We sent some of our first boxes to tutors who had students studying for their Maths GCSE. We wanted their real life opinions of the box – no friends, no family, just tutors! The first one is in, and we’re delighted to share the following review.
I have been asked to review a product called ‘Tutor in a Box’, on behalf of a new subscription service. All the following views are my own and I haven’t been paid for my review so everything that follows is my own honest opinion. You can find more information on the service at Tutor In A Box.
I was sent an October box to try out. Tutor in a Box is designed to help students studying for GCSE Mathematics, and is aimed at those working towards a grade 4,5 or 6. They very much emphasise making Maths fun and working it into part of everyday life, rather than something perceived negatively.
The box is a little bigger than many subscription boxes, and so won’t fit through a standard letter box. Inside, the products are well packaged.
In my box I had:
• Information sheets for parents and students, and a set of postcards
• A mathematical game called Numenko, where you make mathematical questions using small tiles, similar to Scrabble.
• Two worksheets with guides and answers.
• A mathematical calendar, so that students could do a small question each day.
• Maths badges
• A set of colouring pencils.
Working with these products has been fun and it has been interesting to see which parts worked best.
Information Sheets – These were clear and explained the concept of Tutor in a Box well to both parents and students.
Postcards – Good for displays and information, and for answering the ‘why do I need Maths?’ questions.
Numenko – This was a great game, and good quality too. It’s suitable for a wide range of ages, so the student can play it with other family members and have fun. Very portable too, so it would be good to take on holiday. Lots of scope for extending knowledge here I think, whilst making Maths fun (and in our case competitive!)
Worksheets – The design of the worksheets were attractive, and both covered useful topics for GCSE. The questions did not get too hard, there were a couple of bits of challenge but most were easily completed. I actually think this fits the aim of the box very well – students need to feel confident in their abilities and enjoy what they are doing, and the level on the worksheets was generally pitched to achieve success.
Mathematical calendar – I really liked this idea, as I think it’s important to do a little bit of maths each day. Answers are not provided, but I think they are available on the website at the end of the month. I would have preferred to have the answers available, as I think students need to know straight away on these short questions whether they have got them right or wrong. There was only one question for the weekend, so perhaps this could be made into two so that every day had a question. But overall a really lovely idea, and one that I will suggest to my students working at this level.
Maths badges – I loved these! Very quirky and a nice little fun gift. I have been giving them out to students who are working on the topics related to the badge (but I did keep one for myself to proudly wear on the school run).
Colouring Pencils – Very good quality – they worked well, sometimes pencils can be a bit faint but these were good. I would have preferred a more mathematical piece of stationery though, something like a ruler or protractor (I am always losing my protractor and ruler). I rarely use coloured pencils in maths, so they haven’t been used much at all.
Overall, I liked the idea and the products were of general good quality.
This review was written by Kate Easterbrook who is a Maths Tutor based in Plymouth. She was not paid to review the box, and was not know to Tutor In A Box prior to trying it out (so it’s her genuine thoughts of the box)!