How to get your kids to enjoy maths

Maths. Some kids hate it, some kids love it. I'm lucky that both my boys love their maths, I'm also lucky that I have a husband who is a maths whizz. Give him a maths question and he'd probably be able to tell you the answer. He amazes me a lot of the time. I've always been a bit rubbish with my maths so I'm glad the boys have him to help them.

Despite the boys being good at maths though it's always good to stay on top of it. Just because you're good at maths one week doesn't mean you'll still be good at it later if you don't practice. As with everything practicing is key, and it can help those that aren't good at maths.

There are many apps and programs out there to help your children with maths, usually associated with a school in some way. My youngest, LP, has an app on his iPad that the school uses for maths homework. Unfortunately they rarely use the app which means he doesn't have much homework, and when he does it's simple stuff he finishes in no time. He needed an app that would work out how good he is at maths and challenge him. Something that would learn with him and continue to challenge him.

It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.

Albert Einstein

That's where Smartick comes in. It's an app that helps your children with their maths practice, encouraging them to do 15 minutes of practice every day. We incorporate Smartick into our daily routine (when we can) and LP uses the app every day as part of his "chores list". Funnily enough though he doesn't see it as a chore, he thinks it's fun!

Designed for children aged 4 - 14 years old your child starts with a "test" for the app to work out how they are currently doing with maths. After the test is complete the app will offer up questions that it thinks they can cope with but are slightly challenging. Your child progresses at their own pace, building confidence and avoiding frustration (for the most part), and hopefully developing a positive attitude to maths.

When LP started using Smartick he got a little frustrated with it, not with the maths but with the app itself, he didn't understand how to move pieces around the screen or how to put his answers in. This was partly due to him not reading the text properly and partly that the app wasn't as intuitive as it could've been.

Since LP began using the app he's seen all kinds of questions and sometimes they stump him, or at least they did the first time he saw them. He was so used to being asked arithmetic questions that when he was given a maths question that was worded differently he didn't quite know what to do. After a little explanation he was fine. Smartick is a great app that will not only test your children's maths knowledge with simple adding sums but it will also give complex questions too. It includes mental calculation and algebra while helping your children to develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

But it's not just about doing maths is it? At least not for the kids. They want to have fun, usually that's what they want to do first if they can get away with it. Smartick has a game-type thing after the daily tests...

By doing the daily tests your child earns stars and with these stars they can "purchase" (not real money) decorations for their virtual home. LP has come running into the kitchen exclaiming that he's just bought himself a teddy bear or a poster for his wall on a couple of occasions. His motivation is always the stars, if he earns enough stars he can buy something else for his house.

LP is also motivated by the diplomas the app gives. So far he has earned two and he was so impressed when Smartick told him he'd earned them that he couldn't wait to tell me and his dad.

The very best thing about Smartick is that it can be used anywhere, online or on a tablet. Which means, even if you're going to be away from home, the children can still do their daily test.

Smartick say that 94% of children improve their grades in school after only 2 months of using the app. I have to say that LP certainly does better when he's doing his daily tests, he seems more open to mathematical questions.

While there were a few teething problems for LP learning to use the app overall I'd say it's a great tool for helping with your child's maths. 

Why not get your children started this summer, you can try Smartick for free and then select your subscription on their website.

How do you help your children with their maths?

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