This post is brought to you by Westpac.
I just found out my 12-year-old Flynn isn’t doing so great at school……
The little man’s maths grades have slipped. He’s struggling so much he finally tearfully told me about it (before I found out at the Parent-Teacher Night which has been booked!). I’ve tried the sitting down and working with him to help with his homework and that helps… but I tear my hair out because apparently ‘I don’t explain it right… GAHHHHHH.
You hate seeing your kids falling behind but sometimes they need something a bit more than Mum and Dad to give them a bit more of an incentive to learn.
I’ve not been immune to my boys not doing great at school. Well I’m certainly not the sharpest crayon in the box. I want them to do well, but I don’t believe in pushing them too hard, mainly because I think primary school should be about basics and fun…. No Tiger Parenting here.
The poor kid struggled last year with literacy. It took him AGES to get on top of that but once he got it – he shined! Now with this, he was getting very disheartened at school. His frustration resulting in him wanting to have a few more sick days than usual, and all of a sudden he ‘hated school’, and ‘hated his teacher’ and was crankier than usual – crankier than a normal 12-year-old boy usually gets!
Fact: This is a story becoming all too well known for many Australian families. As a country we are collectively becoming further below the bar in standards of numeracy.
What to Do About it:
We decided to explore options together, as a team effort. We approached Flynn’s problems in the same way I had helped him with his reading and writing. He’s an incredibly tech-savvy kid, and at an age where screen incentives motivate him greatly (and lack of give me leverage with getting him to do work around the house! #winning!)
Last year when tackling the literacy skills, we downloaded an app and spent time reading/listening to it together, and then putting it into practice. It worked a treat because he enjoyed it. And kids learn FAST when they are enjoying learning.
So with the maths problem, I thought I’d approach it in much the same way. We’d still sit down together to focus on the homework and work our way through, but I’d also find another great app that focused on maths to really reinforce that learning.
What I Found:
I came across “Mathspace Essentials”, which is sponsored by Westpac. It sounded ideal for Squeaks (that’s what we call him – not his real name). Based on Australian Curriculum content and standards, it is an “interactive textbook”, and it’s free thanks to Westpac. There were a vast amount of questions covering his age and stage, yet they were all brought to life through multimedia.
It covered all the mathematics concepts he struggled with, and he was also able to refresh and review other math’s topics he had already learned at school.
The Details (And why I liked Mathspace)
Mathspace Essentials has a free product (worth $99) – FREE. Westpac are sponsoring the App – so all kids will have access to this program. They also have a premium product called ‘Mathspace Plus’ – which is subscription based.
Why I liked Mathspace:
The videos on the app were developed by realmaths teachers.
It’s aligned to the Australian Curriculum that my son (and all other Aussie Kids) are working on.
It is very ‘current’ and focuses on current topics. Not out of date like a lot of other apps or YouTube videos currently available.
The App can be upgraded to the ‘Mathspace Plus’ which automatically tailors questions to your child’s level and pace – This is just likehaving a personal tutor for my son – supporting him whenever he needs it.
The App is like having a personal tutor for my son – available whenever he needs it.
Mathspace Plus “Solve to Save” was just the incentive he needed! He was able to visually see himself making progress towards his goal as he completed each week’s tasks. Every Sunday night we’d sit down together to cross-check his work on Mathspace
Plus, making sure we’d finished his maths equations. It became a routine, easy and enjoyable way for us to tackle his maths.
Well Flynn’s maths is still a work in progress, but he is improving steadily. He actually does his homework and spends time on the App without me having to bark at him every afternoon to do his work. His bank account is also growing (which he’s happy about).
Mathspace Essentials and Mathspace Plus truly are excellent examples of how far we have come in terms of learning tools.
Gone are the days of dog-eared textbooks and repetitive line-writing. Mathspace is lively, bright and fun, and the activities challenging yet extremely rewarding.
This post is sponsored by Westpac, proudly offering free access to maths education for all Australian school kids through Mathspace Essentials.