Saturday, April 20, 2013

Math Rider {A Review}

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Math Rider ($47 for lifetime access) is designed to help children  (ages 6-12) build their knowledge of the four basic operations of mathematics while working on a math challenge. The game comes as a digital download for Windows and MAC OS X. There is a Support Page, if you have any questions.

While on the quest, the riders take shorter rides that move them further to the final destination. After each ride, a map shows the rider the progress she's making to the goal. Once the rider reaches mastery, a reward opens up. The king's highest rewards are granted when mastery is reached for each operation. To master the math facts, the rider has to receive 100% with a relatively consistent amount of time.

We used it 4-5 days a week for about 20 minutes for each child. The child can take practice runs and then go on a quest. Each quest has its own story and challenge. For example, the first quest for easy addition is finding the special flower that will cure the rider's mother of the addition flu. Each attempt to obtain the flower makes the mother better, but she must have the master flower to be completely healed. 

Quotes from kids
"Math Rider is my favorite math thing in the whole wide world."  ~Jo-Jo

What we like
The girls (and Little Man) really love listening to the stories, it provides motivation to learn the math facts quickly.

I like that the kids enjoy playing it and I have noticed a marked building of confidence. Their times have improved and they are taking on more difficult addition problems.

I appreciate the statistics page. The statistic page tells you where the child is having difficulty and shows which problems she can work on specifically.

I would love to see strategy suggestions for improving a child's rate and accuracy. For example...if you can add doubles (like 6+6), you can easily add one more to the 12 when you see 6+7. I noticed a marked improvement when I was able to offer the kids those types of tips.

Our tips
I found after working in the program, the kids had developed some bad habits that slowed their progress some. Though the habits had little to do with learning the math facts and more to do with using the computer.

Jo-Jo had a habit of looking at other parts of the screen and watching the horse jump the hurtles. Often times, she wouldn't give herself enough time to answer the problem. She would also push her hair behind her ear after every problem. 

Ceesa would get nervous at times and hit the wrong keys and Little Man had a hard time just watching. At times, he would push buttons on the keyboard and make mistakes for the girls. If there were mistakes made, you can push esc and stop the ride. Then the ride won't count against the child.

I had to sit with them to discover what they were doing. While they really don't need me to hang around while they play, I would recommend checking in with your kids from time to time to really see what they are doing.

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Wishing you homeschool blessings,

Click here to read more reviews from Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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