How Technology Brings Math Tutoring to Your Living Room

The teaching of math in today’s schools often just doesn’t add up.

According to the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the math testing scores of students in the United States lag behind 29 other developed countries, including China, Vietnam, New Zealand, Canada, and Poland. Average class sizes still are too large for effective individualized interaction between student and teacher. And thanks to the initiative—some would call it an obsession—of schools to satisfy No Child Left Behind requirements, today’s kids are often “taught to the test” rather than taught to carry and adapt math skills throughout a lifetime of application.

Given this state of affairs, the rise of afterschool math programs is understandable. Parents want to find solutions to their children’s struggles with math—solutions their schools often aren’t providing. Tutors and programs in brick-and-mortar locations have become a popular choice. Yet, alternatives exist to this approach. Parents no longer have to leave the house to receive the personalized instruction they need. Kids can improve their skills with an instructor-led afterschool math tutoring program in the comfort of their living rooms.

Benefits of an At-Home, Instructor-Led Afterschool Math Program

The rapid popularity of the iPad has propelled the idea of an at-home tutoring program into a reality. Kids struggling with math can get personalized, interactive help. Here are four advantages to such a program:

Personalized instruction: Math tutoring must constantly adapt to the learning, improvement, and situation of the child. With brick-and-mortar tutors, that adaptability can go at a slower pace, particularly if your child is seeing different instructors on every visit. An at-home afterschool math program is still instructor-led but also guided by the technology itself. Instructional videos are available on-demand; if a student is struggling with a particular concept, he or she can get instant help. With both the program and an instructor grading, tracking, and evaluating the student’s progress, adapting the curriculum to the child’s needs becomes more thorough and efficient.

Technology is fun: Admit it—your kids know your iPad better than you do. Something about new technology makes grade-schoolers more interested in learning, yet they rarely get those opportunities at school. An at-home afterschool math program brings this excitement into the tutoring process and facilitates better learning. Moreover, the learning doesn’t feel like homework—there are no worksheets, no textbooks, and none of the drudgery of sitting at a desk trying to get busy work done.

Convenience: The lives of today’s American families are busy enough. Battling through rush-hour traffic to get to a math tutor is another stress parents willingly accept for their kids—but it is, nonetheless, a stress. An afterschool math program eliminates the commute and allows students, and their parents, to get the help they need when it’s best for them. And then there is the cost issue: At-home programs can be substantially more affordable—up to several hundred dollars less expensive per month—than a tutoring company at a brick-and-mortar location, where your dollars are also helping pay for the overhead (rent, utilities, franchise fees, and so on).

Gamification: Plop a sheet of problems in front of a child struggling with math and you might get rolled eyes, a sudden frown, and an attitude about the “work” at hand. This can even happen with math tutors—a student may feel it’s simply more school and resist the process. Gamification turns learning into a game, awarding points, badges, and reward cards to students for accomplishing certain goals. Kids in an afterschool math program want to log on and try to advance further in the experience, just like they would with a video game.

If you are seeking an afterschool math program for your child, an at-home, instructor-led solution is just a swipe of your iPad away. Thinkster Math’s personalized approach focuses on true learning instead of endless written worksheets and inconvenient, expensive tutoring appointments.

Does your child enjoy using technology to learn?

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Raj Valli

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