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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sumdog is a way for kids to practice math skills while playing fun, math-related games against friends, classmates, or students from around the world. Games are individualized for each kid's ability level, so users can play against opponents who have the same skills. It's free, but a subscription to Sumdog Premium provides more games and more detailed feedback.
What's it about?
Sumdog has 25 free math practice games customized to your child's ability level. Guided by a cute orange dog, you'll explore a town filled with activities such as Talent Show, Submarine, and Alien Invasion. Click the images and you go to the games, which cover arithmetic, fractions, decimals, percentages, equations, and money. When you get a correct answer, you get a coin, which you can spend on costumes and the like for your avatar. Activities adapt and continue to challenge as you build skills in each subject.
Is it any good?
Kids love choice and competition, and Sumdog provides both as well as real math practice. Each game is timed, creating a sense of urgency and excitement and helping kids build speed and increase math-fact fluency. Kids will love the incentive to earn coins to shop for their avatars, although some of the female clothing options are provocative. Some games are a bit much, such as Touchdown: dizzying graphics may prevent kids from focusing on math. However, Sumdog provides a bunch of types of games, which addresses various learning styles.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Families can talk about ways math is useful in everyday life. How do we use it in home-improvement projects?
Families can talk to their local school districts about entering one of the Sumdog math competitions.
For families interested in other math competitions, see if you have a local Math Olympiad team.
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