Monday, February 6, 2012

Crew Review: Math Rider

Who likes a quest? Who likes horses?  Who needs to practice math facts?

If your child can answer even one of those questions with, "I do!" than you should give Math Rider a test drive.  Math Rider is a wonderfully thorough, fully supported math fact game -- and it is fun to boot!

The premise is that your child is being sent out on a mission or quest.  There are four quests for each of the four operations, however the rewards for completing each quest are different. In all, your child is trying to collect 16 different rewards.   Here's Levi's main screen with his flower and gem from the addition quests (he's completed two of the 4 addition quests):

When you finish a math quest, you get your reward! The rewards are all animated according to how well the player answered the questions.  

The fun game component is that your child rides a horse through an imaginary land and answers math problems to successfully jump over fences:

And here is Luke's quest map.  He is working on the medium subtraction quest:

There are four levels for each math operation that you practice:  easy, medium, and hard:  

  • Easy:  math facts for 0-5
  • Medium: math facts for 0-10
  • Hard: math facts for 0-12
  • Master (you cannot choose to start at this level -- you have to earn it.  In fact the developer Tom Brand recommends that each student start at the "easy" level of each math operation for practice and mastery.)
Math Rider (available for $37 as an instant download) is an intelligent math fact game.  What does that mean?  It means the game is capturing an enormous amount of data as your child answers (or doesn't answer) each of the problems.  That information is stored so that you can learn about where your child is struggling and where he is succeeding.  You get this great looking chart and other statistical information:

This chart is showing, in green, all of the mat facts that Luke knows well.  Yellow-shaded differences are showing partial mastery, while reg-shaded numbers are math problems that still need some work.  See that white pop-up graph that has two arrows on it?  You can right-click on any of the colored differences in the chart to see detailed specifics about levels of improvements, response-time trends and percent accuracy.  It is amazing.  On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a box with math problems that still need work and two graphs which show overall mastery of material.

[Don't worry -- there are tutorials to help you learn about the program and help you use all this data to help your child.  No need to memorize it now!]

Seriously, you are going to know SO MUCH information about your child's math skills by using this program, it will make your head spin in a good way.

Here's a couple of other great features of Math Rider:
  • lifetime updates (they just released a new update in the past few weeks).
  • excellent customer service (they value your opinion and suggestions)
  • a great price (did I mention that if you "like" Fun Math Games: MathRider on facebook, you can get an additional $5 off?)*
Our experience:
  1. I love it.  It is easy to include in our busy day.  It does not take long for the kids to complete a game, and I know that they are getting LOTS of practice.  I love that it includes facts up to 12, and that the 11s and 12s are a step in math fact mastery.
  2. Levi (6yo) loves it.  Asks to play it on the weekends.  Often plays it several times a day.
  3. Luke (9yo) likes it OK.  He has some attention issues which make his accuracy variable, so I think when he's feeling super distracted, he has trouble with it and he likes it less.  
  4. I recently made Ben (12yo) try it out.  He thinks it is too "young" for boy-who-becomes-a-teenager-in-just-three-months. But, since he would benefit from on-going review to bring up his speed, he'll just have to endure. *smile*
  5. I'm actually seeing progress in all the kids.  Levi is improving leaps and bounds, and Luke, even with his inconsistencies, is doing better little-by-little and that is what counts.
I'm so grateful to have been able to review Math Rider.  Please hop on over to the TOS Blog to see what other Crew Members thought of the fun math fact game!
* All prices and discounts are accurate as of the posting of this review.

FCC:  In exchange for my honest opinion about his product, I was given a limited license to access the program.  No other compensation was received.

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