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splashmath
 
Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.   
 
As you all know by now if you`ve been following my blog is that I homeschool Sophia. This was the first year I`ve done so and we plan to probably send her to "real school" next year for first grade. So far this year she`s been doing pretty good. Our biggest issues are when she doesn`t feel like doing any work then it becomes a challenge to get her to actually try. She stops trying and tends to give up easily when she doesn`t like something or it`s not easy and I would love to change that, but hey I did the same thing as a child. Push and push to do what you can to get out of the stuff you don`t enjoy. Well, luckily she has done very well regardless this year and has learned a lot. She can read basic books, knows many sight words and even knows quite a bit of math for her age. In fact, she impresses me when it comes to math because I personally struggled to learn it. I was fine with addition but had a hard time learning my subtraction and she seems to pick up on it pretty quickly. Well, there`s an educational web site that I can monitor just how good Sophia is with her math called Splash Math. Basically, Splash Math is an online site that helps your child (who is in grades 1-5) learn math or help them with their math. Sophia is in kindergarten, but she does a lot of things at beginner 1st-grade level, including the math, so this was perfect for her. What I like about Splash Math is that she works at her own pace and if she were to move past the 1st-grade level then she could go ahead and start the 2nd-grade level to get ahead if she wanted to. The website has 300 math skills for elementary aged children and is aligned with Common Core Standards. It`s also a fun and creative way to practice math facts. Sophia absolutely loves playing on her computer, playing on the phone or learning pad. She would much prefer that overdoing any sort of worksheets of course so when I can, I let her use those to help her learn. She actually picks up on things a lot quicker I find. So when we can use technology or art projects to learn, I like to include them in her studies. 
 
With Splash Math they don`t make it simply doing math problems, they put it in a game-like format so that way it`s actually fun for your child to play and learn. I know if it`s boring Sophia would just walk off. Making it with games she feels like she`s playing and doesn`t realize she`s also learning. Sophia is the type who likes to brag every time she "makes a score" or that she beat a game so this is perfect for her to learn and gain even more bragging rights about being smart! The games themselves are multiple choice questions where a problem is presented along with four possible solutions.  The child must then tap or tap and drag the correct answer.  A cute little hippo pops up in the corner to let them know if they have answered correctly. If they have, then he gives them some sort of verbal reinforcement like, "Well Done" or "Awesome"  If they answer incorrectly, then the correct answer appears at the bottom of the screen and shows the child why their answer was wrong. 
 
There is also a virtual "scratch pad" where kids can use their finger to write out the problem right on the screen if they can't do the work in their heads. One thing I found I, as the parent, likes about Splash Math is the fact that it has a performance section for parents. So I can go in and see how Sophia is doing without hovering over her shoulder. I can see her progress, how well she`s doing, what she needs to work on, etc. This helps me determine where we need to focus more to help her out. Using just worksheets it`s not always easy to tell where she really needs the help or where she started getting lazy and stopped "feel like" doing her work. The profiles that you do make for your child is customizable to your child's level and allow you to track each child's progress individually.  As your child plays each game their progress is charted and tracked and in the Parent's Section you can see the data for that child.  They give you an "Overall Performance" score as well as graphs that break down their scores by topic and show you whether your child's performance is improving over time.  
 
A downside I did find for this site though is that you can only set up individual profiles for up to 2 children for each subscription. Luckily things recently changed so you pay a one time fee and then you will always have access to it, but if you have more than 2-grade school children this could be something for you to consider. Luckily Sophia is 5 (going on 6) and Jace isn`t even here yet - any day now though, so this doesn`t affect our family. Overall I think Splash Math is an excellent resource. We only used the web application, but they actually have an app you can also download so your child can play this on the phone or a tablet. It`s available both on Android or iPhone. I definitely think it`s a great program to use to help supplement your child's learning in math. Sophia enjoys playing it and I love giving her that freedom to play a game and learn while I monitor her from behind the scenes. It`s cute, it`s fun and it`s educational. I definitely recommend checking it out if you have a child in elementary school who needs help practicing their math!
 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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