My husband was already working with one of our children on a homework Maths question when he asked me to weigh in. Fast-forward half an hour: we were still discussing the components around the question, comparing our answers. The kids thought it hilarious. As our children move to the upper grades in primary school/high school, we increasingly struggle to assist our children with their homework. The processes and techniques all seem very different to how we learned Maths at school. Plus, honestly, I can’t remember all the rules, even though I aced Maths in high school. It seems I am not alone. A recent survey found forty-nine percent of parents are concerned their lack of Maths skills will have a negative impact on their children.
It is something I worry about because Maths is a key subject that will be increasingly important for the majority of fast growing occupations in the future. The reality in Australia, and specifically from research that has come to light regarding students in year 12, the number doing no Maths in their final years has tripled in the past ten years. Many parents I talk to are looking for extra support and tutoring outside of the school system for Maths subjects.
There is a program that has been built to specifically help students with Maths subjects from Year 3 to 12. It covers the Australian curriculum, and is aligned to State-specific curricula too. This means the program will correspond with exactly what your child is learning at school. The program is called Mathspace, and you can access their interactive textbook, Mathspace Essentials, for free thanks to Westpac. Your child can use Mathspace on any device. All you need to do is sign up.
The technology is astoundingly interactive. Mathspace has won multiple education awards in Australia, the US and the UK for their program which includes interactive workbooks that encompass both working out and multiple-choice options. It is widely regarded as the best online maths program provider.
I installed Mathspace on my son’s iPad, however it can be used on any device. I’ll illustrate the intuitive handwriting recognition; below you can see my son scrawled the answer 5,500 on his iPad and the workbook had no problem recognising the figures. I’ve also posted a video further below of one of the multiplication exercises (grade 4).
Mathspace Essentials has a variety of different subjects, and all the exercises have hints, video instructions and spaces to work out. It really does feel like you’re working from a textbook…but it’s all digital. Below are more examples of what doing Maths looks like in the digital book.
One of the benefits of working digitally is that ability to fit in Maths anywhere, for example, in a comfy space at home or even on car trips. I found my son working on his target over breakfast one morning, so the program must have that engaging element for kids too.
Westpac has also teamed up with Mathspace to launch a new incentive program to get more kids doing Maths! It’s called Solve to Save, and it’s available as part of Mathspace’s premium program called Mathspace Plus.
Mathspace Plus is like having a digital Maths tutor. There is a $10 per week subscription fee, BUT the $10 weekly fee goes straight into a Westpac bank account in the student’s name if they successfully complete their homework (if you don’t have an account, you can open one online; I did this and it took less than 5 minutes). So essentially, you can get the premium program for no cost…all the funds go into a savings account for the child which I think is a clever incentive.
If you’re looking for extra Maths support for your child, give it a try and see what you think.
All Aussies can access Mathspace Essentials for free (just sign up here).
Coordinated by Nuffnang