May 6, 2016

A Specially Tailored Math Tutor for Kids -- Right from Your Sofa

I admit it. I hate math. I've never been good at it, ever since I was a child. (Yes, I still count on my fingers at times. If it's beyond basic math and I can't use my fingers or a simple calculator, chances are I won't figure out the math problem.) Flashbacks of sweaty palms, a quick heart beat and a feeling of dread that came before every math test still race through my head. If I'd had a math tutor and a fun way to learn right in my home as a kid, maybe I'd have done better. Having a tutor available right from the couch along with being tailored for me would have helped even more. Lucky for kids now, sofatutor is available to do just that.

All your child needs to do is cozy up on the couch with a computer, log into the site and voila -- math tutor! (Sitting at a desk, chair or table is also perfectly fine, the kind folks at sofatutor aren't picky about where the kids sit. They're too busy coming up with fun ways to help your student learn.)

Kids from first through 12th grade can log onto sofatutor and with a monthly or lifetime subscription access video lessons, interactive practice problems, worksheets and -- what I think is the neatest feature -- homework chat. Homework chat allows students to talk directly to a tutor (up to 3 questions or 30 minutes a day) to help solve problems that are tripping them up.

Sofatutor is a premium, online learning platform that is award-winning in Europe. It's currently expanding into the United States, starting with algebra I with a full curriculum slated for next year. The algebra I topics include basic arithmetic, equations, inequalities, proportion and percents, linear equations and inequalities, systems of equations and inequalities, absolute value, exponents, polynomials and trigonometry. Younger kids who aren't quite at algebra I level yet can get a taste of what is to come, and if they're really adventurous or love math, can work ahead.

With a combination of technology and storytelling, sofatutor aims to improve students' learning outcomes (exactly what I needed back in 1-12). All the lessons are self-paced, giving your student the chance to truly grasp the concepts rather than having to struggle to keep up with others. There are real-life, modern questions (such as figuring out the cost of a monthly cell phone plan). I love how the problems are interactive, it makes them so much easier to understand. Fractions and decimals are explained using baking examples. Now, that's something I can relate to instead of those weird "if train a is going 1,000 mph and train b is going 5.55 mph and train c is going 6,778.9 mph, at what point will they reach the big purple monster in the desert?" (I know that makes no sense, but that's what typical math problems sound like to me. Plus, I did mention I'm bad at math and so need sofatutor, right?)

Complex topics are presented in a way kids can understand them. The videos help to break down typically difficult math concepts into smaller, easier to understand pieces. You end up building on what you know bit by bit, rather than being thrown out in the ocean and told to find the answer, a method I really like. Even trig, which I struggled with in school, made sense to me when I watched the video. Since learning isn't one-size-fits all, for kids that find they learn better from reading, or from a video and reading, there is a transcript of each video. An accompanying description lets you know what to expect. The interactive worksheets that go with the videos are equally helpful. I really like how the playful, laid back attitude of the videos and worksheets make math less scary. Going through the site, I felt like understanding math wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility like I've previously thought it would be.

While the videos and worksheets are great, I'm really drawn to the live homework chat. I would absolutely have loved being able to chat with a tutor when I got stuck on a math problem back when I was in school. I always found the more I pushed to find an answer when I was lost, the more off track and confused I ended up. Having a tutor to sort me out from the start would have saved me so much agony (and wrong answers on tests, I'm sure).

Another great feature of sofatutor I'm digging is the price. The expanded curriculum by 2017 is guaranteed with the lifetime subscription, or sofatutor has promised to provide a refund of your purchase.

Here's a great video intro to sofatutor so you can get a better idea of what I've been talking about. Don't forget to stop by their site to learn even more about it!

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This post is kindly sponsored by SofaTutor.

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