This post is sponsored by Sumdog
Our kids have been attending school virtually for months and the novelty of learning online is long gone. With little light at the end of the tunnel that gives us hope that school will resume fully in-person this spring, we’re concerned. We’re increasingly concerned about our kids’ mental health, lack of social interaction, and loss of skills and motivation.
We know it’s important for school to reopen when it’s safe but what do we do in the meantime? We want to ensure our kids are learning, engaged, and challenged but can’t monitor them on Zoom every second of the day. Thankfully Sumdog can help!
Sumdog is an online math and spelling practice site that personalizes learning for ages 5-14. It helps children practice skills through engaging games that feel more like play than learning. Questions are adapted to each child and game-based play builds confidence and skills. Content is also tied to curriculum standards.
As kids play, they’re rewarded for their accuracy. They earn coins for minutes of game play and correct answers are rewarded with 5 coins each. Coins can be redeemed for items to furnish their virtual house.
Is Sumdog learning skills gamified? Yes, but it’s an engaging and effective learning tool that keeps kids motivated. Keep reading for an overview of how it works.
How Sumdog Works
Parents start by signing up for a free Sumdog account and then add child accounts for kids in elementary through middle school.
When a child first logs in to their account, Sumdog provides games that are part of a math diagnostic. This helps Sumdog determine the right level for them.
Kids are given 15 minutes to complete the 15 question math assessment.
Questions are read aloud which helps the youngest kids who may not be fluently reading yet.
No positive feedback is given per question but Sumdog does let kids know if they’ve answered incorrectly or if they try to move on before answering a question.
At the end of the assessment, a graphic pops up on the screen letting kids know they’ve answered all 15 questions. They’re given the chance to check their answers and receive a 5 coin reward.
They’re also able to check their answers before moving on.
Sumdog makes it worthwhile by giving kids a 100 coin bonus to spend in their house.
Before game play begins, a second math diagnostic is given. This one is significantly longer with 40 questions and a 60 minute time limit.
Upon completion, kids are assigned a skill to focus on when they play games. Once they’ve mastered it, Sumdog automatically moves them on to the next skill and parents can always see their child’s assigned skill through the parent dashboard.
And what are the rewards for kids? Upon completion of the diagnostic, kids get an additional 100 coins and can choose and name their first pet.
They also get a first look at their house (aka empty room) and can customize their character.
As they play, additional items for their home are unlocked and they can keep playing Sumdog games to earn coins to spend on clothing and accessories for their character. The house is also a place where they can set their mood, add IRL friends who also play Sumdog (they’ll need the person’s Friend ID #), and gift coins to friends.
My Experience with Sumdog
In the time that I tested Sumdog, I played as a 6 year old first grader, a grade and age level I was familiar with having previously taught first grade. The math questions I got during game play were right on target for what a first grader needs to know. Easy questions involved 1-1 correspondence, beginning addition and subtraction, and geometry. I could tell Sumdog was also integrating more difficult questions as games went on which is helpful in supporting kids learning and skill development.
About the Games
Once your child moves past the diagnostic levels, they’ll be given a specific training topic.
Or they can visit the task tab to choose math, spelling, and grammar training and math facts practice.
Once they select what they want to practice, they can choose from a variety of games. With a free account, families can access 6 games.
A family subscription unlocks 25 games and the ability to set work, see progress and target specific skills for $6/month per child.
At the conclusion of each game, a child can see their game results.
They can also view the number of questions answered during the game, accuracy, coins earned, along with questions answered incorrectly.
As your child completes a game to practice their skills, they not only earn coins but their pet learns a new skill.
Is a Sumdog Family Subscription Worth It?
Yes! The 6 free games are fun but for an additional $6/month per child, a Sumdog family subscription unlocks even more games for kids under 14 to practice their skills through 16 additional games. Additional games help reinforce skills that keep kids engaged in learning longer.
There are enough games that kids will find ones that they enjoy. While games don’t come with directions, kids will probably figure them out quickly and develop favorites. There are easy games and others that are more complex and skew more towards older kids.
With the Sumdog family subscription, you can also select topics for them. Set tailored specific practice to ensure your kids are working on key skills that are right at their level. You can also add spelling and grammar questions to the games.
The family subscription also allows you to view how much time kids have spent answering questions at-a-glance. You’re also able to view the number of questions viewed and their accuracy.
Sumdog provides targeted practice in math, spelling, and grammar without adding tons more screen time to a child’s day. Games are short but let kids practice key skills that are just right for their age and ability. Kids will enjoy playing the variety of games to practice skills in an interactive way.
You don’t have to be a helicopter parent to appreciate seeing the number of questions and minutes spent practice math, spelling, and grammar along with the number of correct answers and percentage of accuracy. It’s always nice to know our kids are learning but even better if they find a platform that lets them do it on their own in a fun and engaging way.
Sumdog can be accessed on a computer or from the free app downloaded to a smartphone or tablet. It’s designed to support homeschooling families, hybrid learners, those engaged in full time virtual learning from home, and teachers through classroom accounts. Sumdog also provides free webinars to parents and teachers wanting to get more from their accounts, whether using the free or family subscription.
Go to www.sumdog.com or download the free Sumdog app for Apple or Android. Start with the free plan and you’ll probably find yourself upgrading to the family subscription shortly after!
Sumdog provided me with a family subscription for the purposes of this review and compensated me for this post but all opinions are based on personal opinion.