Sep 15, 2015

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Stinky Kid Math

As a family, math is not high on our list of enjoyable activities. However, I do have a couple of little boys that are actually pretty good at math. One of those boys also just happens to love anything that involves technology, so he was pretty interested in trying out our newest review: Stinky Kid Math

Stinky Kid Math Review

Stinky Kid Math is an online program that teaches the concepts of Pre-algebra, Algebra and Geometry. This is not intended to be a complete curriculum, although it can be used that way. Since we already have a math program that we love, we used Stinky Kid Math as a supplement. 
Stinky Kid employs the use of video teaching, worksheets, and games. The videos and games are online, but the worksheets need to be printed off for your child to use. 
There are two ways to use the lessons. One, you can choose a topic and either work your way through it or just watch whatever videos you need. Two, you can click "video lessons in order" and follow the sequence. 

Since Nate had no previous experience with Algebra, we chose to watch them in order and started with the first one. As you can see, this was easy for Nate to do on his own.

The videos are short, visually engaging, and easy to watch. Nate caught on to the concepts quickly, and followed the teacher's line of thought easily. We loved the fun backgrounds and the multicolored chalk on the chalkboard. The videos, I thought, were the best part of the program. 

Nate also enjoyed the videos, but, of course, the real fun was in playing the games. There are five different games in the program. They are linked to the videos that teach those concepts, but the kids can play them at any time. He didn't seem to have any trouble playing the games before watching the lessons, but it did seem to sneak in a lot of practice. 

This brings us to the worksheets. Honestly, we struggled with the worksheets. For some reason, he had a lot of problem figuring out which one he needed because if you click on the "worksheet" button next to the video, it doesn't actually take you to the sheet you need for that video. No, they all take you to the same Algebra Properties worksheet. This frustrated him to no end, so he either skipped the worksheet or I had to go hunt it down and print it for him.

There are answer keys for all the sheets, but this, too, was not always helpful, because it was just the answers and no explanation nor work shown, so if his answer was wrong, we couldn't always figure out why. I'm bad at math, so I need a little more hand-holding than that!

 I let Nate take control over the program, just reminding him to do it every day, and insisting that he continue to chose to watch the lessons in order. He is eleven and in sixth grade, not quite ready for Pre-algebra, so this was a great stretch for him material-wise. He didn't have any problem navigating the site except for printing the worksheets. He did seem to have a problem sticking to watching the lessons and not just hanging out, playing the games, though. I kind of wish there was a way to prevent that, but at least there is an Activity Log that lets me see exactly what he did and what he spent his time on. 

I liked Stinky Kid Math. I thought it was a great product for a supplement. It was fun and interesting and taught Nate math from a fresh, new perspective. I think it would be perfect for the kid who is stuck on a concept or the kid who is struggling and just not "getting" their math.

I would like to see the worksheets be a little more user-friendly and I would like a little more control over the games. 

Nate says he enjoyed Stinky Kid Math and would recommend it to kids who like math and maybe even those who don't. 

Stinky Kid Math Review
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