Do you struggle with fun ways of helping your kids learn their math facts? As adults, we know how important these are as part of everyday life skills. That is sometimes hard to convince our kids of in their limited exposure to real life situations in how these are used day in and day out. We have played games of war with cards using math facts, completed a beach ball toss with math facts written on the panels of the beach ball, used flashcards, and sang songs. When we were offered the opportunity to review a computer game that helped our 8 year old review and learn his facts, we were excited to see how this additional strategy would be received. Enter Math Rider on the scene.
The Math Rider software comes as a software download with a lifetime subscription for $47. Free updates are provided for as long as you have the software loaded. This package includes the ability for multiple family members to create accounts in the software, so it is a great deal for families with several elementary aged children. It includes review of all addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems up through the 12 fact family.
Upon opening the software, the first step is to create your login information.
After logging in, your child will see a landscape of their royal corner of the kingdom. At this point, they can check their statistics on how they are doing with different math facts, they can practice select facts, or they can begin their next quest.
If they choose to start a quest, their commission is read to them about the challenge for their quest. They may need to find a treasured object that has been stolen, free a princess, or find a rare object. Then the math begins.
The player must accumulate a certain number of points through correct responses to the math problems and gain 100% accuracy for the math function they are working on. This generally takes repeating the quest multiple times. The horse that the rider is riding adjusts its speed depending on the quickness of the riders accurate responses to the facts presented.
When the rider selects his quest, he may begin at various levels. The easy level is set for math facts involving the numbers 0-5. The advanced level is set for numbers 0-12. Students must complete the advanced level in order to open up the mastery quests which will allow them to receive the ultimate reward of each math function’s final achievement.
So What Did We Think:
We use a very popular homeschool math curriculum which only covers the math facts up through the 10’s. As a mom, I was excited that this program went the extra step of going through the 12’s facts. My son found this to be challenging as he really had only learned the basic math facts through the 10’s and then used carrying. borrowing, and other double digit strategies in his daily work.
The download process of the software and also working with it did not pose any technical issues that we had to resolve. The process was seamless. It is important to make sure on the front end that your computer meets the system requirements of the software. The requirements can be found here.
The important thing is what our son thought. He honestly had mixed feelings. Inspite of his competitive nature, he felt overwhelmed at times by the requirement of the 100% accuracy in order to really complete the mastery of a math function. He was encouraged by the map that revealed his progress along the quest route, but had a hard time getting his mind around how he could complete the quest on the map but not have “completed” the quest and earned the prize. In his mind, finishing should mean “finished” and not “try again”.
I felt that the graphics used in the software were very good. When I asked my son what he thought of them, he said he never got a chance to see them. At first I chalked this up to being a boy thing, but then I watched him play. The speed with which the facts were presented and the accuracy that was required created a situation where he was so focused on completing the task that he didn’t have a chance to smell the roses along the way.
The real question isn’t about graphics, but whether he actually learned his math facts better in using Math Rider. I would say that his response time and accuracy have improved. The challenge lies in that he does not have a burning desire to finish the other math functions in the program because of the high pressure he felt in speed and accuracy coupled with still not understanding why he must go back again and again if he reaches the finish line, but is not finished.
This is just a little about our experience. But don’t just take out word for it. You can sign up for a free 7 day trial by clicking here or you check out more reviews by clicking the button below.