Online Maths Programs – Is it Time to Ditch your Maths Workbooks?

MATHS INSIDERS blog (2)
Challenging my ideas

I love learning about new things. One of the great things about running Maths Insider is that as I’m researching ideas for this blog, I’m constantly learning about different maths ideas, methods and programs and having many of my preconceived ideas challenged. I’d thought for a while that online maths programs were fun and an interesting way for children to practise maths. My review of EducationCity.com confirmed that, although lots of fun, online educational programs probably didn’t provide the breadth of depth to fully support a child’s maths learning.

Testing specialised maths programs

However the specialised maths programs are a different kettle of fish! I first tried Conquer Maths, which leads students to the British GCSE maths, and after trying fewer than half of the 16 free lessons, I was convinced! Two of my children are now signed up. My son has also tested the UK version of Maths-Whizz (there’s a US version as well) for a month and again, it’s another great program! I’ll publish my reviews of these two programs in the following weeks, and am looking to test the other programs in the coming months.

An Overview of 7 top maths programs

In the meantime, below, I’ve detailed, the cost, age range and curriculum that Conquer Maths, Maths-Whizz and 5 other top online maths programs have to offer as well as excerpts about what they each say about themselves:

Conquer Maths

Curriculum: UK

Ages: 4-16 yrs old

Price from £15.95 /month, £219/year

“Every maths lesson required to achieve up to an A* at GCSE level is included.”

“Every lesson is presented in the same way as maths lessons are taught in school, but with all the time-wasting, peer pressure and distractions removed. This means that a whole school maths lesson can be taught in as little as 10 minutes!”

“It has taken 11 years of careful refinement to make these maths lessons so effective, and there are now over 2,000 schools and over 1,000,000 students benefiting from them worldwide.”

Maths-Whizz

Curriculum: UK/US

Ages: 5-13 yrs old

price $19.99/£19.99/month

“Math-Whizz Tutoring Plus creates a tutoring plan to fit your child’s ability rather than age. Through fun interactive lessons, guided practice and immediate feedback, the Math-Whizz Tutor strengthens weaker skill areas, introduces new concepts and consolidates concepts.”

“Children who use Math-Whizz Tutoring plus for 90 minutes each week for a year, improve their math age, on average, by two years.”

“If your child uses Math-Whizz Tutoring Plus for 90 minutes a week for 12 months, and their math age does not improve by at least one year, you may be entitled to our Money Back Guarantee.”

Dreambox

Curriculum: US

Ages: 5-8yrs old

Price: $12.95/month,  $59.95/6months

 

 

“DreamBox individualizes learning through continuous assessment and adaptations during lesson game play.”

“Lessons, hints, level of difficulty, pace, sequence, instructional tools, and many other aspects of the experience are tailored to help each student learn.”

“It’s a robust math curriculum, with over 500 lessons built on the math learning Focal Points from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.”

TenMarks

Internet Math Program

Curriculum: US

Ages: 8-16 yrs old

Price $10/month

“TenMarks is the only online math program that helps students refresh, learn, and master math concepts – in their own time, at their own pace. Each child receives a personalized curriculum to help them master the concepts quickly.”

“TenMarks offers lessons and personalized programs that cover all the core math skills and concepts your child will need in school.”

“Over 100 core skills per grade, hints and video lessons for every topic, mapped to state standards”

Aleks

Curriculum: US

Ages: 5-18yrs old

Price $19.95/month,  $179.95/yr

“Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn.”

As a student works” through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.”

“ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any Web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.”

Mathletics

Curriculum: International

Ages:5-18yrs old

Price $99/year, £39/year

“Mathletics is the next generation in learning, helping students enjoy maths and improve their results.”

“Mathletics is an effective and exciting way to improve your maths. You can practise both at home and at school, or anywhere you have access to the internet!”

“As long as you use Mathletics regularly with consistent effort, your maths will improve out of sight!”

The Maths Factor

Curriculum: UK

Ages:5-11

Price: from £5.99/month

“Themathsfactor.com is Carol Vorderman’s online maths school. Combining the best of traditional ways of learning with the best of the new, it offers online maths tuition for children in primary school to use at home.”

“We are helping thousands of children master Arithmetic and Times Tables every day, and parents are telling us about dramatic improvements in their children’s mathematical ability. Our structured system supports each child at a pace which is right for them.”

“Our online resources add up to hundreds of lessons and many hours of quality teaching.”

Not quite the end for maths workbooks

Even though my children have signed up to Conquer Maths, I’m not yet ready to ditch the workbooks completely; workbooks are effective for practising written questions and for presenting topics in a variety of ways.  The only way to know if any of these programs will work for your child is to try them. Many of the programs offer free or low cost trials and those that don’t, allow you to cancel your monthly membership at any time. So try out some of these programs and see if you think it’s time to ditch the maths workbooks!

I’ll be updating this post with links to my reviews once I’ve trialled them, so bookmark this page or sign up to the weekly Maths Insider updates.

Have you tried an online maths program? Did it deliver the goods? Share your verdict in the comments below.

(this post contains affiliate links)

Caroline Mukisa
About The Author: Caroline Mukisa is the founder of Maths Insider. A Cambridge University educated math teacher, she's been involved in math education for over 20 years as a teacher, tutor, Kumon instructor, Thinkster Math instructor and math ed blogger. She is the author of the insanely helpful ebook "The Ultimate Kumon Review" and insanely useful website "31 Days to Faster Times Tables" You can follow her math tips on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @mathsinsider

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19 thoughts on “Online Maths Programs – Is it Time to Ditch your Maths Workbooks?

  1. I used ALEKS for 2 months this summer to help keep my boys fresh with math and to really learn their multiplication tables. It was the thing that finally worked for my 10 year old. I was happy with how it worked for us.

  2. In my opinion, it will never be time to ditch maths workbooks! Whilst online programs do offer some limited benefits in motivating our children in our technology-driven world, there is something very quintessential about a doing maths in a workbook, that is missing in online programs.

    I have tried enrolling my children on various programs in the past and find that they get more ‘mathematical’ value out of working with pen and paper than online. This is because the online programs (and CDs) demand more than just mathematical skills from the user. The children have to navigate their way around the page whilst developing their mathematical knowledge; it also adds to the time spent in front of a screen.

    • I agree that written work is important in maths, but this latest generation of paid online maths programs really are different from the CD’s from the past. For your children I’d recommend you take a look at Conquer Maths, you may be surprised!

  3. I’m looking for online Maths program too for my 7 year-old but I’m in Australia. Would you know of any that is worth checking out?

    • I did a quick Google search for “australia online maths” The 2 main programs for 7 year old’s seem to be HOTMaths and MathsPower. Without testing them, it’s difficult to say whether they would be suitable. I think one of the beauties of maths, especially at the primary/middle school level is that it really is an international language. My children have studied at British and American schools and I’ve tutored Australian children and I haven’t found the differences to be major. Of the programs, I’ve tested so far, Maths-Whizz would be great for your child, There’s a link to a free trial in the sidebar. Really the best way is to test a few programs and see which one you and your child like, most of them have free trials.

  4. I was thinking about kumon for my daughter. She is avg. in 5th gr. math. I want to build her confidence and knowledge of math basics through her middle school years. She had ‘Everyday Math’ K-4 (no emphasis on drills, etc.) Now, in 5th gr. they teach Singapore Math (big improvement)

    I purchased many workbooks and printed out worksheets during the summer between 2nd and 3rd gr. and made her do these because her add/sub. skills were poor. I tried to make it fun- for ex. i would time her while she did a drill sheet of +9’s (after awhile she didn’t like to be timed, so I stopped timing her) then she would pick out a slip from a hat with -‘word problem’, ‘measurement’, ‘time’, or ‘fractions’ on it and she would do a workbook sheet on what she picked.

    It was kind of stressful, because I felt my daughter wanted to please her teacher more than me. The more I think about the cost, timing, worksheets involved w/ kumon… attempting to do this again at home seems more realistic than sticking to the kumon program.
    I do get frustrated when I help her w/ word problems and would love for an outsider to step in (kumon may not be of help w/ this after reading this website http://www.donaldsauter.com/kumon.htm)

    I was thinking of giving Indian Math Online a try or maybe ALEKS. Wondering if you will do a review of Indian Math Online soon. Thanks for your insight.

    • Hi Sidra,

      It’s great that you’ve been supporting your daughter’s maths learning so well, I love the idea of choosing questions from out of a hat.
      Have a look at the 2 Kumon posts I have on Maths Insider Kumon The Good The Bad and The Ugly and 8 Things to Hate About Kumon they have information that could help you with the work you’re doing with your daughter.

      I hadn’t heard of Indian Math Online before. Looking at the information and demos on their website, it certainly seems interesting. The price point is the same as for Maths-Whizz which is as well as better graphics and more interactivity, continually calculates your child’s maths age.

      The best way to see what works for your daughter is to try the free trials and see which one works best for you both!

    • Mindspark is also and very good website for math practice. Sharada, this is an American site, and Mindspark is only available in India, so nobody will ever think about mindspark in this site!

  5. I’ts been good to look at your comments as I have been considering Conquer Maths for my 10 year old son to sit with him at home to help his confidence in school, he has always loved maths until this year so I am hoping to get that love of maths back. After reading your comments I’ve checked out the Maths Whizz site which also looks really good but noted that the price is now actually £19.99 per month and not £14.99 as you quote here

    I’ve found your reviews very helpful and I’m thinking again of the conquer maths as my son is now 10 and I’ll let you know how we get on.

    Thanks again

    • Thanks for pointing out the price increase! Conquer Maths and Maths-Whizz are very different. Maths-Whizz is more “fun” and has an excellent parent dashboard, and Conquer is more “here’s the lesson, here’s the questions, here’s the answer, here’s your results” – straight to the point. It’s probably worth trialling them both and see which one fits best with your son. Let me know which one you choose!

  6. At a library event I came across a service called Tabtor for Math learning and signed up for it. It is administered on iPads. My son and daughter now enjoy doing math. They get personalized tutoring and rewards for good performance. They are now doing higher grade math. It is worth taking a look at!

  7. Have you looked at A Plus Tutor Soft yet? I have been considering it because it uses computer AND workbook. Please let me know what you think.

  8. ALEKS curriculum really works better for the kids who are interested in maths. There are different curriculum’s provided by the online school. Based on the student’s interest one can choose the curriculum and in some cases the student’s/parents go for the customized curriculum based on the subjects they are interested in. Whatever the reason might be but the online education benefits to everyone who prefers them. It’s widened its approach in providing wide range of courses. Found a nice blog to read. It is interesting, keep blogging.