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[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 9, 2010
160 posts
68 upvotes
Aurora

Spirit of math

Hello,

Has anyone sent their kids to Spirit of math??? Any reviews /opinions etc??

Thanks
29 replies
Newbie
Nov 30, 2008
90 posts
4 upvotes
My brother is enrolled in the Spirit of Math program in Mississauga. The program is quite challenging and very fast paced. When you go for the information session, they will let you know that it is not a tutorial service. The program administrator will also let you know that if your child is not at least above average in math in their day school, they will struggle in the program. A recent report card is required and they will assess your child's math skills before you enroll in the program.

It's a great program because of the collaborative method and, they really delve into each topic before moving on to the next topic. There are lots of drills to do and parents need to be on top of the homework that is assigned.

At the end of each day, there is a mental math question and everyone in the classroom has to answer the question collaboratively. It's pretty amazing to see these kids answer such challenging questions so quickly.

I'd recommend the program if your child is looking for a challenge. If you're simply looking for a tutorial service or a homework help club, this is defintely not the place.

It's also quite expensive. Each class is about $47 and is about 1.5 hours in duration. Your kid would have to attend at least once a week.

Your kid will be learning material that is at least one grade above their grade level in school. For example, my brother was in grade 7 but was learning things at the grade 8 level.

The only problem with this program is that your kids might get too bored with the math curriculum in their day school.

Hope that helps!
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 9, 2010
160 posts
68 upvotes
Aurora
Thanks,

It might work for my son, but I hope he still has some interest in his school math...
Deal Addict
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Feb 21, 2005
3078 posts
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Have a friend who has both of his daughters enrolled. They are both wicked smart :)

However, I know it was a huge time commitment for both the children and the parents. However, the results seem to be very positive.
Sr. Member
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Aug 15, 2003
860 posts
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The Spirit of Math program is used in some schools (i.e. North York and certain private schools). It does have a focus on problem solving and can definitely help with the math contests. I think whether it is "worth it" will depend on the individual teacher and how good they are at teaching it.
Deal Addict
Feb 15, 2013
2445 posts
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It seems to be 'worth it' if the child is a) good at math and b) loves to do a lot of math
Sr. Member
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Aug 15, 2003
860 posts
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Our nephew goes. It is expensive, but the materials look good. So i think it depends on the specific people running each program.

Read: http://www.spiritofmath.com/what-is-spi ... ur-history

I went through the high school portion of the program and can say I definitely did better on math contests due to some aspects of it.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 9, 2010
160 posts
68 upvotes
Aurora
I finally did send my son last year and this would be his year two with SOM.
It is a challenging program, and even he had to sit down and think thru some of his homework.
So for kids who love math is this not a bad program , and yes it is expensive.
Bur for kids who don't like math much, this not an easy program, then you will have to sit with your kid and get their homework done.
Newbie
May 10, 2010
56 posts
3 upvotes
Thornhill
I've heard this program involves a lot of time commitment and homework. I'm wondering if you don't spend the money on the institute but make such commitment, wouldn't the result be the same. I would think, it'll be. Any thoughts?
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Apr 4, 2004
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Toronto
Happy Child wrote:
Sep 16th, 2013 4:51 pm
I've heard this program involves a lot of time commitment and homework. I'm wondering if you don't spend the money on the institute but make such commitment, wouldn't the result be the same. I would think, it'll be. Any thoughts?
I thought the same about Kumon. My son was in it for a year and was excelling very quickly and enjoyed it (it was his idea to enroll in 'math school' at the age of 5). I thought the program was useless as I could just make up the worksheets myself. But it turned out that he simply wasn't as motivated having me as his instructor. He still does worksheets, but he's not nearly as motivated as he was in Kumon.
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Sep 24, 2005
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mjl_toronto wrote:
Sep 17th, 2013 9:37 am
I thought the same about Kumon. My son was in it for a year and was excelling very quickly and enjoyed it (it was his idea to enroll in 'math school' at the age of 5). I thought the program was useless as I could just make up the worksheets myself. But it turned out that he simply wasn't as motivated having me as his instructor. He still does worksheets, but he's not nearly as motivated as he was in Kumon.
i don't think that's a phenomenon unique to your boy.
“Children see magic because they look for it.”
Newbie
May 10, 2010
56 posts
3 upvotes
Thornhill
mjl_toronto wrote:
Sep 17th, 2013 9:37 am
I thought the same about Kumon. My son was in it for a year and was excelling very quickly and enjoyed it (it was his idea to enroll in 'math school' at the age of 5). I thought the program was useless as I could just make up the worksheets myself. But it turned out that he simply wasn't as motivated having me as his instructor. He still does worksheets, but he's not nearly as motivated as he was in Kumon.
Agreed, that's only natural. But there are a lot of math resources out there (mostly for older kids like my 9 year old) that they can do and have fun with it without making them feel parent pressure.
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2007
4829 posts
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Reviving this older thread for similar questions about Spirit of Math. We didn't do much research before and we registered our kid with Spirit of Math.
Although the program just started I tend to agree with TorontoDoc above. My main concern is that it looks to me they are doing a parallel program with the one in regular school, with its own rules, homework and goals. I was looking for something along the lines of the regular school curriculum maybe with some additional material to give them a better understanding of math. They seem to push on the difficulty of the problems they give instead of implementing a slower path to the most important/useful aspects of math. I am pretty sure that this way doesn't lead to better results in studying math unless the child is exceptionally gifted in which case probably any method would work.
The immediate result is a huge amount of time she has to spend to prepare her homework (in addition to school homework) without any sign that this will really have significant effects to her results in school/career.
One more thing. I couldn't find any review of this program whatsoever. I find this amazing in this era of information and technology.
Newbie
Sep 14, 2014
1 posts
Scarborough, ON
Hi mjl_toronto,

You asked about UCMAS. The program is very good when it comes to numeration (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). They teach the kids to use an abacus and eventually the kids learn to picture an abacus in their head and do mental calculations that way. The program is two hours once a week. There are two books for each level and there are ten levels in total. I enrolled my daughter when i found out that she was having a hard time in math. After watching his sister with her abacus, my son also wanted to join the program. Both my children graduated the program last year. My daughter, who was eight when she started took four years and my son, who started at age 4 graduated after three years. So, things to remember, the younger the children are, the quicker it is for them to grasp the concepts. That being said, it helps if the kids show an interest in math or are motivated as it does take a lot of commitment from both the children and their parents. To repeat what I said earlier, it helps with their numeration only. However, there are other advantages to the program. My children are more focused, more observant and can multi-task. I have recommended the program to my friends and family and they have enrolled their children in the program. I hope this helps.
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Feb 6, 2004
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Interesting to note about SOM, thanks td for that informative post, I wonder what other alternatives there other than kumon and UCMAS, I guess every private institution is about making profits anyone who tells you they aren't is lying to your face.
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