Arithmetic Practice with WizEarn
Arithmetic Practice by WizEarn seeks to encourage kids to practice solving math problems by rewarding them with apps. The app lets parents choose how many problems kids must answer and the level of difficulty for those problems. While good in theory, the app requires a lot of parental supervision. Without it, kids can access the App Store and adjust the settings to help them game the system and download whatever apps they want.
- Earn apps
- Solve math problems
- Track progress
- Motivate kids
Before kids can practice solving problems, they must choose an app to download. A simple instructions screen shows them how to choose an app. Once a single app or group of apps kids would like to download are added, they can start answering questions to earn prizes. On the app’s home screen, kids and parents can see how many questions have been answered at each level and how long it took to answer each question. They can also access the settings screen to control the difficulty of the questions and how many questions it takes to earn an app in each of three price levels (Free, $0.99-$2.99, and $3.00+). Parents should note that there are no parental blocks to keep kids from accessing the settings. Kids can tap on the Home button at any time and adjust the settings, so if a parent has decided that kids must answer 150 questions to earn a $3.00+ app, kids can reset it to the minimum of 10 problems. They can also adjust the difficulty of the questions.
The goal of the app is to simply motivate kids to practice math facts. There are seven levels of difficulty. They include problems that use addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square roots. Parents can select any number of these levels based on the type of problems they want their children to solve. The app does seem to favor the easier addition questions at the beginning stages when all levels are selected.
Aside from the motivational element, the app is not extremely entertaining. It simply presents problems one after another, offering a chime each time kids solve a problem correctly. Some kids will appreciate that the app times them as they answer questions and will work hard to improve their efficiency and accuracy as they solve problems.
The app is free to download and use. For parents looking to motivate their kids, it may be worth a download, as long as they are willing to supervise its use.
To access the app store and choose an app, kids must get through a parental gate. For younger kids, this gate is effective because it contains difficult multiplication problems. For older kids, who can answer that level of problems, it’s less effective and there’s nothing to keep them from selecting apps on their own. At both ages, parents should monitor app use to ensure children are picking approved apps to download as rewards. Also, once kids complete the problems required to earn an app, they’re taken directly to the App Store. There they can bypass the chosen app and choose to download any app they want. Parents should be sure to require a password for downloads from the App Store to prevent unwanted purchases.