I have been wanting to share the treasure of a maths program I had found for ages, but having enthused about various other maths programs and ultimately found them to no longer work, I chose to wait a while. However, it seems it is here to stay and I really do feel confident in recommending it.
This autumn we began a maths program, called Conquer Maths. I started the children on it and basically held my breath waiting for the tears and complaining to start. Only they never came. We have been using this program for over six months and I never hear any complaints about maths, rarely are there tears and many, many times I have heard the whoop of pleasure when the one or other of the girls suddenly get it. And I can take absolutely no credit whatsoever for this incredible transformation. No, they are on a computer based program which gives them a five minute lecture on a specific area of a topic (say adding fractions), asks a bunch of questions which they work out and fill in the answer. Their answers are marked immediately and they are given a score. I am able to set the pass mark at whatever I want (I have it at 80% for the girls and 90% for T) which means they have to fully understand it in order to move on. If they fail they re-watch the video and do a second set of questions (which are different from the first set). Once they pass they go onto the next area of the same topic (for example multiplying fractions). They keep going until they have achieved greater than 80% in all the areas of the topic and then they are given a topic test. The topic test covers everything within the topic and again the pass mark is 80%. If the topic test is not passed the computer tells the student which areas within the topic are weak and need revising. The student then goes over these areas, maybe watching the associated videos again and then retakes the test (the second test is completely different from the first).
I am completely hands off. On the odd occasion I am asked to explain something I have been able to do so easily because I know exactly the knowledge base from which they are coming. Never has maths been so simple. Never has maths been so easy for all the children. Never has it been so pleasurable. Never have they completely surpassed my expectations on an almost daily basis. And never has a maths program been this well received for so long. A peace has settled on myself and the children. I know they are getting it. At last.
L12, who was the twin with the greatest hatred towards maths, has excelled. Although she is in year seven, she was placed her at the beginning of year six work (they are able to place a student where they need to be as well as highlighting weak areas). In the last six months she has completed all the streams and the topics within each stream of year six and a couple of weeks ago she began to work at Key Stage 3 level (spot on for her age), C12 is not too far behind and T is steadily working his way towards the end of Key Stage 3 and onto Key Stage four (GCSE level).
This is a maths program which automatically picks up areas of weakness. The child finds out everything immediately- from which questions they had wrong, which areas need revising, which areas are strong and their score for each test. All this information is emailed to me automatically each week and I am able to print off a certificate of achievement every time they pass a topic test.
This has revolutionised the way we have done our maths. The children log on to Conquer Maths as soon as they are done with their chores and they work solidly for an hour. Their performance is linked to their pocket money to encourage them to fully concentrate for the hour. A bone fide way to pay them for doing something (I don’t like paying them for chores they should be doing as part of the family, but have absolutely no hesitation paying them for maths!). They are catching up and no longer feel like they are bad at maths.
This program has hundreds of positive reviews and really does deserve them. They have learning from Reception up to A level standard and can be paid for on a monthly or yearly basis. Never has our money been so well spent. A6 will be starting just as soon as she reads fluently enough. She loves maths and as it is a self paced program I think it will suit her very well too.
It seems as if our search for a maths program with which every child in our family can excel is over. And I for one am breathing a huge sigh of relief. My only question? When will they be bringing out an English Language and Literature course…..?
Angelicscalliwags Book Bonanza
All my English readers – don’t forget to take a look at my book offerings this week over on my book page