We're currently trying the free trial of Math Whizz, and I'm just not sure it's enough for us to truly judge it. And there are things I'm a bit put off by...
My daughter is 4, doing level K. First, we did the assessment, and she was able to do nearly everything. For some reason, a few times in the middle of the assessment, there were full-on 'lessons', or practices anyway, where there was a set of 10 questions on the same topic. That darn turtle who counts from 20-30, ten times in a row, seemed pretty unnecessary for an "assessment".
After the assessment, though, we didn't get any results. I was looking forward to seeing her 'math age' and the nice little bar graph, but it seems all the parent report stuff is only available once you're actually a paid member. The "lessons" that she completed during the assessment are showing up in her history, with her bronze or silver medals for them or whatever.
The free trial apparently includes the first 5 lessons. So she started doing those after the assessment... and they were the same bloody lessons as during the assessment! She had only done 3, so there are 2 she hadn't yet done. But the other 3 were the same. Even though she had completed them with 90 or 100% in the assessment. So... what was the point of assessing her level, if it just then does the same thing again? And we had to endure that darn turtle 15 more times!!! (10 for the practice, 5 for the test... ugh).
If it's just that the trial gives the first 5 lessons for that grade regardless of assessed levels, then what's the point? Why do the assessment at all? It doesn't show off their automated leveling system or how it supposedly adapts to the student or whatever.
Then there are the typos... "Which is the narrrower bus". Or the aural sentence doesn't match the written one (same meaning but different wording, which can be confusing). Or there was one question on the assessment were the written sentence (and the expected answer) was to write the missing numbers from one to ten, but the aural sentence said one to eleven.
I also don't see how the 'lessons' are 'lessons'. They're just 10 practices, with no instruction or explanation. There's a sample one first to show you what to do, but if you don't understand that, then there's no additional help. And many of them, it's not clear what the point of it is. Matching chairs to animals... are they supposed to be practicing estimating? Counting all chairs and all animals? Comparing rows? In other words, are they supposed to be practicing particular strategies or are the strategies irrelevant? One exercise (counting soldiers) seemed to specifically be about "counting on" in order to add, but I wouldn't call "counting on" a "mental strategy" (which they were calling it), it's the default strategy for most kids and "mental strategies" are things you do in order NOT to count on.
Anyway, so far I'm underwhelmed, not convinced that the trial is showing the best features of the site, and uncertain that the math instruction is actually all that great. So... could those who love it, give me a bit more detail about what's so great about it? Other than "my kid loves it", I mean. :) Of course they'll love anything with cartoons and animations and decorating rooms and stuff. My DD loved it so far too. I just have to be convinced of the QUALITY of the program itself before shelling out $$ because there are free 'fun things' like that all over the place.