Updated: Maths tuition, apps and videos for SA kids
*Updated: 10 April 2018
Maths needn't be a bore, something so complicated that our kids would rather stare out the window and think of climbing trees. But the truth is, the school curriculum moves so fast that if our kids fall behind, they miss the basis on which future math lessons are build, and they'll be well and truly lost.
Add to that a less-than-inspiring teacher, whom we all had at least once at school, and you've got a recipe for a child hating maths.
If that's the case, subscribe to these extracurricular or online maths programmes to help your child discover the joys of "getting" maths and catching up – or extending their skills in maths.
- Also read: Help your kids understand math using Lego
Online maths resources:
Gutsy Tutoring is an innovative tutoring agency providing expert tutors to students at all levels of education from primary and high school up to university.
All subjects are covered and the service also includes accredited language and music tutors.
Educators go through extensive screening and are available around the clock.
The 24/7 support service allows students to list their specific learning needs and matches users with the right tutor. Gutsy Tutoring will then arrange a free introductory meeting to ensure that the student is happy with their choice.
After this process lessons are scheduled at your convenience, with tutors teaching students who reside in the Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria areas in their own homes.
The option of an online tutor is possible for those living outside of these areas.
To inquire about costs call 061 473 1235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out more on Gutsy Tutoring by visiting www.gutsytutoring.co.za.
Math Goodies is the ultimate math assistance resource, not just for students but educators as well.
The website encompasses more than 500 pages of mathematical resources including interactive lessons, worksheets, games and puzzles at absolutely no cost.
With its multi-media curriculum that allows students to learn at their own pace, every lesson provides challenge exercises and solutions.
Math Goodies is suitable for grades 1-8 and is based on the American K–12 public school system.
Go to www.mathgoodies.com to learn more about this free tool.
Extra lessons in the comfort of your own home is made easy with Smart Tutor, catering to students in Grades 10 and 12 looking for extra classes in mathematics.
The platform allows students to fit online lessons into their schedule via the Smart Tutor academic calendar which let's users know when classes will take place.
All that's needed to access the tuition classes is a PC, smartphone or tablet, as well as a microphone to be able to participate with the tutor and class.
Sessions are interactive and each 2-hour tutoring session is limited to 6 students per tutor.
One-on-one lessons can also be requested, and additional study material is available to all Smart Tutor users.
Smart Tutor boasts a diverse range of highly skilled lesson providers whose combined qualifications include an Honours in Mathematics and Statistics, Bachelors in Computer and Mechanical Engineering and even a PhD in Neuropsychology.
Cost: R240 per session (each session is 2 hours long).
For more details on how to sign up to Smart Tutors visit: www.smarttutor.co.za
Siyavula Practice is an interactive platform making a unique learning digital tool easily accessible to South African children, suitable for learners in grades 8-12.
The initial sign up is free and allows users to select their grade level and choice of subject – this could be maths, physical science or both.
The software then provides a range of questions – aligned to the CAPS curriculum – suited to the student's level.
Answers are checked immediately by the Siyavula team, giving learners a detailed explanation of the answer, as well as how to approach similar questions in future.
The platform also allows students to track their progress and set their study goals – all they need is a phone (smart/feature), tablet, or computer with internet access to be able to use the platform.
Additionally, the Siyavula Practice makes free to download textbooks available to any student regardless of whether they're signed up or not.
Cost: The yearly subscribtion is R599 for maths or physics, and R999 for both, and free to disadvantaged students who earn their subscription when they meet specific learning requirements.
To find out more about the platform visit www.siyavula.com.
- Also read: Teaching maths: what works?
The National Department of Basic Education website
The National Department of Basic Education has made vast amounts of online resources available to students for every grade, from Grade R through to 12.
The best part is that everything is freely available!
Smartick is an innovative online math learning methodology and practice app, ideal for students aged 4 to 14.
It's the online version of an after-school maths programme which makes use of artificial intelligence technology, automated to adjust teaching level to your child's abilities and requirements.
The Smartick team consists of 45 engineers, mathematicians, pedagogues, psychologists and educators from around the world, and the lessons can be accessed from a tablet or computer.
Lesson sessions are only 15 minutes long and is based on the Key Stage system (used in UK education).
Cost: Pricing starts from R330 per month with a 15-day free trial option.
- Also read: Teaching maths: what works?
An innovative programme that connects your child via the tablet app to a real-life tutor. Your child completes modules at his or her own pace, with a white space on which the child can write and work out the answer. His actions on screen are recorded for playback by the tutor, who can see where the child hesitates, makes mistakes and corrections, and struggles. The tutor gives feedback to the parent via a regular phone call, and sends the child extra modules to complete based on the areas in which they struggle.
Also great about the programme is that it changes the way the child learns. In a classroom, the teacher demonstrates a formula and the child has to memorise it and do homework. In the case of Tabtor, the child gets the opportunity to learn the formula along with a teacher.
It's a new way of doing maths, with highly trained tutors in a friendly environment in which the child doesn't fear embarrassment. There are also Tabtor centres where the child can complete these modules with other children.
Cost: from R375 per month for tablet-learning; R540 per month for in-centre learning.
If you've ever signed up for a Vodacom deal and got an education voucher, Top Dog is the programme where you can redeem it.
This fantastic learning programme follows the CAPS curriculum in many subjects, including maths, from Grades 4 to 12. It also offers support to kids in private schools. The programme includes fully animated lectures, online tests and mock exams that get marked automatically, live chat sessions with good educators and study tips.
Cost: From R60 per month; also included in some Vodacom deals.
International Maths and English web-based programme IXL is also available in South Africa with our national CAPS curriculum, from Grade R to Grade 12. It promises unlimited questions, engaging item types, and real-world scenarios with real-time feedback to parents and teachers.
Cost: From R129 per month, or R199 including English.
Olico offers free online maths training for Grades 7 to 9. It enables learners to practise their class work and prepare for exams, while scoring points and earning badges. It offers immediate feedback with videos, hints and worked solutions, with links to games and simulations. And teachers or tutors are also able to work alongside the pupils, manage the class, assign specific quizzes and track learner performance.
Olico works in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, South African Mathematics Foundation, Wits School of Education, the Mathematics Vision Project, Sasol-Inzalo Ukuqonda textbooks, School-Maths, Engage NY, and Parktown Girls High School.
- Also read: Help your child succeed with maths
International programme Mathletics has been independently tested by the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney, which found that students spending just 30 minutes a week on Mathletics gained an average of 9% in their class tests in Australia. This award-winning platform, which just got a beautiful redesign, is also available in the South African CAPS curriculum. This programme can be used in schools or at home.
Cost: for home-based usage: R695 per year for the first child, cheaper for every added child.
Extracurricular maths lessons:
Mast Maths offers extra maths classes for Grade 4 to Grade 12. It has more than a hundred centres across South Africa and follows the national CAPS curriculum. Knowing that the kids of day are more visually inclined, the online tutoring sessions feature animated images and voice recordings to keep children interested and help them to visualise maths. Real-life tutors are on standby to assist in case a child can't solve the problems themselves, although they're encouraged to first try and work it out on their own. It encourages "light-bulb" moments to show the child that he or she can in fact do maths, and encourage them to start enjoying it.
Cost: Every child is assessed and the number of weekly and monthly sessions are determined in order to prepare your child for school exams. Fees are paid monthly and the more hours are taken, the less is charged per hour.
The Kumon system encourages and teaches children to learn independently, each at their own level, fostering confidence and problem-solving skills that go well beyond maths problems. The child begins at a level that is easy and joyful, and then progress at their own pace without being taught. When they get stuck, they can refer to tips and hints in their books and then figure it out themselves. Tutors mentor and assign the next level to each child based on their development and circumstances, helping them to progress.
Cost: Kumon is a worldwide franchise with several branches in South Africa. Every centre determines its own pricing. The cost comprises a once-off joining fee and a monthly tuition fee.
- Also read: 5 Puzzle power secrets
Formerly known as SEMAS South Africa, A+ Students teach mathematics using the Japanese abacus (Soroban) while stimulating both the right and left side of the brain. The classes comprise brain gym exercises, flash cards, speed writing and speed listening, physical activity, finger exercises on the abacus, mental maths (anzan), tangrams, and of course calculations on the soroban. They host national competitions and send students to the international PAMA competition, we well as the ISDF Soroban Camp in Japan every year. Kids from 30 months to 11 years may be signed up.
Started in Gauteng by sisters Sharné Bresler and Quinette Brits, Abacus Maths is based on the Japanese method of teaching maths with an abacus (Soroban) and involves all the learning senses and engages both sides of the brain. Suitable from age 3 to 13, the programme comprise weekly lessons at the centres (nationwide), homework and exams (not CAPS based).
Cost: from R4000 per year (if paid upfront) for the weekly lessons, plus a kit fee of R450 including an abacus, books, pencil and bag. Preparation for the international competition, including 2 hours extra per week, costs an additional R5000.
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Have you tried extra maths classes for your child? Which programme and what was your experience? Did we miss any great maths programmes? Send your comments for possible publication to email@example.com.
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