On request of several Dynaread users we have reviewed a number of computer-based math program solutions. Our review objective was to look for Math programs which, like Dynaread, work online (or on computer) and make allowance for a child's actual performance during the curriculum. Additionally, we asked ourselves the question if a child in need of some additional Math support would also be helped by the program.
MathsOnline came out winners with a solid lead. It is suitable for all categories of students: Regular performing students, students in need of additional Math support, and children with dyslexia.
Our Top Three Recommended Math Programs
We believe all three math programs we selected for you, MathsOnline, MathUSee, and DiveIntoMath, will serve you well: Whether you are a School, or Homeschooler. All three combine visual and auditory tutoring, in which the child sees the math concepts and hears the teacher explain them. All three are honoring and respectful of your child: Lessons are not spiced up with quasi child-friendly but unnecessarily distracting task-irrelevant graphics, colors, and illustrations. All three offer good value for money. Most importantly, we believe all of these three programs will allow a child who needs additional Math support to succeed.
Though thorough, our review program does not pretend to be complete. If you know of other Math programs, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MathsOnline is an Australian online math teacher program. It covers the entire K-12 Australian curriculum in 1,400 lessons. These lessons are well organized in a highly accessible navigation structure. The navigation interphase allows for high flexibility, making it possible to use this program to teach Math to K-12 students in any English-speaking country, under any K-12 curriculum. MathsOnline does not require the purchase of any printed curriculum.
MathsOnline excels in what we believe a Math program should do: Teach Math. There are many programs out there which offer Math practises or exercises, but most of these offer very rudimentary teaching — if at all. MathsOnline has teaching and understanding math concepts at center stage. Following the tutoring, the student has access to a vast array of practise problems.
The narrations are spoken in Australian English. To us at Dynaread, we do not believe this to be a problem. The Australian English is spoken quite clearly and articulate. As long as a child can understand the teacher, and we are sure they will be able to, instruction will come across quite nicely.
The cost of the program is very reasonable. Single student access to the entire curriculum costs $197/year. An annual Family plan for three students costs $297. These prices will give you an idea what a school license will cost.
Total cost of ownership is the lowest of all evaluated programs, as the program organization is very user friendly, and requires minimal teacher assistance (other than appropriate coaching and encouragement, of course).
For more information and online demo lessons and videos, please visit: http://www.mathsonline.com.au/
Math U See is a program which offers a series of video recorded lessons. The child will see the tutor onscreen, as if the child is in class. It covers all Elementary School grades. I need to re-stress the fact that Math U See does indeed offer a child-in-class experience. The entire curriculum is split up in six online so-called Co-op classes, or 14 sets of DVD and printed materials.
It does not offer the free access flexibility as MathsOnline, because all curriculum components need to be purchased separately. Further, the total cost of ownership is profoundly higher than MathsOnline. Online Co-op class packages cost around $400 per student. When opting for the DVD materials, one of the 14 modules costs around $85 per student.
For more information and online demo lessons and videos, please visit: http:// http://www.mathusee.com
Dive into Math is somewhat similar to our #1 choice MathsOnline, however there are distinct differences. Dive into Math is a USA program, and runs off DVD's (not online). The end-user needs to purchase these DVD's per Grade. Dive into Math exclusively offers tutoring: It does not offer practise problems. Dive into Math follows the Saxon Math curriculum. Hence, one can view Dive into Math as a digital tutor for the Saxon Math curriculum. The tutoring is well done. The child watches a black board, as the tutor explains the math concepts and writes on the board.
The program is both developed and taught by David Schormann PhD. David is a Christian, and Dive into Math offers the odd Scripture verse from the Bible in most lessons. Outside of these Scripture verse references, there is no overt preaching or evangelizing on the DVD's.
Pricing is in the same range as Math U See. The entire curriculum is split up into 10 different modules. Each module costs $136 per student, including all Saxon math books plus the DVD. Alternatively, the DVD only costs $50 per student.
For more information and online demo lessons and videos, please visit: http://diveintomath.com
We evaluated Aleks (http://www.aleks.com) but were not overly impressed. Navigation is not child-friendly. Lessons are not combining audio-visual tutoring, which forces children to read all instructions and all explanations — which, as you can expect from us at Dynaread, presumes that a child is sufficiently fluent in reading to do this. All three recommended programs above offer tutoring which is both visual and auditory.
Pricing of Aleks is around $40 per student, making it affordable. However, the total cost of ownership will be significantly higher, as the organization and administration require more one-on-one teacher involvement than any of the three recommended programs. Plus, children are bound to require more teacher support in working through their lessons due to the read-only character (no audio) as well as due to the fact that the quality of tutoring is not as high and explicit as those of our top three choices.
We evaluated Math Whizz but were disappointed with the quality of tutoring. Tutoring is mainly visual-only, requiring the child to read and extract comprehension by the limited onscreen explanations. When a child is in need of additional Math support, Math-Whizz will (in our opinion) not make all the difference. The quality of tutoring is simply not nearly as high as in our top three programs.
Dreambox offers mainly practises and only the very least of partly automated (text-to-speech) help or assistance. Quality tutoring is lacking. The interface is not very intuitive, and overly childish.
Googling for math programs will also deliver a host of different practise math programs, such as IXL (http://ixl.com). These programs can serve a supplementary function, but do not offer robust tutoring services.
Our Dynaread team members are required to hold themselves accountable for serving our clients in adherence with our core values...
Contribute with scientific and overall integrity.
Retain the focus on the needs of each individual child.
Dynaread has been developed in the trenches of actual remediation, with our feet firmly planted on the ground. Scientific research is essential (and we consistently use it), but we also understand the realities at home and in school. Not all homes have two parents, not all Dad's or Mom's are always home, there is oftentimes no money, schools lack staff or funding. We listen, we observe, we discuss, and we build the best solutions we can for older (ages 7+) struggling readers.