Over the past 19 years since founding Educating Matters, I have spent a lot of time checking out products, resources, reading books and testing parenting strategies. I never recommend anything that hasn’t been tried and tested on my own 4 children.
In January, my fourth child will be sitting the selective 11+ exams and thankfully it’s the last time I will have to support a child through this process! It felt like such a big deal first time round but now that my older two have been through GCSEs, A levels and University applications, it doesn’t hold quite the same gravitas. I have always been in favour of a non- pressurised approach and firmly believe that with solid foundations and parental support, children will end up where they need to be. It is no good preparing a child with multiple tutors and endless practice papers to pass the entrance exam to a highly academic school but then that child struggling and feeling unhappy once they are there.
Nevertheless selective exams aside, parents may be understandably feeling some anxiety about their child’s education regressing due to the many months of face to face teaching they have been missed. A close friend of mine recommended using Atom Learning with my 10 year old daughter, so we did a trial and I was so impressed and intrigued that I called them up directly to find out more.
Whilst many of you and your children will be absolutely sick of ‘homeschooling’ and want to back off from any formal learning during the summer holidays, I just thought I would share my great new discovery. It will be useful for any of you with a child aged 7 to 11. Whether you simply want to reinforce their learning for Key Stage 2 or prepare them for SATs or a selective exam for independent or grammar schools.
Atom Learning was founded in 2018 and is a Key Stage 2 online and fully adaptive teaching and learning platform covering English, Maths and Reasoning (Science will be released in September). The platform helps children consolidate Key Stage 2 knowledge and prepare for SATs, any senior school entry and School-Specific Assessments.
There is a free platform for schools and a home platform called ‘Atom Nucleus’ which can provide a personalised, engaging and motivating experience.
Here is a summary (in no specific order) of what I like about it:
- It uses AI to pitch the questions at an appropriate level for your child, so it genuinely adapts to find that fine balance of stretching a child but not to the extent that they feel frustrated.
- It helps to build confidence.
- There is a really simple, intuitive section for parents where you can see detailed performance analytics and determine your child’s strengths and any gaps. You can then use this information to set more work accordingly.
- All the content has been handwritten by professional teachers rather than being automated by a computer.
- There are hundreds of video tutorials led by teachers and an option when a child sees a tricky question to click ‘I’m not sure’ and have a teacher share a brief video explaining how to reach the answer.
- When a student gets a question wrong, they can immediately see an explanation of the correct answer.
- It is genuinely fun and engaging, my daughter is much more enthusiastic and motivated to use this over the usual 11+ workbooks.
- It covers English, Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning all in one place and from September, they are adding science.
- During the summer they are offering free, online, intensive summer courses across all subjects.
- It has unlimited, adaptive mock tests.
- It is a viable alternative to expensive 1:1 tutoring.
Educating Matters have managed to secure a discount for parents using this link
You can also sign up to a free trail which is what I did initially so you and your child can really get a feel for how it works.
Or it may be something you leave through August but start up again in September.