least five days a week in order to build a habit of consistency, teach a good work ethic and improve their concentration.
You can try out Smartick free for 15-days. There are also different pricing plans available depending on how many children you register and whether you choose the monthly, quarterly or yearly payment plan.