Two years ago, the boys enjoyed themselves on the computer solidifying their basic math facts with Math Rider. When this program came up as a vendor for the Schoolhouse Review Crew, D was eagerly awaiting word on whether we’d have the chance to review it again. Lucky for him, we made the list.
About Math Rider for Basic Math Facts
Math Rider takes your basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division for 0 to 12) and makes the repetitive drill of those facts more entertaining for the student as they travel through a virtual world on a mission. The program was built on the principle of practicing retrieval, which is considered by some to be the optimal method of learning this material.
Each of the operations has a series of quests that need to be mastered before moving onto the next quest. Hand-eye coordination is NOT a part of this game, but rather progress is measured strictly upon correctly answering the math fact in question.
Math Rider retails for $47 and includes lifetime updates of the software. Up to 8 users can be set up for the program, making it a definite bargain for larger homeschool families. The company does include a 30 Day Risk-Free Guarantee as well as offer a 7 day trial on their website for those interested in trying it out.
Our Experience Using Math Rider for Basic Math Facts
As I mentioned, D and R had a chance to try out Math Rider a few years ago. They both enjoyed the quest style of the game and did not mind sitting for a good 15 to 20 minutes doing the repetitive basic math facts to go further on their quests. That would not be the case if I sat down with a sheet of paper and pencil and timed them like drills in school would be. The paper and pencil route would have them moaning and groaning about the drudgery of it all.
This time, D was the primary reviewer of the program. He was having so much fun the first few times using Math Rider that I had to pull him away from the screen. While I appreciated his enthusiasm, I did have to redirect him to other tasks those days. Once the newness wore off a bit, he was not wanting to spend an hour plus each day but rather a more realistic 15 minutes for 3 days each week.
As a homeschool parent, I do appreciate the fun nature of the program which can draw in a child and make them think math is not boring. And, I like that there are visual charts and statistics so I can see where is is improving and where he struggles. Even though D is past learning those basic math facts, I can see him slowing down when retrieving the basic math fact from his long term memory is not working well.
Watching my older boys experience the same hesitation in retrieval has me thinking that they will be spending time this summer using Math Rider to better cement those skills. After all, higher levels of math are much easier to complete when you are not stumbling over the basic operations.