Review of Stinky Kid Math10:47 AM
I remember a year ago, hearing about a program called "Stinky Kid Math." As a mom of 5 boys, and a homeschooler, I was instantly intrigued by the name -- and the concept. I was able to recently review Stinky Kid Math's supplemental materials via a 6-month subscription for up to three children in our own family. I was really surprised at how easy it was to implement as a math help in our existing curriculum.
What is Stinky Kid Math? It's a collection of helpful tutorial videos, games, and activities designed for the upper math levels. It calls itself "algebra and geometry help that finally makes sense" because it's kid-friendly. The graphics, music, and even the way the instructor presents himself are all made to help kids be comfortable with learning. Even the name "Stinky Kid Math" assumes that you can come in as you are and sit down to learn.
What is included? For a site that claims to be just for algebra and geometry helps, there is really more to it. The games, for example, can be played on various levels. The integer game can be set for addition, multiplication, subtraction, or division, and on different difficulties. This same game could be played by a highschool or an elementary student, with the levels adjusted for their ability. Also, the videos are organized by topic, but -- if you are familiar with math -- some of the topics could be appropriate for younger students who are wanting to understand the "why" of some of the math tasks they are mastering.
I really like the way the site is organized. When you select a topic from the side of the page "foundational algebra" for example, a list of videos will be brought up.
Once you select a video to watch, a list of related resources will appear on the right hand side. In the case of the first video in foundational algebra, you'll see additional videos, an algebra book, and a practice worksheet. These additional resources make it easy to continue the video learning offline.
How is this site different from others? Unlike other math demonstration video sites, this one really focuses on the presenter and creator of the program, Todd Matia. I like that you can see him in the video, and that it's not just a big white board with numbers. My kids have always done well with online courses and helps that use a personal touch. Seeing Todd in many of the videos has helped build a "trust" level with the kids that I think is helpful in encouraging them to continue with the program.
The relaxed and relatable attitude taken in the Stinky Kid resources is a breath of fresh air for this mom. I have always found math to be boring and difficult, and while my kids have yet to feel this way, I'd like to think that the warm approach taken by the Stinky Kid team is one of the reasons why.
How did we use it? I chose to use this as both an introductory tool with my kids and a tutoring tool. My son, who is just getting into basic algebra, would sit and watch the video for each section he was about to learn BEFORE he learned it in his regular curriculum. It helped to lay the foundation and put him at ease for new things he was about to learn. Then, as he did each new skill, I would refer back to the worksheets, if needed for extra practice. We also knew that, if any of the kids were having difficulty in an area, we could find the appropriate Stinky Kid Math video and watch it again for clarification of difficult topics. The games were used as a reward for completing a section in math or for helping master difficult facts. (The Integers game, for example, was a good alternative to flashcards. We used this as a way to master math facts to help the kids get faster at their calculations.)
You can get access to the site for $9.99 a month. I highly recommend it for kids starting with pre-algebra and into the higher math grades.