QuickSmart Parents' Comments
It is important to consider the parents' perceptions of the program in order to "bring to life" the results of QuickSmart. While this has a the potential to be regarded as "selling the spin" it is important to look beyond the positiveness of the comments to the underlying messages of success and hope that these parents see in their children that was not in evidenced in the years before the students had undertaken the QuickSmart program.
Teachers and researchers interviewed many hundreds of parents about how they felt their children reacted to the QuickSmart program and what benefits resulted from their participation. In all cases their views were positive. Examples of parent's comments are included below. These are presented to try and capture the usually life-changing and intensely personal journey that students travel with QuickSmart.
"Our daughter thought she learnt heaps. It helped her greatly. We appreciated the opportunity the program offered and we believe the benefits for our child were great."
"He told me how well he was doing and how he was improving. His speeds were getting better and so was his accuracy. He enjoyed the work on the laptop. Yes, it was a good experience for my son and he is a lot more confident in his approach and more willing to take risks with his maths."
"My daughter has improved her basic maths knowledge. She no longer uses her fingers. I believe she has learnt a lot. She enjoys maths in the normal classroom now."
"QuickSmart has had a huge effect on our daughter's performance at school – most notably the Basic Skills results. In Year 3 she was in the bottom 30% of the state. This year, in Year 5, she was in the top 30%."
"My child had a brilliant year in 2004. No doubt QuickSmart contributed to her success. In 2002, I had to force her to school and hand her over to the teacher. Today she loves school and is so excited to be going on to secondary. It is all we hear about."
"The school and QuickSmart combined have created a child who wants to learn. She now happily completes homework!"
"QuickSmart should be part of the school forever. For kids who are having a bit of trouble with the basics, the program has given them the boost they need to catch up, keep up and stay confident with themselves."
"Hugely beneficial to our child. Such an amazing change in his ability. Without QuickSmart he'd still be lost."
Finally four extended responses of parents' comments are included below:
"Remarkable! From a little girl who verbalised she was 'dumb' and completed homework for Maths amidst tears to a confident, have-a-go child who now knows she is a good and able and successful learner! No external gratification/rewards can convince children they can do it. The QuickSmart program has delivered skills and accuracy, underpinned by a 'have-a-go' and 'trust your head' philosophy. ALL K.L.A's at school 'shine' now as my child is now a 'QuickSmart Girl'."
Three parents (one with two children in QuickSmart, one whose children attend an Indigenous school, and a third who reports a new way of functioning) responded in depth to the end of program survey. Their comments follow.
"My children have reached their goals and set new goals. They have a positive morale in their attitude to learning thanks to QuickSmart. Since my children have been involved with the program it has given them positive directions. The program has enhanced their desire to keep learning maths in everyday situations. My children always praised the program. They love solving any challenging problem that is put in front of them. The QuickSmart program is "excellent". I've noticed the attitudes towards learning and challenging things. It has had an impact on my children’s learning of education and how they can be independent in solving situations in Maths and English. To sum it all up – Thank you for involving Our Primary School in this program. It has been a great asset to our children’s education and the instructor has done an "excellent" job in delivering this program to our children."
"The QuickSmart program for my child has and is the only solution for my daughter's development. I also see positive outcomes from other students that participate in this program. This program MUST be part of our school's future and their development of the corporation. I am pleased to assist in any way to reply and assist my child in the program especially at home. I have seen my daughter change in her performance over the past year as a participating student of QuickSmart. My daughter has a new quick approach in thinking to anything. If her answer is not correct she will question it. She has an open mind and will question another point of view. With this approach, my daughter is like a runaway train. She enjoys all tasks that have to be done from school in general and in QuickSmart. I must continue this support at home. My daughter is always thinking and using her knowledge about what QuickSmart is presenting to her. Her solution is that she never stops talking and questions everything at home, down the street, in the shops, shopping centre, even travelling. Information about the program has come to me from others e.g., teachers, admin staff, the children (past and present), the instructor, community members. All views are very positive. Any new development for our school must be an asset to the organisation. Our school must build on this program to keep its integrity. The children enjoy it and the development in school behaviour comes from QuickSmart. At home we have a library day on every Saturday at the town library. I set aside time for homework in which the first things my girls do when they get home. Please continue the development at our school for the children. As a concerned parent, our children need their own pathway through school and after. It’s a pleasure in any way to assist and participate as a parent!"
"... is a quiet child who is always very co-operative in class and will never draw attention to himself. He is a "slow processor" and always appears to be listening in class. However, he often does not understand exactly what to do and does not have the confidence to ask. The result of this is that he attempts many tasks when he is still unsure what to do, but will complete it incorrectly anyway. He hides a lot of his work. QS has changed many of these behaviours. At home he has become more confident to ask where he went wrong or to admit that he doesn't know what to do. A lot of frustration has gone and he listens now with the confidence that he 'will' understand what to do. A large wall blocking his learning has been lifted."