Friday, January 28, 2011

Good Marks for Ten Marks

Guest Reviewers: Tex and Hubby

Ten Marks is an online math program ideally suited to use by homeschoolers and public or private-schooled students in grades 3-10.

The name Ten Marks comes from the company's concept that math does not have to be an endless stream of practice problems that bury you under the weight of their monotony and repetition. Instead, they offer problems in bite-sized chunks (ten problems for each worksheet), with each problem set building upon the previous one.

According to their website, the TenMarks approach to effective math learning is based on 3 simple principles:

  1. Personalized Learning Makes All the Difference.
  2. On-Demand Instruction Provides Help When You Need it.
  3. Practice Builds Confidence and Improves Achievement.
Ten Marks offers its problem sets in small portions, with four ten multiple-choice problem interactive worksheets expected to be completed online each week, along with one twenty problem test. Parents and/or children can adjust this expectation to slow it down, or to "fast track" through areas in which the student is already excelling. When a student encounters difficulty on a problem, the student can click on "hints" up to three times to receive help. Students can also choose to view a short marker board style video lecture on each topic.

According Ten Marks: "Interactive worksheets make the curriculum dynamic, adjusting automatically to the needs of the student, and accommodating different learning styles and aptitudes. With a personalized program, students become engaged and the learning is more relevant."

Upon completing of certain levels of work, the student can unlock games or "earn" parent-set, customized rewards (such as the purchase of a long-awaited book or more game time over the weekend). Each week the parent is reminded of the worksheets' availability with an email, and parents can monitor student progress by accessing the parent portion of the site. Students monitor their own progress as outlines of people (representing areas of knowledge) fill in according to their mastery of each area. Certificates of completion can also be printed from the site once the required worksheets are finished.
What Tex and Hubby liked about the program:
  • It allows students to control pace and content
  • It adjusts to the students level of knoweldge in each area
  • The worksheets are brief, not overbearing
  • The content is progressive, and builds one topic on another
  • The site is easily navigated
  • The simplicity of the structure makes it ideal for tutoring, or supplementing an already existing curriculum
  • There are a wide variety of topics and levels covered here (over 100 core topics per grade), all aligned to your particular state's math standards (view your state's customized curriculum HERE).
  • The designers of this program acknowldge that life (and holidays) happen and offer an option to pause your subscription to account for those holidays, family travel, and emergencies, so you never have to feel you are wasting your money
  • The price is very reasonable
What Tex (mostly) and Hubby did not like about the program:
  • Tex did not prefer just seeing a markerboard to seeing an actual person teach the topics. He likes people. Seeing a friendly face makes him feel more connected to the topic and the teaching.
  • Tex felt that sometimes a particular teacher was difficult to understand (had an accent) and this threw his ability to understand the information off.
  • Hubby felt that the multiple choice format gave students an opportunity to guess when they are uncertain, instead of having to really know the answer. Plus, the program allows you to try-try again, which is fine when you are going for mastery, but if you are guessing with multiple choice answers, it just gives you more opportunities to guess wildly.
TenMarks is affordable and offers a money back guarantee. Pricing options (per student) are:
  • $10 a month
  • $49 for 6 months
  • $89 for 12 months (the most economical pricing)
Here is a video from the site which explains how the program works:

View a few other videos about the program HERE.

Who would this program work best for?
  • A homeschooled student who already has a book curriculum, but needs a bit of help to get through some trouble spots
  • A public or private schooled student who needs some after-school practice/tutoring (definitely cheaper than a tutor!)
  • Any math student who wants to brush up in general on many areas and desires a quick and easy daily exercise to help with that goal
  • We are not unschoolers, but feel that unschoolers might find this a good way to get math in without being too heavy on the written exercises and time committment
Do you want more information about Ten Marks than you see here? You can contact the company HERE and ask away!

Would you like to see other reviews by TOS Crew members who reviewed this program at the same time we did? Then click HERE.



We received a complimentary subscription to Ten Marks for the purposes of giving it a fair trial and an honest review here on our blog. What you read here are our experiences and we do not expect or guarantee that your experiences with this product will be the same. If you have questions regarding our experiences with this program, please feel free to contact me.


Marie said...

Thanks for the heads up about Mighty Books Jr. We did have one that was too scary for my little girl. It was an old story about a fox and a chicken. I'll be sure to keep an ear close to the computer as they listen. So far I've really enjoyed it though. I was able to get ready for bed and clean up supper dishes while they listened to books :-)

Marie said...

Hi Heather,
I'm trying to access the TumbleBooks website that you suggested but I believe I have to use your library's email address. Have you used it before, did you sign in with your library's un and pw? It looks like a great website :-)

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