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  • Nov 13th, 2017 7:55 pm
May 23, 2015
2 posts
Oakville, ON
I am enrolled in the spirt of math program i am in grade 5 and I love math.Here is a students view of the proagram.
At first i love it but now not so munch but it is just my firstyear so i will do it again.The stuff we were leraning was at least 1 grade ahead
there was also alot of homework and somtimes my weekend would be filled with homerworkbut then again i was the best in my class when it came from math.It is a big time eater too.47$ a classso on and so on but overall i would give it a 3-star rating
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Nov 6, 2007
1373 posts
North York
I know of two students (age 12 and 13) who have been doing Spirit of Math since they were 7 or 8. I asked several times what their marks were in both school and Spirit of Math and both of them are only getting 70s in school and 60s in Spirit of Math. One kid goes to William Berczy (YRDSB) and the other one goes to Bayview Middle School (TDSB).

I honestly am not sure if Spirit of Math will help with marks in school if that's one of the reason behind enrolling your child in the program.
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Oct 26, 2003
27006 posts
public education system has failed pretty hard if more and more people need to enroll in private or special classes to succeed.
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Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2015
974 posts
We will have our oldest entering in the fall. I have been researching it for two years and know others in it. My child asked to go, and I was hesitant because of the cost and also the time comittement last year, after two, I gave in.

It is very different than kumon, which is worksheet based. I have interviewed and sat on a class. It is extremely challenging. It took us hours to do the trial homework because we came midway through the the year, and had to catch up.

It is not meant to be tutoring, but it is very interactive and collaborative which I liked. They gave them a lot of different tools to problem solving, which will be helpful. If your child is not committed and doesn't love math, then don't do it. It will be a fight every week. My child really liked the challenge, so I am willing to give it a try.
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Apr 4, 2004
3888 posts
I'll add my experience.

So I did end up enrolling my son to SoM. He's in Grade 1 now. It's been alright, but he still complains that it's too boring. I once observed him in class and overheard the girl next to him ask him for help. He explained the problem to her but she didn't understand. So he just told her to copy his work. Then, I saw the teacher come by with some blocks and told him to play with them.

I plan to speak with the teacher soon about options available to him. He clearly isn't being challenged by the work and is probably an impediment to the teacher and class.

I'm honestly tempted to pull my son out of school to home school him in math and sciences at night. There are home school parents who have regular social meet ups during the day, so I can join that for his social development. I'd also have him spend time with his grandparents, learning things outdoors, and just doing other activities. He's just so bored with school already that I can see his behaviour and attitude changing. Would any of you go that far to help your kid?
Sr. Member
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Dec 26, 2007
924 posts
Considering the age of your child, you might want to consider Oxford Learning. Their Little Readers program focuses on early literacy and math. My daughter attends their Little Readers program and is progressing very well.
Oct 9, 2015
1 posts
North York, ON
The SOM program is challenging and is usually a grade ahead of regular school's math.

The instructors and staffs however lack the professional ethic and responsibility any teacher should have. They simply hand out problems to the kids and correct them. They do very little to teach and help kids learn proper problem solving skills and discipline. If your kids are falling behind in class, you will need to teach your kids to catch up yourself at your own time, or pull them out of the class.

You are basically paying $50/class for them to hand out worksheet to your children. Don't expect the "teachers" to actually teach or coach the children in any positive way.
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2015
974 posts
I have to say that i have found the teacher and the campus director very professional so far. I sat in a couple of classes, and found the explanation good, and the classroom control well Magyars. Perhaps different locations have different caliber of teachers. I did have my child do a make up class in another campus, and she did say the teacher didn't explain as well.

So far we have been very happy for SOM. It has been the first time my child has had any challenge, and it's been good for her.
Oct 24, 2015
1 posts
Toronto, ON
i dont think spirit of math is a good idea. my daughter does it and hates if. every week she haates going and they give ti much homework. it takes alit if time and my daughtef is not as hapy anymore. i really regret siging her up for it and i will never do it again.
Oct 4, 2016
1 posts
We too went for the interview and my daughter was "selected". I was so disappointed with the interviewer's questions and aptitude. He was the principal of the institute !!
Still we thought one person's impression shudn't be used as a yard stick to assess the program and enrolled her.

The first class itself was so disappointing..and the syllabus even more so...The drills are designed in such a way that the students generate the numbers..parents check the answers, and mark the progress. Guess what in the end we do all the work necessary and they take the credit..

My daughter is still in the program and doing well, but I am taking her out as soon as I am allowed to. It's like a scam..They have designed a program where they take an already intelligent child..make parents do all the work and be credited for it. They are just like any other program except that they claim to be different and price u high for the same.

There is no explanation of the concepts or anything..just the drills and discussing by lame teachers 2 word problems every week and high school children helping and monitoring the kids in the class.

I atleast feel that's not the way my child needs to be taught maths. I definitely would recommend thinking twice before enrolling or try it out few classes and see whether you would like to continue or not. They do give you the option of cancelling after first few classes.
User avatar
Jul 5, 2004
22206 posts
divx wrote:
May 24th, 2015 9:33 pm
public education system has failed pretty hard if more and more people need to enroll in private or special classes to succeed.
It hasn't failed, but far too many parents feel if their kids don't become rich that they aren't successful, so they push them as hard as they can at a young age. Social skills are more important than math skills, IMO, and too many kids are lacking social skills due to their parents forcing them to focus solely on school work and after school programs.
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Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2015
974 posts
Just an update for those considering. We entered out second year of SOM, and our youngest asked to enter her first, she is in grade 2. My kids are both enjoying it, and asked to go back. The instruction has still been very good, and professional.

Now, that I understand the program more, I feel I can speak to whom this might be good for.

The program here, is different than what they learn at school, which I am totally fine. I am finding what they learn at school has been dumbed down. My kids both were bored with math at school (and most subjects), and haven't found too many things at school challenging or requiring much effort. My oldest is very bright, but tends to more academical and a linear thinker. I found spirit of math is teaching them to think of thinks in different ways, and focuses more on the problem solving. My child has almost a photographic memory which helps her on the basics of operations. However, when it comes to applying critical thinking in ways that aren't in books, it's more challenging for her. SOM Takes regular problems and puts a twist on them, which I like for my oldest.

SOM is also good for getting your basic functions learned. They do drills which helps with speed and mental math, which is pretty foundational, which our schedule of isn't teaching well. 1/2 the kids in the grade 5 class in school are still having problems with their multiplication, so they teacher has play catch up.

They also have the kids graphing their results on their drills. The first few months were really hard for my oldest and she was scoring lower. By graphing she was actually able see progress, and that was important to us. At school she always starts at the top and expects it. At som, was the first time she didn't know everything,a no wanted to quit. It has taught her that hard work and effort matter and that she can't coast.

SOM has competitions, my oldest tried a couple last year. They were REALLY hard. She got butt kicked. This was great for her too. On one exam she decided not to study. She did awful. Next one she put more effort and better. At school, she doesn't study and still gets perfect.

I don't think SOM should be to 'Get ahead' to be smarter in regular school, as most of the kids in the class are ahead. Rather it's a good program IF They enjoy math. Ur want more challenge. It's good for solidifying the basics, creative problem solving! And teaching discipline for a reason. It's not meant just to 'keep them ahead'.
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May 1, 2003
6477 posts
If you want more challenging and thinking problems, then look at the Math Caribou Contests (free for grade 3/4)
Math Caribou
Jun 15, 2017
1 posts
My son is just finishing the grade one program at SoM, and I signed up specifically to reply to the idea that it's a scam, the teachers are unprofessional, and that parents and kids do all the work.

To be quite fair to Spirit of Math, the program is extraordinary. I have been astounded by the concepts my son has learned this year, including adding positive and negative numbers, adding fractions, and solving extremely challenging word problems. The curriculum covers the core elements we expect children to learn in public schools but that they don't (adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing with ease), as well as concepts that are one, two, or more grades above their current school grade level.

Every time my son's class has started a new unit, I have thought to myself that my son just isn't going to understand. But he does. The teachers are certified, and they are also trained in the specialized methods developed by Mr. Ledger to efficiently and effectively teach children math. As well, teachers at Spirit of Math must do a math exam themselves each year to continue working there, to ensure they have the requisite math skills. In the public school system, teachers have no such specialized math training, they more often than not rely on printing off worksheets from dubious internet sources, and the children gloss over the essentials as the teachers aim to cover all 100+ learning objectives as outlined in the curriculum. And then there are often 30+ children in a class with varying needs, which results in very little actual math instruction. Nowhere in the Ontario public school curriculum does it require children to learn their multiplication tables. Learning how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide using standard algorithm (the standard way to solve such problems) is almost an afterthought, and valued just as much as the children coming up with their own ways to solve such problems. This may sound great, but when your child gets to high school and is still counting on your fingers, it won't seem so good after all.

I feel incredibly relieved to have my child at Spirit of Math. No doubt he and we do a lot of work. It's a 1.5 hour class each week. Multiply that by 39 weeks, and your child is getting about 55 hours of instruction (deduct time for tests, etc.) Your child is simply not going to learn as much if you stop at 55 than he/she is going to learn with some additional review at home. As well, my son's class is around 12 students, and he has the (awesome) teacher, plus a helper (I think a high school student), which is way more support and instruction than he gets in his public school class. I have sat in on many lessons, (this is encouraged), and I have truly been in awe of how they teach the kids. On the other hand, I have no knowledge of what he has done in a year in public school--each week, I ask him if he did anything with numbers, and he says "no".

A final response to the people who ask couldn't you just do this yourself? Highly doubt that. I think that betrays your lack of understanding of the program, your overestimation of your own ability to teach math and of the likelihood of your child doing this much math for you each week.