Looking to prevent summer learning loss? Redbird Math is a fantastic tool to improve math skills over the summer.
(Disclosure: I received a 3-month subscription to Redbird Math and was compensated for my time in writing this review. All opinions are my own!)
Are you a math person?
When I was in school, I did well in math – but just enough to get the A. For me, Algebra II wasn’t about understanding how to use math in real life. It was about memorizing the equations just long enough to do well on the test.
I want more for my kids.
I want them to be able to use math to solve everyday problems. Because while the basic facts are absolutely important, math goes beyond 1 + 1 and 4 x 5.
That’s why I’ve been thrilled watching my daughter’s progress as she uses Redbird Mathematics.
What is Redbird Mathematics?
Redbird Mathematics Advanced Edition is an online math program for kids from grades K-7. You can purchase an affordable 3-month subscription, which gives your child unlimited access to the lessons and games. Kids can use Redbird Mathematics on a desktop, laptop, or tablet, as long as they have an internet connection.
Any amount of time is valuable, but we followed the program’s recommendation of 20 minute sessions about five times a week.
Immediately after my daughter started the third grade program, it was clear that this was unlike other online math programs and apps.
Redbird Math is based on years of Stanford research, and it shows. Math problems are presented with a variety of digital manipulatives. While the program reviews basic facts, it also encourages kids to look at math problems in different ways.
What we loved
1. It’s on the computer.
Our kids get very little screen time, so my daughter jumps at the chance to do some online learning. I limit computer time even for educational purposes, but I feel that every minute she spends on Redbird Math is worth it. (Plus, she has to practice piano for twenty minutes to earn twenty minutes doing math. This is a win-win for me. But don’t tell her that!)
2. It shows you how to use math in real life.
As a teacher, I was frustrated by math curricula that were simply pages of practice exercises with no way to apply the skills students were learning. Redbird Math solves this problem by including a real-world video clip for each unit.
3. The lessons are straightforward.
No talking cartoon characters, flashing images, or unnecessary noise. I really appreciate this, as my daughter often does her math lesson in the kitchen while I’m preparing supper. This is a high stress time of day for me, so I’m thankful for the peaceful background.
4. Redbird Math assures your child has mastered a concept before moving on.
The program changes the questions and pacing depending on how well your child is doing. That’s right – this is a personalized program.
5. The program moves beyond basic skills.
For me, this is the biggest selling point. While the program does give practice with basic facts, it will also challenge your child to use problem solving and logic. When my daughter gets stuck, we often pull out a piece of paper to organize the information we know and to figure out the next step. I love that after I modeled this a few times, she started getting out the paper and pen herself!
6. The program offers a good balance between games and problem solving.
If you were hoping for a program that consists entirely of games, then Redbird Math is not for you. Personally, I love the balance. My daughter is (mostly) content to work through the problems and is always excited when she’s surprised by a game. The games are a nice brain break but also present their own challenges.
7. You can easily choose your child’s level.
Choose the grade or half grade level to begin – and adjust it if you find out the material is too easy or too hard for your child. If your child is struggling in math, you can still use Redbird – just start one or two grade levels below your child’s level in school. He’ll never see it.
8. It’s affordable.
At just $20/month (and less when you use the promo code MEASUREDMOM through June 30), you only need to spend a little bit less at the grocery store and Redbird Math is paid for.
9. Parents stay in the loop.
You’ll receive regular e-mails updating you on your child’s progress.
10. It keeps kids engaged while they’re doing some serious learning.
The activities and problems in Redbird Math are beyond anything I could create on my own. It’s seriously amazing stuff. I love watching my daughter’s math skills improve with every twenty minutes she spends on the program. I honestly can’t recommend it enough.
Why Redbird Math may not be for you
If your child struggles deeply with math, this may not be the best program. However, if you’re looking into an expensive tutoring center such as Sylvan, consider Redbird Math as an alternative. For a fraction of the cost of a tutoring center, you’ll have a real tutor who will connect with your family on the phone or by screen. (Another idea is to sign up the regular membership and start your child a few levels behind his actual grade.)
If you’re a “drill the skills” kind of person. If I could take you out for breakfast, I’d talk all morning about why math needs to go well beyond drilling basic skills. But if you’re truly convinced that’s what math is all about, you won’t appreciate Redbird Math’s problem solving approach.
If you want to set it up and forget it. Because of the challenge of the questions and problems, my daughter often needed my assistance. Usually this required just a minute or two to help her get on the right track. But if you were hoping to keep your child busy with no input from you, Redbird Math isn’t the right choice for your family.
Get 15% off through June 30
I absolutely recommend Redbird Mathematics Advanced for building math skills in the summer and preventing summer learning loss. Keep using it through the school year, too, as a way to supplement what your child is learning in the classroom. Or consider using it as a complete homeschooling math program. Click here to learn more and get your subscription!
© 2016, Anna Geiger. All rights reserved.