Friday, February 25, 2011
TOS Crew Product Review ~ Math Rider
Math Rider is a computer math game aimed at helping children of all ages master addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts with ease. Math Rider is compatible with Windows, MAC, and Linux operating systems (it uses Adobe AIR runtime). The game can be played by several users on the same computer, with each user creating their own rider and completing their own adventures. Math Rider is not a multi player game, however. Each student works on his or her own, one rider at a time. When the student is actually playing the game, Math Rider uses it's "intelligence" to determine what the student needs to work on and adjust the facts accordingly. Mastery is the end goal with this program, and this is one of the ways they ensure mastery actually happens for every student.
The game takes place in the imaginary land of "Ray". As the student rides the horse (named Shadow) on quests throughout the land, they can find gems and rescue princesses, etc. The story line contains some mystical/magical content, and each family should examine the program to ensure it fits with their worldview. A student could complete a quest in one sitting,or take several days to work through a quest. It's totally up to the child and the parents. I felt that the visible progress on the map was a creative and unique motivator for student's using Math Rider. (See map image below):
Parents can choose addition, subtraction, multiplication or division for their child to work on. This allows younger students to use the Math Rider program; many math facts programs only focus on division and I appreciate that Math Rider covers all 4 fact groups. Student's can practice their "problem areas" and since the game is very easy to use, a busy homeschool Mom can assign Math Rider, go on to do schoolwork with her other children, and check student progress with a mere glance. Easy grading - very, very important to me!
I had 3 of my daughters use this program in order to obtain a thorough understanding of Math Rider for this review. Here is what my 8th grade daughter thought had to say:
"I really like the quests. As your progress to harder levels, the map zooms out and gets larger. They aren't short quests and it isn't a boring game to play, like some math games can be. It stops you when you miss a problem and it is good to know which facts you need to work on. It also lets you know the percentage of problems you have finished, so you always know how much you've learned and how much more you need to learn."
My 7th grade daughter said:
"My favorite part of this game is the story that goes along with learning the facts. The levels are laid out nicely and being able to choose my own difficulty level was awesome! I wish I had used Math Rider when I was younger, it would have kept me very interested in working hard so that I could finish the quest."
The primary user of this software in our family has been my 5th grade daughter. She likes the quests very much and the challenge presented by the timing of the horse's "jumps" when solving math facts. And she like the option to choose which problems to practice. This is a very nice feature, especially for homeschool families with younger children who need plenty of facts practice.
She also said:
"Some other math programs just give me the facts to drill. This one has a story along with the problems. I like working on my quest better than just answering math problems. It's like the characters are part of a story and I get to learn more about the story when I work on my math facts. It's one of my favorite things to do for school."
As you can tell, I didn't have any complaints from my kids about using Math Rider! I have been very happy with this program and recommend it for any family desiring to strengthen their children's math fact proficiency.
If you would like to learn more about Math Rider, please visit their website at www.MathRider.com. The cost of the game is $37 - quite a value considering all the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts are covered. It's simple to order online at their website, and you get instant access to the program.
As always, let me state that I received this product free of charge for review purposes.
Happy Questing Everyone!
Day 80 done :)
Jan L. Burt