What is The Maths Factor and how does it work?
The Maths Factor was set up by Carol Vorderman in 2010. In 2013 it was acquired by Pearson, the world’s leading education company, and in October 2014 it was re-launched, ready for tablets and ready for the new national curriculum.
The Maths Factor is an online maths tutoring site for 4-11 year olds. The content is ordered to match the new 2014 national curriculum in England, but the site is used successfully by children all around the world.
The heart of The Maths Factor are short sessions designed for daily use. Each session starts with a lively video tutorial by Carol, followed by a fun warm-up and then a practice. There are over 1,000 of these sessions, arranged into 32 topics.
The Maths factor normally costs £8.25 a month but is currently free
What are the 5 principles behind The Maths Factor approach?
1. A little bit every day!
Short, daily session is the surest way to embed learning steadily and securely. The Maths Factor is structured to encourage this approach.
Take the daily approach, avoid ‘binge homework’ sessions, and before you know it, your child could easily be answering 1,500 questions a month. It’s about practice, practice, practice. And you know what that amount of maths practice makes? Children who are confident with numbers for the rest of their lives.
2. Keep it fun!
This is the greatest challenge for maths educators and for parents. But we think we’ve cracked it.
Every session comes with a fun ‘warm up’, which gets children into gear with more light-hearted questions before the formal practice. Every session ends with your child earning rewards – new marbles and a sums counter that can only go up.
Meantime, games unlock in our brand new Games Centre, as your child progresses through the Course. The games are colourful, fun and maths-based, and they provide a fantastic incentive to make progress.
3. Time is the greatest gift
The Maths Factor is designed to bring families together.
Homework sessions can be one of the few times in the day when a child feels they’re getting 100% attention from a parent – particularly important in the younger age groups. So be patient and supervise your child through the early days.
Start to decrease the supervision as they become more confident. Warning – you may be pleasantly surprised at how quickly this happens!
4. Use a combination of online and offline
Online maths tutoring is remarkably effective. Children love the instant feedback, and they thrive on the rewards and excitement that The Maths Factor provides.
In particular, use a tablet if you have one. Children love the instant interaction that comes with touchscreen technology. It allows them to engage all of their cognitive skills with the on-screen problem, without distraction.
But digital is not the only solution. Sometimes children also need the reassurance of working on paper and the learning that comes with physically writing out notes or an answer.
The Maths Factor, we offer ‘printables’ with every topic – games and learning tricks that you can download and print. Just browse Print and play.
5. Build your own confidence with Maths
Many parents are unsure about arithmetic and maths themselves. If that’s not you, ignore this section! But if it is…
Changes in methodology have been introduced by different political and educational ideologies and this can be confusing to parents. We have ended up with a system of subtraction, multiplication, long division and other algorithms (methods), which you may not have been taught in school. This has become a huge problem as children naturally say “Can you help me?” and sometimes the parent can’t – so everybody ends up in a muddle. It has become so marked that schools have had to introduce introductory lessons for parents and give them a quick whistle-through what is taught now.
At The Maths Factor we take parent engagement seriously. Very seriously. Every parent not only gets a complete overview of every question answered and the progress being made, but I teach the parents too. For every module in the Course (there are about a half dozen modules in each topic), I have produced a special parent video, giving advice and tricks on supporting your child. We email these out to you when your child reaches the relevant module, along with written advice. Just as useful, you can watch any of my video lessons before your child does, so you are up to speed and slightly ahead of their learning curve.