What It Is:
The goal of Math Rider is to master the math facts. And not just addition and subtraction, but multiplication and division too. Your child begins with easy addition (0-5) and advance as they master each level, or 'Quest'. Quests have a story line that unlocks as they progress through the course. Doing the 30 math problems helps the hero to do certain things, like finding medicine for the mother, finding a diamond in a castle, or helping them to search for enchanted flowers. Set in a Middle-Age time period, the stories are simple enough to capture attention, yet short enough to not take away from the real task at hand - learning math facts.
On each run, a horse will appear at the bottom of the screen with a series of jumps ahead of him. Each jump is a math fact, and your child needs to type in the answer to each fact before the horse reaches the jump. If answered correctly the horse jumps it, if the answer is incorrect the horse stops and a voice states the entire fact correctly.
Your child can also select a Practice Run instead of a Quest; these are exactly how they sound, practice drills without the answers and speed effecting the overall statistic and level. Your child can conveniently see a map of their progress and how much further they have until they master their quest. And at the top of their profile page they can see what percent of the course they have completed.
What You Get:
Math Rider is available to purchase for life. Isn't that cool? That means that you make a one-time purchase of $47.00, and you get access for up to eight students, forever. Math Rider also give software updates for free.
Each account is very easy to view at a glance; the statistics page tell you and your child exactly what facts they have mastered, which one they are working on, and which they still have to learn. There is even a chart where you can see for each fact how much they have improved since they began the program. There is a very useful help page, which is accessible from the program, that walks you through some frequently asked questions. You can try Math Rider with a 7-day risk free trial, or purchase the program, which comes with a 30 day risk-free guarantee.
How We Used This:
This program is primarily meant for children in grades 2-6, but can obviously be used by anyone who needs practice with math facts. Bookworm is doing 8th grade/pre-algebra math right now, but I felt that she should use some extra math drills. She started at the beginning with easy addition and the program was smart enough to advance her quickly through to harder multiplication and division. The facts go all the way up to the multiples of 12, which was still challenging for her and a good review. She enjoyed the review of the math facts, and being a lover of horses, enjoyed that it involved a horse going over jumps.
Dasher really struggles with math and started with addition as well. She had a hard time with the time limit; the horse is running towards the jump and she would get all frozen up and panic. But time pressure in math drills, I think, is a good thing. The statistics page was very helpful to her; she enjoyed seeing her percentage go up, and that encouraged her to keep pushing through.
Nutsy is just starting out with beginning math and totally loved this program. I noticed a big change in her math skills and was happy with how quickly she started progressing. I also saw this translate into her current math curriculum, as she started doing her math sheets a bit faster and with less complaining. Since we only have the one computer, they would all take turns and so I had them using it on different days of the week. Nutsy was very excited when she saw on the school schedule that it was her day.
What We Thought:
I loved this math facts program. The stories were at the beginning of the drills, and could be read or listened to. This was great for Nutsy, who isn't a proficient reader yet. And I also loved that I could very quickly see what facts they were struggling with. This made it easy for me, either through math worksheets or other manipulatives, to work on those problem areas. All three of them loved this program too. When I did ask Dasher what she thought of the program she did express that there was too much pressure from the horse jumping, but the horse definitely adjusts if your child is struggling and runs slower so they can have time to answer. She just doesn't like the time-crunch pressure!
I would recommend this for anyone who wants a fun way for their kids to practice those troublesome yet necessary math facts.
See what my other shipmates thought of Math Rider by clicking below!