One thing that I always like to stay abreast of is the different options for teaching my kids math. Learning math skills is something that just seems to really stick out as something that not everyone does the same way. It is not necessarily that one program is superior to another, but that there needs to be a good fit between the program and the way that your child learns. We are excited to share with you what we have learned as we reviewed Stinky Kid Math by none other than Stinky Kid Math.
What Exactly Is It?
Stinky Kid Math is an on-line math program that is designed primarily to be a supplement to your child’s regular math studies. However, some parents have found it comprehensive enough to use as a core math curriculum. It is not certified as such nor does it cover all the areas to meet Common Core Standards. The main topics of study in Stinky Kid Math are Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry. So the program is generally geared towards students approaching coursework in Pre-Algebra through those in high school.
The program can be completed with lessons that go in order from Pre-Algebra up through Geometry or you can choose specific topics that you wish to reinforce.
Most lessons have three components:
- Worksheets with Answer Key
The video is the part that is the real hit with the kids. These are not just dry whiteboard presentations. There is a real teacher with animated narrative explanations and real world examples whenever possible. The videos do vary in length from a minute to a little more than 10 minutes. The longer videos are a testimony to the step by step directions for solving various algebraic and geometric problems.
In addition to the videos within a topic, there are many times additional resources in the categories that appear to the right of the video: books, worksheets, and games. The book section is a written chapter in book format that covers the same material as taught in the video. This can be downloaded so that the student can take notes on it, highlight key information, or just re-read it as review. The worksheets can also be downloaded and printed for easier use. Completing these worksheets allows the student to determine if they are really getting the concept down. An answer key is present for all worksheets so that the student can check their work in a line by line fashion. The games option at the right in the graphic above only appears in lessons where there is a game that directly applies to the topic of the lesson.
So Where Did the Stinky Kid Name Come From?
The Stinky Kid Math creators were ingenious in finding a visual picture that we can all relate to in explaining the movement of numbers and variables in solving algebraic equations. Yes, it is the story of a Stinky Kid and what that means to everyone else in the same house. Whether it is the dog outside in the doghouse, someone in the basement of the house, mom and dad in their own room, or a friend sharing his bedroom, everyone needs to find a way to get away from that Stinky Kid. It is the order that they leave that makes all the difference. However, their exact strategy can’t be shared here. You will need to get started with Stinky Kid Math to get the scoop on the whole story.
- The collection of 300+ plus videos certainly hit on most topics we were looking for that aligned with our typical algebra and geometry curriculum.
- The videos were taught in plain English with easy to understand examples and step by step instruction.
- The worksheets and games really did help to reinforce topics.
- The line by line detail in the answer keys sets apart really good math programs from the mediocre.
- The amount of information covered in each video was ideal.
- The ability to download and print the book and worksheet sections were wonderful in being able to take notes and work the problems without having to copy everything on scrap paper.
Because this is designed to be more of a tutoring program rather than a complete curriculum, the program does not self grade the student’s work or store grades. There is an activity log to show what lessons or videos have been viewed.
The only struggle we had with the program was in finding the lessons we were looking for. Everything is very clearly marked, but the way that it was labelled varied a bit from our normal curriculum. This was not a hindrance in using the program, but something to keep in mind when migrating from a curriculum that may label things differently.
Uses for This Program:
- As a supplement and tutoring resource for the student that may struggle a bit and just needs a different teaching perspective
- As a complete curriculum when the lessons are completed in the suggested order
- As an introduction to the concepts of Pre-Algebra and beyond to the emerging Algebra student
- As a review of key topics in preparing for college entrance exams
As always I encourage you to check out what other members of the Review Crew in their reviews of Stinky Kid Math.