Math Rider is an intelligent math facts game. This means that the program adjusts the problem set based upon your child's performance so that problems that are missed are reviewed more frequently until they are mastered. This is just what I do when I drill my children using the old-fashioned flash card method. Cards they respond to quickly and correctly are put into the "got it" pile, while cards for facts they take too long to give an answer for or answer incorrectly are put into a "do it again" pile. We then proceed through the "do it again" pile until all of the cards are in the "got it" pile. Not a whole lot of bells and whistles using that method, but it works...eventually. However, the kids (and their mother) aren't always enthusiastic about "drilling" with the flash cards.
free flashcards from classhelper.org
We've tried various methods of encouraging math facts practice in our homeschool. I have several of those Leapfrog Turbo Twist games, Addition and Subtraction War cards, Addition and Subtraction Bingo, and books of drill sheets, not to mention the other online or downloadable computer facts drilling methods we've tried, both free or purchased...While each of the aforementioned methods might work when used, it is the fact that you have to get the kids to want to use them that is the problem. Games are fine now and then, but not for every day. Pencil and paper drill give me nightmares (Bubba had a very bad experience with them in public school). Flashcards are fine, but time intensive for me, and kind of, ahem, boring.
Enter Math Rider. Easily our favorite math product of the year!! Ladybug and Cowboy can't get enough of it. They ask me (on their own) if they can play it for a while. It seems to have escaped their notice that it is actually work! I love it.
Here's is what Math Rider is all about:
- It's an intelligent math game that adjusts to your child's accuracy and speed.
- While it is intended for ages 6-12, older students can certainly use it as a periodic skill sharpener and younger students who are able to type using the number pad and who recognize the numbers in the problems can use it.
- The basis of the game is that you have to undertake a quest which requires you to ride your horse, Shadow, across the Mathlands, solving problems (which are obstacles the horse jumps) as you go. I like the fact that the storyline is noble, and has the riders undertaking their quest for the greater good (not just for the purposes of competing or fighting or anything else that is somewhat random).
- There is a progress map so your child can see how far they have gotten and how far they have to go to achieve their goal.
- Progress points are given for accuracy and speed, so different riders will make progress at different rates even if they are completing the same number of rides per day.
- Each run within a quest has thirty problems...this seemed like a lot the first time the kids did it, but they got used to it quickly. It does not bother them at all now.
- At the end of a quest, rewards are given that reflect the level of mastery of the rider...there are 16 potential quests and rewards...improvement is rewarded, as well as mastery.
- There are four operations (+ - x / ) for which you can drill 0-12 math facts at three different levels (easy, medium, advanced), plus a master level you have to earn.
- You can have your students do practice runs that do not impact the statistics associated with their account...these runs can be on any operation and you can choose the number of problems in each run as well as the testing range or even working with a specific number set!
- Parents and students can see individual progress charts showing which numbers and problems have been mastered...at the end of each individual run within a quest, riders see a graph showing which problems were answered correctly, which ones were correct but answered slowly, and which ones were wrong...my kids really liked this.
- Math Rider is available for both Windows and Mac.
- Normally, the cost for Math Rider is $47. Until February 15th, however, you can purchase it for $37...that's a savings of $10! But wait, there's more!! Log onto Facebook and "Like" Fun Math Games: Math Rider to immediately get a code for an additional $5 off the price. Yippee!!
- Math Rider is good for up to 8 riders in your household and may be loaded on up to three computers. This makes it ideal for homeschool use, and very economical.
- Math Rider also automatically checks for updates to the game (there has been one during our trial of the game) and downloads them for no additional cost.
Check out this video about Math Rider. Once you check it out, sign up
for the free seven day trial to see if you like it as much as we do.
What we thought about Math Rider:
- Mom: I love, love, love it. I never have to argue with the kids about doing their math drills anymore. I am loving seeing Ladybug's (age 8) speed and accuracy improve. We did oral drills in the car the other day and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly she'd jump in with a correct answer. Cowboy's (age 6) knowledge base is growing, though his speed (limited by his ability to remember where the number keys are) is still slower than hers.
- Cowboy: I like the horse and I like doing quests because I am a cowboy and a knight. Math is fun! It is not hard at all.
- Mom: The kids are much more likely to bring math into a conversation now. Their added confidence in their math facts has affected their interest in exploring other more complex facets of math. This makes sense since knowing basic facts is one of the essential building blocks of math success. Once you have the solid foundation of knowing your math facts it is very simple to start adding more bricks on top of that. I am glad we tested this product. I plan to purchase it when our trial is over.
- Mom: I added "Math Rider Drills" to their weekly checklist and finishing enough drills to complete a quest is usually one of the first things they do. Then they still want to do more...I have had to kick them off of the computer (doing math) to go play for a while. I love it!!
- Mom: I particularly appreciate the fact that when the kids type in a wrong answer, the horse simply snorts quietly and stops at the jump while the computer repeats the problem, showing and stating what the correct answer is...then play resumes without any fuss. I also appreciate that the music is pleasant instead of loud and obnoxious like on so many games today.
- Ladybug: I like Math Rider a lot. I love horses and Shadow is a nice horse. I like the castles and the scenery in the game. I do not think the game is too hard and I do think other kids would like it. I think I am learning to know more math by playing the game. It is a lot of fun!!
- Mom: This game utilizes the four learning modalities: auditory and visual skills (spoken and written math facts...plus you can have your kids repeat the problems they miss to add more), as well as tactile and kinesthetic (typing...and bouncing up and down in your seat when your horse jumps if you are Cowboy). It has a creative storyline that engages the learner's interest.
- Dad: I appreciate that it is a math drill game that doesn't muddy up the waters of what its purpose is with a lot of nonsense that distracts the kids from what they are supposed to be learning. I also appreciate that the quests are noble, since that is a quality we want to instill in our kids. Instead of the conflict of fighting or characters aimlessly doing something for foolish reasons, the idea is that the riders are using their math skills to help someone. The premise of this game fits in with life lessons we are trying to teach our kids.
--You can also see other reviews at the Math Rider website.
--Not sure if Math Rider is for you? Sign up for a seven day free trial of the full version. The practice mode stays enabled even after your trial is over!!
--Ready to go for a ride? Buy Math Rider now, but don't forget to "like" Fun Math Game: Math Rider on Facebook first for a $5 off coupon! The low price of $37 only lasts until February 15th, so don't wait too long...
Disclaimer: We received a trial subscription of Math Rider for the purposes of offering our honest opinion here on our blog. No other compensation was offered to us. If you have questions about this product, feel free to comment or contact me.