Friday, January 28, 2011
TOS Crew Product Review ~ TenMarks Math!
TenMarks is an online math program for students in grades 3 through high school. It's able to used by homeschoolers, as well as educators, parents and public or private school students. It's a breeze to use; each student works at their own pace doing the weekly assignments. The tutorial video makes using TenMarks very "underwhelming" but the long and short of it is that it's simple, it's self-grading, and it works.
From the very first time I looked at the website, I liked TenMarks. The login process is easy. The workspace for the worksheet assignments is "clear". As I mentioned previously, student's work is instantly graded and incorrect problems can be reworked right away while the concept is fresh in the child's mind. The entire layout of this website is uncluttered and tidy. I just plain like the way TenMarks does things!
My 10th grade daughter and my 7th grade daughter both tried TenMarks for this review. While my 7th grader loves the program, my 10th grader had a little trouble understanding the teacher's accent. It took her a little more time to grasp what he was teaching when she watched the lessons. (By the way, the videos are not mandatory; if your child understands a worksheets concepts, they can simply answer the 10 assigned questions w/o watching the video lessons.) I think my older daughter's ADD/ADHD tendancies made the fast-talking teacher hard to follow. This might not be an issue for other children.
The curriculum teaches concepts in groups while working to cover all major branches of mathematics. For instance, my 7th grade daughter might have two worksheets focused on geometry and two worksheets about decimals. Each math topic is given a "character shape" which can be found at the bottom of the student's home page; the "character shapes" are filled in with the color red & once the student has mastered a topic, that "character shape" is filled in completely. It's nice to see what each child is learning at a glance and my daughter loved being able to see her progress. Several times she worked ahead in order to finish an entire week's worksheets so that she could see her progress.
TenMarks also has a reward system that allows parents to give the child rewards upon milestone achievements. This can be as simple or as complex as Mom and Dad feel like making it. Of course, parents can also use the rewards provided by TenMarks. When students complete a given number or assignments, they unlock games. And the games are fun! Children and parents can easily see how many assignments must be completed in order to unlock the next game. Even if you aren't a parent who normally uses rewards, many of the games provided at www.TenMarks.com are math based and increase the child's knowledge.
Parents receive email reminders about assignments and grades. I really liked the fact that my daughter's weekly worksheet info was sent to me. I didn't have to create a lesson plan or decide how much she needed to do each week - I just checked my inbox and TenMarks did the rest. She did an average of 40 problems a week, and could also take tests at the website. Often, however, she did more than that. And she really has learned a lot using the program.
I liked the fact that my 13-year-old was challenged by this math program. There were worksheets that were pretty easy for her; but honestly, she had to stretch her brain and really think in order to complete her "homework". She is very motivated by the instant grading; as soon as she submits her 10th answer, the worksheet is graded and she has the opportunity to correct her mistakes. And don't forget the "character shapes", which are basically little people drawn in different positions that fill up with the color red as concepts are mastered. She is pretty proud of what she has accomplished using TenMarks. But I would have to say she is even more pleased with the stiff challenges this program presents. When she works to grasp a new concept and masters it without blood, sweat and tears, that's something that makes her day.
My 10th grade daughter already uses a very thorough math program and she wasn't really able to simply stop using it to jump feet first into TenMarks (my 7th grader did stop using her other math program and switched solely to TenMarks for the review period). Due to the current workload of her math program, it became stressful for my oldest daughter to try and keep up with both math programs. While her use of TenMarks was limited, I can tell you that she found it challenging and truly enjoyed it. If I were choosing a math curriculum for the elementary, middle or high school years, I would lean pretty heavily toward TenMarks. And if you happen to be looking for a solid high school program that is college preparatory, this fits the bill. Of course, if you NEED to make a change in your child's math curriculum, whether it's a change you plan to implement right away or at the beginning of the next school year, TenMarks is one I would change to.
I am very, very likely to use it in the future, for the long term, with my 7th grade daughter. I can see her growing in leaps and bounds with TenMarks and this subject which she typically dreads hs become one of her favorites. In case you need me to spell it out for you, that, my friends, is a hearty product endorsement.
Now for the specifics: you can visit their website (www.TenMarks.com) to see an explanatory video and sign up for a free trial. There is plenty of information for homeschoolers at the website, as well as information for teachers and parents within the public education sector. The price per student is $10/month OR $49/6 months OR $89/12 months. They offer family discounts when 3 or more members use the program. (I received a trial subscription to TenMarks for review purposes).
Enjoy your weekend everyone!
Day 73 done :)
Jan L. Burt