I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Math seems to be a sticky subject at times for my boys, so I am always eager to try out something new to bring a little spark to our math studies. This year, I have had ample opportunity to test several math products as a member of the TOS Crew. The latest of these is FactsFirst by Saxon Harcourt.FactsFirst is geared for early elementary students who are mastering their basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.) The on-line program provides a colorful and fun way to practice these facts and attempt to increase the speed with which a student recalls them. Each lesson presents a few new facts as well as propelling the student towards mastery of the facts in the unit. The student can not move to the next unit without mastering the previous one.
Like some other on-line programs, FactsFirst allows each student to create an avatar right off the bat. While some adults might find this a waste of time, I have to say that it really sparks my boys interest in logging into the program. Aside from enjoying the ability to modify their avatar, the boys also enjoy earning time to play arcade games after completing the fact drills.
As a parent who does have kids needing a way to reinforce their learning of the basic facts, this program does that in such a way as to engage as well as motivate them to continue. My personal preference would be for a rather bland presentation of the material so that attention is completely aimed at the information. However, I have found that for drilling their facts, the boys prefer the colorful, entertaining approach.
FactsFirst can be purchased as a household yearly subscription for $49.99 covering 1 to 4 students. At first glance, this might seem a little expensive when there are lots of computer programs you can purchase for less. However, seeing my computer becoming bogged down with files, I can see a personal benefit for having all the workings of the program housed and maintained off-site. Plus, this allows the students to log in on any computer with internet access rather than on just one, designated computer.
You can read what other TOS Crewmates are saying about FactsFirst on the TOS Homeschool Crew page. Our family was provided access to FactsFirst for the purpose of providing this review. All opinions are my own and no additional compensation was received.