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Jr. Member
Feb 9, 2010
157 posts
67 upvotes
Aurora

Spirit of math

Hello,

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

Thanks
28 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
157 posts
67 upvotes
Aurora
Thanks,

It might work for my son, but I hope he still has some interest in his school math...
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 21, 2005
3061 posts
245 upvotes
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.
Newbie
Sep 10, 2013
1 posts
2 upvotes
NORTH YORK
freeisnice wrote:
Aug 15th, 2012 8:27 pm
Hello,

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

Thanks
I think that parents who decide to send their students to Spirit of Math do some serious research. There are a number of concerns in regards to this program, which I will outline below.

1. Kim Langen, the CEO and co-founder of Spirit of Math, has no math or education background. Her background includes "dance" and being a housewife (full biography which she wrote herself can be found here http://kimlangen.ca/about-the-author).

2. The school's other co-founder is a teacher with a background in theology and commerce, who taught at a Private Junior High School in North York. The highest education he achieved was only a Master's degree.

3. The company's aim is clearly for profit, as Kim Langen clearly states on her profile. Franchising is an important part of her business model.

4. The program has not been produced by any experts in any educational field, and has not been tested in any way.

5. The program has not been shown to improve math scores in any objective way.

6. She clearly states this is not a tutorial program.

7. She states this program is for "gifted" kids, thus if a child cannot successfully complete the program it is obviously his fault or the fault of the parents.

So in summary if you send your child to Spirit of Math, be aware that at considerable expense your child will do extra work that has not been proven to benefit his/her math ability or test scores in school. I personally feel it is a money-making scheme that taps into parental anxiety about our children's ability to compete and succeed in school, but again is of no proven benefit.

By the way, I have no affiliation with any after school educational programs. I am a medical doctor with three children who looked into Spirit of Math to give them an edge in school. When I saw the work they were doing in Spirit of Math I was surprised. I feel it is definitely not worth the expense.
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Apr 4, 2004
3889 posts
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Toronto
TorontoDoc wrote:
Sep 11th, 2013 2:08 pm
I think that parents who decide to send their students to Spirit of Math do some serious research. There are a number of concerns in regards to this program, which I will outline below.

1. Kim Langen, the CEO and co-founder of Spirit of Math, has no math or education background. Her background includes "dance" and being a housewife (full biography which she wrote herself can be found here http://kimlangen.ca/about-the-author).

2. The school's other co-founder is a teacher with a background in theology and commerce, who taught at a Private Junior High School in North York. The highest education he achieved was only a Master's degree.

3. The company's aim is clearly for profit, as Kim Langen clearly states on her profile. Franchising is an important part of her business model.

4. The program has not been produced by any experts in any educational field, and has not been tested in any way.

5. The program has not been shown to improve math scores in any objective way.

6. She clearly states this is not a tutorial program.

7. She states this program is for "gifted" kids, thus if a child cannot successfully complete the program it is obviously his fault or the fault of the parents.

So in summary if you send your child to Spirit of Math, be aware that at considerable expense your child will do extra work that has not been proven to benefit his/her math ability or test scores in school. I personally feel it is a money-making scheme that taps into parental anxiety about our children's ability to compete and succeed in school, but again is of no proven benefit.

By the way, I have no affiliation with any after school educational programs. I am a medical doctor with three children who looked into Spirit of Math to give them an edge in school. When I saw the work they were doing in Spirit of Math I was surprised. I feel it is definitely not worth the expense.
Interesting...thanks for sharing.

I had similar doubts, but my son is too young (SK) to make a commitment. Did you do any research into UCMAS? Any opinions on them?
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2006
1425 posts
113 upvotes
Midtown Toronto
TorontoDoc wrote:
Sep 11th, 2013 2:08 pm
I think that parents who decide to send their students to Spirit of Math do some serious research. There are a number of concerns in regards to this program, which I will outline below.

1. Kim Langen, the CEO and co-founder of Spirit of Math, has no math or education background. Her background includes "dance" and being a housewife (full biography which she wrote herself can be found here http://kimlangen.ca/about-the-author).

2. The school's other co-founder is a teacher with a background in theology and commerce, who taught at a Private Junior High School in North York. The highest education he achieved was only a Master's degree.

3. The company's aim is clearly for profit, as Kim Langen clearly states on her profile. Franchising is an important part of her business model.

4. The program has not been produced by any experts in any educational field, and has not been tested in any way.

5. The program has not been shown to improve math scores in any objective way.

6. She clearly states this is not a tutorial program.

7. She states this program is for "gifted" kids, thus if a child cannot successfully complete the program it is obviously his fault or the fault of the parents.

So in summary if you send your child to Spirit of Math, be aware that at considerable expense your child will do extra work that has not been proven to benefit his/her math ability or test scores in school. I personally feel it is a money-making scheme that taps into parental anxiety about our children's ability to compete and succeed in school, but again is of no proven benefit.

By the way, I have no affiliation with any after school educational programs. I am a medical doctor with three children who looked into Spirit of Math to give them an edge in school. When I saw the work they were doing in Spirit of Math I was surprised. I feel it is definitely not worth the expense.
I don't know anything about Spirit of Math beyond the fact that their graduates are scoring very well on some national math contests my kids' day school participated in. My kids are too young for the program, so I plan on checking it out more in the future. However, I think your comments are unfair and out of line. Most of your comments refer to the business model, which centre around the fact that it's designed to generate profit to the franchisees. Well, that's how business works, and Kumon, and every other tutoring franchise model emphasizes the same thing too. This doesn't make the program evil or ineffective.

I have no idea whether the SOM program is effective, or really what it is. However, I note that there's aren't copious amounts of objective, unbiased research on the effectiveness of most programs my kids are in either. Actually, I'll turn it around, find me one after-school program your kids are in where there are objective tests demonstrating the effectiveness of the method vis-a-vis its competition?
Sr. Member
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Aug 15, 2003
832 posts
125 upvotes
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
537 upvotes
It seems to be 'worth it' if the child is a) good at math and b) loves to do a lot of math
Deal Fanatic
Jan 18, 2004
5702 posts
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TorontoDoc wrote:
Sep 11th, 2013 2:08 pm
I think that parents who decide to send their students to Spirit of Math do some serious research. There are a number of concerns in regards to this program, which I will outline below.

1. Kim Langen, the CEO and co-founder of Spirit of Math, has no math or education background. Her background includes "dance" and being a housewife (full biography which she wrote herself can be found here http://kimlangen.ca/about-the-author).

2. The school's other co-founder is a teacher with a background in theology and commerce, who taught at a Private Junior High School in North York. The highest education he achieved was only a Master's degree.

3. The company's aim is clearly for profit, as Kim Langen clearly states on her profile. Franchising is an important part of her business model.

4. The program has not been produced by any experts in any educational field, and has not been tested in any way.

5. The program has not been shown to improve math scores in any objective way.

6. She clearly states this is not a tutorial program.

7. She states this program is for "gifted" kids, thus if a child cannot successfully complete the program it is obviously his fault or the fault of the parents.

So in summary if you send your child to Spirit of Math, be aware that at considerable expense your child will do extra work that has not been proven to benefit his/her math ability or test scores in school. I personally feel it is a money-making scheme that taps into parental anxiety about our children's ability to compete and succeed in school, but again is of no proven benefit.

By the way, I have no affiliation with any after school educational programs. I am a medical doctor with three children who looked into Spirit of Math to give them an edge in school. When I saw the work they were doing in Spirit of Math I was surprised. I feel it is definitely not worth the expense.
Thanks.
We have an interview for my daughter. Might need to look into them more before committing.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 15, 2003
832 posts
125 upvotes
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
157 posts
67 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
3889 posts
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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.
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