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Review | Affordable maths tuition from MATR

Updated: Mar 13, 2019

In partnership with MATR.org


Before we get started with our review, we're thrilled to offer our readers a two week free trial of MATR maths lessons.


Simply register using the link below and enter the following code when prompted:


FREEMATHS19 


To get started, visit the MATR website via this special link.



We’ve touched on the topic of school a couple of times here, but not for a little while.

Basically (to cut a very long story short) Tom and I are proud parents and despite the odd wobble – a flick of ink or the occasional armpit fart, Lyall and Richard are good lads with a nice group of friends.


Academically, they’re extremely bright but a tad unambitious (a bit like their Daddy) so both lads require the odd kick up the bum, proverbially – don’t panic, from the teachers to help them achieve their high potential. Likewise, Tom frequently gives me a kick up the bum too which keeps my creative motor running.


Pushing adopted kids too far or too fast at school is not good for their wellbeing or mental health. So, as parents of adopted kids, Tom and I have to remember to put the boys’ wellbeing and comfort before academic achievement. I like to think we’ve managed to find a nice balance by encouraging plenty of reading, writing and technology at home.


With that in mind, we were keen to find out more when a family friend mentioned MATR – accessible maths tuition for primary school age children. Apparently it’s more affordable than conventional maths tuition and the kids enjoy it. So, we asked MATR for the chance to review their service and report back to our readers about how Lyall and Richard got on.


The concept of MATR is simple; online lessons of either 25 or 50 minutes (each with an additional 10 or 15 minute warm-up and cool-down, respectively) for a modest monthly subscription. Lessons are designed to support KS2 objectives, by the way, to help improve your child’s understanding of maths taught at school.



So without further ado, here’s our review!


MATR Review


Before we got started with our first 60 minute lesson, I spoke to the team at MATR about the safety of our boys online (something I’m sure will cross most of your minds before your children log in to spend an hour with an adult tutor). Ellie from the MATR team reassured me:


“All of our tutors are experts in the UK primary maths curriculum. They go through a rigorous selection process.
We have robust safeguarding and vetting procedures in place for our all tutors because the children's safety is our highest priority. All tutors pass our online teacher training and safeguarding programmes before they start. Additionally, we analyse every session to track and improve their performance.”

Getting started


To get started, I signed in and set the boys up with profiles. The registration process kept the boys fairly anonymous – no need for photos, a webcam or full names. To complete registration, Richard and Lyall were tasked with an online maths test to determine their learning level.


The test was actually quite challenging (even for me), asking several questions about the placement of digits in numbers between 100,000 and 1,000,000. Like, for instance – how many ten thousands are in the number 992, 412 – in which the answer would be 92 (I think). Much to my surprise the boys really enjoyed it and the test left them wanting more. Their first lessons were the following day and they were genuinely very excited.



Anyway, following the initiation test, the boys were assigned to their tutor, Abhishek. A few minutes later I received clear confirmation emails to clarify the time and date of each lesson.


Accessing the lessons


To access a lesson, the adult signs in on the MATR website and selects their child’s name. Then, once the child’s assumed his/her position (looking proper adorable with a huge grown-up headset on) there’s a ‘take-off’ button (in the spirit of a rocket taking off) when your child is ready to go.


By the way, MATR lessons require an internet connected laptop or desktop computer with an up-to-date browser and a headset with a microphone.


There’s a short warm-up before each lesson and a couple of headphone and microphone checks. Very simple. The MATR website then counts down to the arrival of the tutor. Our boys had an hour each, one after the other, although to keep this review concise I’ll consolidate both boys into one!



Lessons


The lessons themselves are designed for children – engaging, colourful and interactive. Guided by friendly tutor, Abhishek, our boys answered increasingly complicated questions about number placement. To be honest, I don’t think I would have had the patience to calmly repeat myself as often as Abhishek did; he did a fantastic job with the boys. He was calm, clever, he had a clear voice and loads of patience.



On the screen, Abhishek could control a big cursor – allowing Lyall and Richard to see precisely what he was talking about. There’s a neat little number and note pad in the corner for the boys to type notes onto. After a few minutes into the first lesson (and some choice ‘go away Daddy’ looks from the boys) I left them to it and managed to squeeze-in an hour of quiet homework of my own (The Good Place on Netflix– pure bliss!).



After each lesson, I re-joined the boys in the dining room to listen in to the debriefing. Abhishek spent a few extra minutes summarising the lesson’s content, asking the boys to briefly run back through what they’d learned. It sounded as though the information was sticking! Perfect.


Access from anywhere


Our second week’s lessons took place during half term. We were visiting the boys’ Grandparents in rural Warwickshire so I took my laptop along and set it up in their dining room. Despite the comparatively slow broadband speed there (it’s like going back twenty years), the boys’ MATR lessons were able to take place as normal.



Their lessons at Grandma and Grandpa’s actually provided quite a calming effect on the boys just before bed time – a time which usually sees Lyall and Rich dashing around like loonies and causing a disturbance!


The portable nature of this is a real benefit to busy families like ours.


Pricing


Considering the quality and content of the sessions, we thought MATR’s pricing offered good value for money. It’s £39.99/month for a weekly 25 minute session, or £74.99/month for a weekly 50 minute session. Sessions actually consume an extra 15-20 minutes on average, too. By the way, if you’re quick they are offering a money-back satisfaction guarantee.


Summing it up (excuse the pun)


We asked Lyall and Richard what they thought of their ‘trial’ sessions, to which they both looked very disappointed it was actually just a trial and asked when their next sessions with Abhishek will be!


I guess that sums it up quite nicely – The children leave each session wanting more. This maths tuition has been cleverly designed with children in mind. The tutors take time with the kids to understand their learning level and then they challenge and gently guide them along.


We were very impressed.




Two week free trial!


We're thrilled to be able to offer our readers a two week free trial of Matr online maths lessons!


Simply register using the link below and enter the following code when prompted:


FREEMATHS19 


To get started, visit the MATR website via this special link.



Disclaimer time – here at Daddy & Dad, Tom and I work with relevant, family-friendly brands on collaborative content. This is a paid feature and we were provided with Lyall and Richard’s trial MATR sessions free of charge in return for our impartial, honest review. If you would like your brand to feature on Daddy & Dad, be our guest! Get in touch via the contact page by clicking here.

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