## Thursday, February 9, 2012

### TOS Review: Math Rider

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Does your child need help in memorizing math facts?

Math Rider is a program designed for ages 6-12 to aid in memorizing the 4 basic math operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  It focuses on the memorization and quick recall for numbers 0 – 12.

The basis of the program is that the child is on a quest with his/her favorite horse, “Shadow”.  Along the way, you must enter in the correct answers to the math facts as they arise at the bottom of the screen.  Answer correct, and the horse jumps the obstacle.  Answer incorrectly or not at all, and the fact appears on the screen for the child to learn.

Here’s the horse jumping a correct answer, with the next obstacle approaching.

Here’s a snippet of what the screen looks like when the rider misses the question – the answer is presented for a few seconds.

The program keeps up with the facts that the child has learned, and which facts still need to be mastered.  Here’s a sample view of the multiplication mastery table, with green boxes indicated mastered and red not yet mastered.

System requirements for Math Rider can be found here.  It is supported on both Windows PC and Mac machines (not on Linux).

What did we think?

I was a little hesitant about letting Aikman try this program, but upon showing him a video about it, he was quite interested.  Unfortunately, I should have listened to my gut feeling about him not being quite ready for this program.  The biggest problem for him was that he has not yet gained the quickness of recall combined with the dexterity of entering in the values from the keyboard to make this program work effectively for him.  He could answer several of the questions, but being able to enter in the answer in time proved very difficult for him.  So, he quickly became frustrated.  However, I do not fault Math Rider with this, as the program is designed for kids ages 6-12 (he’s a young five year old), and states that the user needs to have an understanding of the math operations.  I do believe that Aikman has an understanding of how addition works; however he does not yet have enough background knowledge to think of the facts quickly.  Rather, I would recommend it for children who have at least learned all of their addition tables.   Also, the program is not designed to teach the basis behind the math facts, but rather simply drilling the facts so that they are quick recall.

I have heard that many people love this program, and that it works incredibly well for being drill practice.   So if your child is needing work on memorization, I would highly recommend it.  It will definitely be a program that we will revisit in a year or so, when he has a better grasp on the addition tables and is working on subtraction and the beginnings of multiplication tables.

You can purchase Math Rider here.  It normally sells for \$47, but now until Feb 15, it is on sale for \$37.  Read what other crew members say about Math Rider here.

Disclosure:  I was given a 2 month online access to Math Rider, in exchange for an honest review – whether good or bad.  I did not receive any additional compensation.