This post is brought to you by Test4Time and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
During the school year, I am never too worried about the amount of time that my 12-year-old son spends on his devices. He’s a straight-A student, goes to a school that has a rigorous curriculum and loves coming home to work on coding projects. His phone shuts off at a certain time each night, and he gets a good night sleep so being on his cell phone or his tablet doesn’t bother me.
During this time of staying home though, I have to admit that there has been a lot more screen time than what normally happens around my house. While I’m usually not too worried about it, I wanted to find something that would get his brain working and help him to keep his math skills up.
Earn Screen Time By Doing Math Problems
Test4Time is an Android app that you can download on your child’s devices that makes kids “earn” their screen time by answering age-appropriate (grades K-6) math questions. Parents can choose to block selected apps on their kid’s mobile device. To unblock an app, kids answer math questions. For every correct response, they earn one minute of screen time.
Technology can be an amazing tool, but kids can become so reliant on it and lose focus on other things. Test4Time thinks that the biggest obstacle getting in the way of improved test scores is distractions in the lives of our kids, screen time being the biggest distraction. According to Common Sense Media, screen times are differently an issue, with kids aged birth to 8-years-old spending more than 2 hours a day, tweens more than 4 hours a day and teens more than 7 hours a day on their devices.
Using the app itself is very simple to set up and simple to use. Create an account for your child (I love that you can add more than one child, perfect for shared devices like tablets) and add the grade level they are in. Block all the apps that you want your kids to earn time for (this is a great feature because you can let them use their normal apps that are needed every day, but “block” the fun apps so they have to earn time to use those). Your kids have to answer math questions and earn time to go on their favorite apps and you can set a limit on how many minutes they can earn.
You even have the ability to manually adjust your child’s screen time. If they do extra chores, you can add time to their profile or if they need time taken away, you can do that as well.
Test4Time helps to build math fluency, which is so important for kids to get past math anxiety and want to attempt to try even harder math problems. This app is also a perfect solution for the “summer slide” that we all see every summer. Kids forget a lot of the math facts that they learn in school over the summer and schools have to take the first 3 to 4 weeks reviewing what was done in the previous school year.
Just think…if your child plays on their phone for an hour a day just on school days, they will do more than 10,800 practice problems (180 school days x 60 min/day) over the course of the school year. To me, that sounds like the most positive thing that can come out of my son being on his device!
Visit the Test4Time website and download the app (or go to the GooglePlay store to download it). The first month is free; after the first month it is $.99/month.