Friday, February 25, 2011

Riding To Math Mastery

Math Rider

I was so excited to receive a free download of the new math program, Math Rider, in exchange for my honest review of the program. Math Rider is a computer based program designed to help elementary school age students master the basic math facts. Children take a quest into a fantasy land, while practicing number facts from 1-12 in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The child set out to rescue a princess while riding a horse named Shadow. As they ride through the fantasy land the background changes and a narrator weaves the story of the quest.

My first impression was, how will this keep my children's attention? We have done the flash card drills and usually after the first few days both my children and I are bored with the drills. I was surprised to see that both my 10 and 12 year old were enjoying the quest. Although my children know their math facts, I want them to be able to recall them quickly when applying them to upper level math. I found Math Rider a fun alternative to flash cards. The game tracts your child's progress and adjusts the level of difficult to avoid frustration. This allows the student to progress at his or her own rate. I can see parents using this as a teaching aid and to reinforce math facts.

My 10 year old daughter, Karina, is an animal lover. Therefore, she found the horse theme really appealing. She also enjoyed the fairy tale nature of the quest, the narrators dramatic voice and the vivid background scenery. The game held her attention and challenged her to respond quickly to the math equations as the horse jumped hurdles. I definitely saw improvement in her mastery of her multiplication facts.

My twelve year old son, Kwan, definitely surprised me in his willingness to check out this math program. Although he was not as keen on the story's plot, he did enjoy improving on his response time with his multiplication and division facts. The quest were quick enough to keep his attention and I did see an improvement in his ability to finish his pre-algebra assignments much more quickly.

I would recommend Math Rider to parents of elementary school age children. Math Rider can be played without an internet connection. Although internet access is necessary for the initial download and for any updates, The game is supported by Windows, Mac, OSX and Linux. A family license can be purchased for $37.00, which allows for up to 10 players. The company offers a 30 day risk free guarantee!

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