My youngest, Nadja, is in Y6 and will soon be taking her SATS exams. Being a bit of a worrier, she’s always keen to do extra revision at home in preparation for any tests she has coming up.
So when I was approached by Matr to see if Nadja would like to trial some online SATS revision, I knew she’d jump at the opportunity to get stuck in.
But this was going to be online revision with a difference. Nadja would be assigned her personal tutor who would work through typical SATs questions and problem-solving techniques. I know that she was excited – and I was too.
Prior to Nadja’s first lesson, I registered online with Matr, answering some basic questions before moving on to more detailed information about Nadja – how confident she is at maths, lesson difficulty level and any special instructions or anxiety issues for her tutor, before setting up the schedule.
What I really liked was that Nadja sat down to take an assessment test before her first lesson to determine the level that was right for her. It could have been too much and totally overwhelmed her or too little and she could have been bored. So by her taking an assessment meant that I was really confident that her tutor would know exactly what she was capable of.
Before the first lesson, Nadja logged on to do an audio test. This was to ensure that the tutor would be able to hear Nadja clearly – and vice versa.
She also undertook a mini warm-up session, answering a few basic maths questions to get her in the mood. There was a countdown clock on the screen so that we could see when Roma (Nadja’s online tutor) would be logging on to teach Nadja.
Every lesson seemed to go swimmingly with no hiccups. My top tips would be to assign a quiet area where your child can work uninterrupted with their tutor, but be within earshot in case you are needed.
For the first lesson, I sat quietly next to Nadja while she worked with Roma. Roma was great with Nadja – very encouraging and gave lots of praise to Nadja, which she relished in.
For the other sessions, I could see that Nadja felt very comfortable with Roma and could talk to her easily without being afraid to ask her questions or repeat what she asked, so I left her to it.
Every now and then I would hear Nadja say ‘yayyyyy’ as she would have worked out a problem. I think Nadja loved the novelty of being able to be heard but not seen; a couple of times I saw her do a little victory dance in her seat which made me smile.
What we thought of Matr
The tutor would also give Nadja smiley faces (on the screen) to show how pleased she was with her working out and her problem-solving capabilities. This was great as it encouraged Nadja to work hard and concentrate. She was proud of herself and it showed.
The online system was very easy to use (make sure you have Google Chrome) and the interactive online whiteboard was a cinch for Nadja to use. She could either draw straight onto the screen using the online keyboard – or opt to tap in the numbers using the keypad.
Matr offers online tutoring for kids aged between six and 11, so there’s really something for everyone.
From a confidence point of view, I couldn’t have asked for a better setup. Nadja was comfortable and confident in her own home, and once she had the first lesson under her belt, she came away feeling happy and proud of her accomplishments.
Over the next few sessions Nadja had built up a nice rapport with Roma (I loved how they are assigned their own tutor and keep them) and her confidence grew massively.
Roma would challenge Nadja and ask her about alternative ways of working out a maths problem, which I thought was brilliant.
It wasn’t all about seeing if she could just solve the problem – it was more about understanding how the problem was solved and thinking about other ways of double checking the answers – really getting to the crux of the question itself.
In fact, at the end of each lesson, Roma would run through with Nadja what they had covered in the lesson and how to problem solve, reminding Nadja of any new tips that she had picked up along the way.
The great thing about having an online maths tutor is that it’s affordable, with lessons starting from just £9.99 a week.
It’s personalised learning, meaning that you child has lessons that are tailored to them and their needs – it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy, which is really important to parents – and their kids.
There are parent and student portals, plus weekly progress reports – so even if, like me, maths isn’t your forte, you can still follow your child’s progress on a weekly basis.
The extra SATs revision that Nadja has been putting in with Matr has paid dividends for her confidence levels. She’s a natural worrier and has been quite anxious about having to take exams, but by reinforcing to Nadja that she can problem-solve has given her the confidence to:
(a) not panic
(b) read the question slowly and carefully
(c) demonstrate how she solved the problem to show her understanding
I’m super pleased that Nadja got to experience Matr sessions – and now that we’ve done so, I wouldn’t hesitate in signing her up for more lessons to boost her confidence.
But don’t just take my word for it – here’s Nadja in action with Matr – and what she thought of it herself…
I worked in collaboration with Matr in return for an honest review of their online platform.
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