We have made use of Groundmark Learning for several years. They are based in Leamington Spa and Coventry, so my children used to go to Ian Richards (founder) for maths. The idea was that they would be prepared for their maths IGCSE and they were able to join a group of home educated children for weekly tutoring, which was significantly more affordable than one-to-one tutoring. Ian is very highly thought of amongst home educators in this area as he does a great job of preparing the children for exams in a calm and methodical manner.
With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ian took all his tutoring online, which means that classes can actually now be accessed from anywhere. When all exams were cancelled, my daughter was able to go ahead with her maths IGCSE as Ian was able to work with the exam centre to provide tutor-assessed grades. This was a huge relief to us in a somewhat stressful and uncertain time.
In the following year, with most exams still cancelled, I needed to ensure my son stayed on track with his plans to gain a couple of IGCSEs. He continued his tutoring with Ian, but we also signed him up with Elaine who tutors English for Groundmark Learning. Elaine was extremely positive and supportive, and was able to prepare my son for the tutor assessment process that summer (a period of about 5 months).
My son related well to both Ian and Elaine, and felt that they provided him with an organised programme of preparation which helped him to feel confident and equipped throughout the various tests and mock exams which would allow the tutors to assess him. We have made use of other tutors, but my son has felt that Groundmark Learning provided him with the best tutor experience. Ian and Elaine were both very accessible and responsive when any questions arose, which provided us with a stress-free and supportive experience.
My 9 year old son has just starting using these and so far, he’s doing really well. The apps work well on his iPad and they seem quite engaging. Once you’ve logged in, there is a short assessment so the program can analyse the level your child is at and provide the right level work for them. It then gives a new set of questions each week and then provides him with ‘7 a day’ questions to reinforce what he has learnt. There’s a couple of games he can play on each one too.
With DoodleMaths, you also get DoodleMultiply and with DoodleEnglish, you get DoodleSpell. On top of this, there is a parent app called DoodleConnect where you can track their progress and see how they are improving. After the initial assessment, your child is given a Doodle age which the level that the program thinks your child is at. My son is enjoying it, he collects stars as he completes questions and then you can use the stars to ‘buy’ parts for your robot. Designing and building his robot has been a big motivator for earning stars.
You can monitor how their Doodle age improves on the DoodleConnect app. It goes up to Year 9 in Maths and Year 6 in English. Just Doodle Maths is £12.99/month as is just Doodle English, however if you buy a subscription for them both is costs £16.99/month.
My 11 year son has been using Conquermaths for three months and has already worked his way through the Year 6 syllabus. He does around 3-4 hours a week broken into small sections. The website works really well and has videos that explain the topic and then questions for the child to answer to make sure they understand. As a parent, you can get weekly reports to keep track of what your child has been doing and many other features too. This is the first online program that my son has actively engaged with that hasn’t led to him having his ‘maths face’ as we call it!! If you have a problem or a question then the team at Conquermaths are really quick to reply. They have family plans for payment so it gets cheaper with more children. It starts at £19/month one child, £32/month two children etc but is cheaper if you pay for an annual subscription.
My 8 year old daughter started this course after she was diagnosed with dyscalculia and after struggling hugely with maths in school. It isn’t the most sophisticated of online courses in terms of its graphics (hence the 4) but it really does do what it says on the tin! It is easy to navigate and takes the child very gently through the various stages. My daughter firmly believed that she couldn’t do maths and after just a few weeks of Dynamo, she was delighted that her maths brain was ‘waking up’. If you’re needing a fresh start with maths and a way of building up confidence, I would very much recommend Dynamo. It has worked for my daughter!
This is a fantastic board game which develops maths skills whilst having fun. The simple aim is to race around the board and land on 101.Two dice (numbered 1-10) are rolled and any combination of the numbers and numbered space you are on can be added, subtracted, multiplied and divided to get you along in the race. Special cards when you land on prime numbers and other players make the journey challenging. We have had squeals of laughter as well as groans. Best maths game we have found. More expensive than I would buy (it was a gift to us) but perhaps a good one to invest in and share in a home ed collective? It says age 10+ but I would say it depends completely on the maths skill of the player.