Do you have a child that hates Math? Is Math a real chore every time you get to it? It was for us. But as much as I wanted to let it slide and let Aristotle do what he likes, Math is one of those subjects that I feel is important enough for us to persist with it no matter how trying it can be for both Aristotle and me. Although we have been making pretty good progress with Math Secret – all things considered given Aristotle’s general distaste towards the subject – nothing could prepare me for his response towards Splash Math on the iPad.
I was recommended to try Splash Math by another mother who was also using the program with her two boys. When she first told me about it, I kept an open mind but I remained somewhat doubtful that Aristotle would really respond that well to it. To my surprise, he loved it! Where before Math was always a subject I had to negotiate with him, he would “play” Splash Math on the iPad even when I allowed him free time to play whatever he wanted.
While most other apps use “stickers” as a reward system, Splash Math uses an aquarium as a reward system. For every Math question your child answers correctly, he earns points. Based on how many points he has earned, he will be rewarded with either a new pet in the aquarium or “stuff” he can use in the aquarium, for example, fish food to feed the angel fish.
Aristotle loves the aquarium. The thought of what he will earn for his aquarium is probably his biggest motivator for playing Splash Math. It is also clear that he doesn’t mind doing the Math problems on the Splash Math app either because he chooses to do them on his own initiative rather than me reminding him that he hasn’t worked on his Math. It’s quite a refreshing change from our usual Math sessions.
The other benefit of Splash Math is that you can have weekly progress reports emailed to you to see how your child is progressing. Instead of having to watch over his shoulder and review all his answers, you get a report that shows you which areas he has performed well in and which areas are weak and need more work. The email report tells you how many points your child has earned over the past week as well as which exercises he has done well in and the exercises he has practiced over the past week. That way you know he’s really working on Math and not playing other apps on the iPad. Finally, the report also shows the level that your child is working at so you know if he has progressed onto harder questions or whether he is still on the basic setting.
You can use Splash Math in two modes – practice and play. Practice mode is great if there are specific areas your child is weak in and would like to work on. Play mode offers your child questions across all the topics you have selected under settings. You can choose to turn on and off any topic you want. There are 3 levels for each topic – easy, medium and hard. As your child progresses, he will be moved from one level to the next based on how well he answers the questions. You can also set the number of questions you want your child to complete in a sitting under settings.
All in all, for what it is, I have to say that Splash Math is a great way to get your child to practice Math as “painlessly” as possible. Looks like another statistic for Ananth Pai’s educational video games experiment…