Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How A Stinky Kid Helps Us In Math (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

I have to admit that algebra and geometry don't always make sense to me. I know they don't always make sense to my kids! So when we were asked to review Stinky Kid Math, it just made sense to try out their "algebra and geometry help that finally makes sense". We received a six month subscription to the Stinky Kid Math resources for both my kids to use.

Stinky Kid Math Review

Stinky Kid Math was started by Todd Matia in 2007, when he was doing a math review session for high school teachers who were going to be teaching pre-engineering classes. Off the cuff, he came up with the silly Stinky Kid story that provided a framework to tie the algebraic concepts together in a memorable way. The goal of Stinky Kid Math is to make math concepts accessible and help students understand how and why math "works" rather than just strictly memorizing formulas. The entertaining video instruction covers concepts from pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry; and the worksheets and games provide practice and reinforcement.

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

How did we use it? We received a six month subscription to the entire website - video lessons, printable books and worksheets, and math games. We've been using the materials as supplements and review. Landon is completing Algebra II and generally speaking, he has a good grasp of the concepts and does well remembering and applying what he's learned, so for him, Stinky Kid Math has been used as a quick review of a concept every now and again. Kennady is just starting Algebra, and since math is not her strong suit, she is always looking for good ways to really understand and remember the concepts. Over the past several weeks, I made a habit of saying, "why don't you see if there's a video on Stinky Kid that explains it better?" whenever she would consult me about whether she was doing something right or was having trouble figuring out how to do certain types of problems. So rather than go through the video lessons in order, we've been jumping around a bit in order to follow the sequence her regular curriculum follows.

It was so helpful to be able to watch a short instruction video that clarified a concept so that she could get that extra handle on what was happening. For example, she found the explanation of converting fractions, decimals, and percents an excellent review that gave her a visualization so she could more easily remember how to do it.

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

We also found the Books to be helpful. These summarize the key points in several pages along with some examples and helpful notes. I have been printing these out for each topic as Kennady gets to them so she can keep them as quick references to jog her memory. This was the first one I found, and it has been so valuable. It summarizes multiples and factors, explaining and giving examples of each, and showing how the concept is used, along with a "What's The Point?" section on some of the pages that tells the student why they need to know it and in what kinds of math problems they'll use it. This particular book not only shows how multiples and factors apply to more simple equations such as multiplying or simplifying fractions, but also how to factor polynomials and gather like terms.

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
Need a little extra practice doing problems? There are worksheets as well. This one on multiples and factors is just one page, but it's exactly what we need sometimes to reinforce a concept with a little extra practice. The answer keys are provided as well, and since we were using these as supplements, I was perfectly fine with Kennady checking her own work.

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

 We had been looking at the Video Lessons in Order page and scrolling to the titles that we thought covered what we were looking for. The list is long, and since we were mostly using the resources closer to the beginning of the page, I didn't scroll all the way down until just recently.

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

When I finally did scroll all the way down to the geometry videos, I found that the worksheets were all listed in order too! What!? I'm embarrassed that I didn't discover that earlier on my own, so I think I'd suggest that the Stinky Kid folks add a link directly to the Worksheets In Order so people don't miss this. Once I knew it was there, I was ready to turn into the worksheet-printing queen, because I really like these worksheets. Did I say that already? I really do like the worksheets.

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Of course, there's always the search function as well. 

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
We didn't spend much time playing the games, but certainly appreciated them being there, and that they also loaded and worked well even with limited internet. 

Stinky Kid Math review by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

 What we liked best:

  • the videos are short and to the point, and they loaded and played  - even when our internet was slow!
  • I loved the Books as quick printable references, and the worksheets that provided brief practice for specific topics.
  • you can go through the videos and worksheets in order, or just view and use the ones you need when you need them. The titles are descriptive enough that we were able to scroll through and find what we needed fairly quickly, and the search function usually turned up what I was looking for with far less scrolling.

What I need to mention:
  • although Stinky Kid Math could be used as a full curriculum, it is not certified as such.
  • use the search to find specific topics, and don't forget to scroll all the way down that Video Lessons in Order page to find all the Worksheets in Order.
Our bottom line: We found Stinky Kid's brief and to-the-point instruction valuable as a supplement, a memory-refresher, and as extra practice. Because we didn't have to go through it in order, we've been able to make use of it when and as we needed, and really appreciate how flexible it is as a quick tutor and a way to straighten us out on concepts that were not making sense otherwise. I'd recommend this as an extremely useful and flexible supplement for middle and high school students - and for their parents who need some help remembering the stuff they did when they were in high school math class that seems rather murky now. 

Stinky Kid Math Review

Would your kids like some algebra and geometry help from stinky kid? Here's what you need to know:
Visit the website: https://www.StinkyKidMath.com/

You can follow Stinky Kid Math on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog for more information and to read other reviews.
Stinky Kid Math Review

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