Saturday, February 4, 2012

TOS Review: Math Rider

I will always give honest reviews, and the reason most of my reviews this year have been good is because I've really liked most of the products I've reviewed.  And then, every once in a while, a product comes along that you not only like, but that really fills a need at just the right time.

That happened to me with Math Rider.  I was reading and listening to the information about this fun math facts game, and I thought, "Yes. . . kids who are very bright but hate math. . . understand mathematical concepts but need more repetitious practice. . . don't want to do it because it's not 'fun'. . . tried math games but they don't work. . . yes, yes, he is describing me and my kids!"  I am the flash-card queen, with stacks of flash-cards for everything from the alphabet to sight words to math facts to music notes.  They work for a while, especially with incentives like candy, but the kids get pretty tired of them in short order.

Now we are playing Math Rider, the computer math facts game where you and your horse, Shadow, must ride through the magical Mathlands and complete the quests.  The faster you can answer the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts, the faster Shadow can run the course and jump the hurdles.  There are four different quests, and in each you may choose an easy, medium, or hard level.  You may also do Practice Runs in which you may concentrate on one particular number or group of numbers in your equations.  The Practice Runs are coming in very handy for my 1st grader, as I can have him run a race in which he just adds "1" to each number, then a race where he adds "2" to each number, and so on, before mixing up all the numbers.  The program "learns" what your child can do well and what he still needs to master, and it adapts.  You may also choose a timed game.

From the website:

--You will know when your child has completely mastered an operation. And more importantly, your child will know it, too!
--This is the fastest way to mastery of all four math operations. The artificial intelligence rehearses what is needed most, at a rate that is tailored to each player.
--The game recognises and rewards math improvement, not just perfection. This builds confidence and propels children naturally towards complete mastery.
--Noble quests exemplify positive values such as family, caring, honesty and kindness.

The game was designed for any elementary age children.  I am using the easiest levels for my 1st grader, the whole game for my 4th & 6th graders, and I'm even having my 8th grader play it for review and to increase the speed at which he can complete basic equations.  When these facts come to mind very quickly, upper level math will come much more easily.  Finding educational games that are interesting to the boys has always been a challenge for me, and this one is a keeper.

I have also been very happy with this company's customer service.  Everything has been explained very well in tutorials, and the program is very user-friendly.  If there is still a question, the software developer is accessible and helpful.  Version 3.0 is the current version, and anyone who has purchased previous versions gets a free upgrade.  That is customer service!

You may purchase your copy of the MathRider game - for Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux -  for just $37 here.  It will be available for instant download.  That could be less than the price of paying a professional private tutor for one hour to raise your child's math grades!

Find other TOS Reviewers' opinions of MathRider by clicking here.

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of the MathRider game in exchange for a fair review.  No other compensation was given, and all opinions are my own.

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