Updated: Maths tuition, apps and videos for SA kids
Does your child need a bit of a boost understanding and practising maths? Or is she bored at school and need some extra stimulation? Try these maths programmes that will put the joy back into mathematical discovery!
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Updated: 25 July 2017

Maths needn't be a bore, something so complicated that our kids would rather stare out the window and think of climbing trees. But the truth is, the school curriculum moves so fast that if our kids fall behind, they miss the basis on which future math lessons are build, and they'll be well and truly lost. 

Add to that a less-than-inspiring teacher, whom we all had at least once at school, and you've got a recipe for a child hating maths.

If that's the case, subscribe to these extracurricular or online maths programmes to help your child discover the joys of "getting" maths and catching up – or extending their skills in maths.

Online maths resources:

The National Department of Basic Education website 

The National Department of Basic Education has made vast amounts of online resources available to students for every grade, from Grade R through to 12. 

The content is based on the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) and includes an array of resources, from study guides to apps and video lessons

The best part is that everything is freely available! 

For more information on these learning resources click here. 

Click here for old matric papers in maths and maths literacy.

Smartick

Smartick is an innovative online math learning methodology and practice app, ideal for students aged 4 to 14. 

It's the online version of an after-school maths programme which makes use of artificial intelligence technology, automated to adjust teaching level to your child's abilities and requirements. 

The Smartick team consists of 45 engineers, mathematicians, pedagogues, psychologists and educators from around the world, and the lessons can be accessed from a tablet or computer. 

Lesson sessions are only 15 minutes long and is based on the Key Stage system (used in UK education). 

Cost: Pricing starts from R330 per month with a 15-day free trial option. 

See more details on Smartick here. 

Tabtor

An innovative programme that connects your child via the tablet app to a real-life tutor. Your child completes modules at his or her own pace, with a white space on which the child can write and work out the answer. His actions on screen are recorded for playback by the tutor, who can see where the child hesitates, makes mistakes and corrections, and struggles. The tutor gives feedback to the parent via a regular phone call, and sends the child extra modules to complete based on the areas in which they struggle.

Also great about the programme is that it changes the way the child learns. In a classroom, the teacher demonstrates a formula and the child has to memorise it and do homework. In the case of Tabtor, the child gets the opportunity to learn the formula along with a teacher.

It's a new way of doing maths, with highly trained tutors in a friendly environment in which the child doesn't fear embarrassment. There are also Tabtor centres where the child can complete these modules with other children. 

Cost: from R375 per month for tablet-learning; R540 per month for in-centre learning.

Learn more about Tabtor here. 

Top Dog

If you've ever signed up for a Vodacom deal and got an education voucher, Top Dog is the programme where you can redeem it.

This fantastic learning programme follows the CAPS curriculum in many subjects, including maths, from Grades 4 to 12. It also offers support to kids in private schools. The programme includes fully animated lectures, online tests and mock exams that get marked automatically, live chat sessions with good educators and study tips.

Cost: From R60 per month; also included in some Vodacom deals.

To learn more about Top Dog, click here.

IXL

International Maths and English web-based programme IXL is also available in South Africa with our national CAPS curriculum, from Grade R to Grade 12. It promises unlimited questions, engaging item types, and real-world scenarios with real-time feedback to parents and teachers. 

Cost: From R129 per month, or R199 including English. 

For more information about IXL Maths training, click here.

Olico

Olico offers free online maths training for Grades 7 to 9. It enables learners to practise their class work and prepare for exams, while scoring points and earning badges. It offers immediate feedback with videos, hints and worked solutions, with links to games and simulations. And teachers or tutors are also able to work alongside the pupils, manage the class, assign specific quizzes and track learner performance.

Olico works in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, South African Mathematics Foundation, Wits School of Education, the Mathematics Vision Project, Sasol-Inzalo Ukuqonda textbooks, School-Maths, Engage NY, and Parktown Girls High School.

Cost: free.

Learn more about Olico here.

Mathletics

International programme Mathletics has been independently tested by the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney, which found that students spending just 30 minutes a week on Mathletics gained an average of 9% in their class tests in Australia. This award-winning platform, which just got a beautiful redesign, is also available in the South African CAPS curriculum. This programme can be used in schools or at home.

Cost: for home-based usage: R695 per year for the first child, cheaper for every added child. 

Watch the video and find out more about Mathletics here.

Extracurricular maths lessons:

Master Maths

Mast Maths offers extra maths classes for Grade 4 to Grade 12. It has more than a hundred centres across South Africa and follows the national CAPS curriculum. Knowing that the kids of day are more visually inclined, the online tutoring sessions feature animated images and voice recordings to keep children interested and help them to visualise maths. Real-life tutors are on standby to assist in case a child can't solve the problems themselves, although they're encouraged to first try and work it out on their own. It encourages "light-bulb" moments to show the child that he or she can in fact do maths, and encourage them to start enjoying it.

Cost: Every child is assessed and the number of weekly and monthly sessions are determined in order to prepare your child for school exams. Fees are paid monthly and the more hours are taken, the less is charged per hour.

To find out more about Master Maths, click here.

Kumon

The Kumon system encourages and teaches children to learn independently, each at their own level, fostering confidence and problem-solving skills that go well beyond maths problems. The child begins at a level that is easy and joyful, and then progress at their own pace without being taught. When they get stuck, they can refer to tips and hints in their books and then figure it out themselves. Tutors mentor and assign the next level to each child based on their development and circumstances, helping them to progress. 

Cost: Kumon is a worldwide franchise with several branches in South Africa. Every centre determines its own pricing. The cost comprises a once-off joining fee and a monthly tuition fee.

Learn more about the Kumon system here.

A+ Students

Formerly known as SEMAS South Africa, A+ Students teach mathematics using the Japanese abacus (Soroban) while stimulating both the right and left side of the brain. The classes comprise brain gym exercises, flash cards, speed writing and speed listening, physical activity, finger exercises on the abacus, mental maths (anzan), tangrams, and of course calculations on the soroban. They host national competitions and send students to the international PAMA competition, we well as the ISDF Soroban Camp in Japan every year. Kids from 30 months to 11 years may be signed up.

Learn more about A+ Students here.

Abacus Maths

Started in Gauteng by sisters Sharné Bresler and Quinette Brits, Abacus Maths is based on the Japanese method of teaching maths with an abacus (Soroban) and involves all the learning senses and engages both sides of the brain. Suitable from age 3 to 13, the programme comprise weekly lessons at the centres (nationwide), homework and exams (not CAPS based). 

Cost: from R4000 per year (if paid upfront) for the weekly lessons, plus a kit fee of R450 including an abacus, books, pencil and bag. Preparation for the international competition, including 2 hours extra per week, costs an additional R5000.

To find out more about Abacus Maths, click here here.

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Parent24 doesn't endorse or guarantee the success of any of these programmes.

Have you tried extra maths classes for your child? Which programme and what was your experience? Did we miss any great maths programmes? Send your comments for possible publication to chatback@parent24.com.

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