For those parents looking for a free but simple, user-friendly reading and math practice website, ScootPad may be the answer. Designed for grades K-5, it gives practice to children based on the Common Core Standards. It is personalized, so that teachers (yes, homeschool parents may set-up a FREE account as a teacher) may continually gage their students’ needs by viewing reports of questions missed and answered correctly, and then tailoring practices to those needs. Math practices are typically 20 questions in length while reading questions are usually 10 questions in length but may include an long passage to read.
The online program can be accessed from any platform (and has so far proven true in my experience), anytime, and generates an unlimited number of practices. The site is ad free, which in a world where parents are continually having to monitor what their children are viewing, is assuring. Grades K and 1st also have an audio feature that will read the problems aloud.
Pitfalls of the program may include the timer feature. Each problem includes a clock that will not stop until the problem has been answered and the “next” button pressed. Such a feature may give added pressure to the student, but at the same time, it may encourage the student beat his/her last time. However, the timer may misconstrue how quickly the student is able to complete the concept if the student is lacking in typing skills. For instance, a first grader may be asked to write the last word of a sentence that ends with “Saturday”—a lengthy word for someone searching out each key individually on the keyboard. Also, some concepts may be brought up in practice that have not been covered yet in daily schooling, but that may actually be a springboard toward learning a new concept.
Scootpad also has a reward system in which parents may set up rewards for a certain number or hours or coins the student s collect in practice. There is an actual reward list that can be created using items that much be purchased, but parents may also reward students with a “trip to the park” or “frozen yogurt.”
One last feature is the wall. Other students can be added to the student’s classroom so they may chat with each other, including using an avatar and “mood” faces. Kids get a kick out of seeing kids they know on screen, in a private, secure environment.
Overall, there are some problems with ScootPad, just like any academic website, but there are plenty of benefits to practicing the math and reading concepts they freely offer to parents, teachers, and students.