At the end of the school year last year, I volunteered on my daughter’s junior kindergarten trip to the aquarium, in Toronto. I’m not going to lie, it was total chaos with more than 60 junior and senior kindergarten kids in attendance, plus teachers, parents and other volunteers, and I felt the headache coming on from the moment I sat down on the school bus. “Please let the highway be clear and this bus ride be quick,” I offered up to the field trip gods.
But then something kinda magic happened. One of the kindergarten teachers stood up at the front of the bus and asked a question: “Who can tell me how many minutes are in an hour?” The kids all hollered out the answer. The quickest ones were handed stickers. Then she held both hands up and asked, “If I have ten popsicles, and I take away three, how many are left?” The kids responded again. More stickers rewarded. She asked them question after question—obviously a practice they were used to, because they were completely engaged—hitting upon simple concepts, like time, addition and subtraction, problem solving.
Eventually another teacher took over the entertainment portion of the program and started singing camp songs, but watching these kids get so excited about math—it was both fascinating and inspiring, and it made me curious about how I could help my kids integrate math and numbers into everyday life. But here’s the trouble: I’m not a math whiz (hello, I’m an editor), so while I love the idea in theory, in reality, I wasn’t so sure how to make it happen.
Enter Smartick. In only 15 minutes a day, Smartick’s scientifically designed program can help to boost math confidence in kids as little as four and up to age 14. It works on tablets or PC, and is a flexible, easy way to get math into a family’s day to day routines. I love that it’s independent (so no calling “Mommy!” every five minutes) and personalized to each child’s learning level. Bonus: Logic and reasoning and coding sessions are also included. It’s at-home learning, to either enhance or reinforce curriculum, that is a fun, affordable alternative to tutoring centres.
For me, Smartick is the amped-up version of what Juliette’s JK teacher was doing on the bus back in June. Making math part of everyday life. Building confidence. Helping to develop a positive attitude toward learning about numbers. In hindsight, I wish I’d had a tool like this in my routine as a kid; maybe I wouldn’t be so intimidated by math now. Now if only someone could develop a program to make math for fun for me, too, at my age!
(Also, get 25% off your first subscription)