Friday, January 28, 2011

Ten Marks: A review

From time to time I will be posting reviews of products as part of the TOS homeschool crew. I do not receive any compensation for these reviews, just a chance to try the products with my lovely guinea pigs  children. In exchange for the product, I share my honest opinions and experiences.

What is Ten Marks?

This is an online math program for students from third grade through high school. It is marketed as a supplement for homeschoolers and public schoolers. I am using it with two of my boys.. Paperboy, is in his last term of Algebra with a real math book, so I signed him up for Geometry. Random is using it for 8th grade math. He is not using any other program besides Tenmarks. This online program offers video instruction, hints, assigned online worksheets, tests, and progress reports. There are incentives for mastering concepts in the form of online games as rewards. After you sign up, they send you email reminders of the worksheets assigned and their due dates.

What do I think about it?

At this point in our homeschooling years, I must confess. I am tired of correcting math papers. O.K. I said it. I used to fantasize about being a math teacher when I grow up. After 9 years of homeschooling, I am cured of that dream. And now my reality has improved, Ten Marks corrects the work for me. I love you Tenmarks. That alone has been a blessing to me. If only they would correct Paperboy's algebra work for me.

Paperboy's Experience:

For the first few lessons, Paperboy was soaring. I was worried that it would be too easy. Three lessons later, he found out Geometry is not a piece of cake. Paperboy has never been fond of video instructions. He tolerates the instructions and quickly tries to figure it out all by himself. This is where the hints offered came in handy. Then he realized using the hints kept him in the concept longer because he had not mastered the subject. I love it that there are no shortcuts in learning here. He loves the program and will continue with it through geometry.

Random's  experience.

Random and math are like oil and water. Despite his bitterness, has decided this is his favorite math program. He has always loved any work that is done on the computer and this is no exception. I watched as he was introduced to exponents and the Pythagorean theory, and waited for the tears. They never came. He isn't scoring strait A's in his work, but Tenmarks is keeping track of his strengths and weaknesses and will keep assigning him what he needs. I look forward to seeing improvement in his math scores when he takes the Stanford Achievement tests in the spring. Math is warm and fuzzy again to him.

My Experience

This is a keeper in our home. I would love to share an update at the end of our school year. At first, I had a nagging doubt that using it exclusively for a student may not be rigorous enough. I learned that I can assign extra practice sheets to maintain my title of 'mean math mom'. I choose the extra worksheet for the day based on the report that I can access to see my son's progress. I contacted customer service by email with some questions. I am pleased to say they answered my questions within an hour. There were a few times when there server was colossally slow or wouldn't load. I came back an hour or so later and the problem was resolved. I later found out it was an isolated incident which was resolved the next day.

Because this is internet based, when Random takes off for sunny Arizona next month, he can still keep up on his math work. If I was a really nice mom, I could use the hold or vacation feature that is available, but I'm not. He will be accessing it from Pops and Grandma's house and I will be able to check his progress. How neat is that?

If you are interested in Tenmarks for your family, here are few more details:
It's price structure is as follows:
$10 per month per student
$49 for a 1/2 year
$89 for a whole year.
Visit their site Don't take Random's word for it, see what my other crew mates have to say about Tenmarks over here. If you're thrifty like me, try Tenmarks here for free. If you are a visual learner, click on this funny video below that explains Tenmarks much better than I can.

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Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by to check out my blog's new makeover. It was very time consuming but I am happy with it. My advice, now that I have done some things with code, is to keep searching the internet for what you want to do until you find clear instructions. Most instructions I read were too hard to follow (at least for me) lol!

Debbie in MS said...

My youngest son is using TenMarks. My one frustration is that the system automatically assigns the tests. I would like to be able to re-assign a test. Also in my "Playing" with the program to learn, he was assigned tests and I can't get them removed. I told him to ignore these tests but it really bothers him.

This aside there are many positives to TenMarks.