Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quarter Mile Math

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“The Quarter Mile Math is the most effective math practice software ever created.” “Extremely motivating.” These are some of the claims that The Quarter Mile Math makes.

I was able to review the Deluxe version, which which is priced as a subscription at $2.95 a month per family and includes Levels 1, 2, and 3—323 topics and over 70,000 problems! It is also available for $19.95 per year or $34.95 for a two-year subscription. The topics range far beyond basic math facts and include such skills as estimation, decimals, and percentages. The skills range for Quarter Mile Math is Kindergarten through pre-algebra. The deluxe version requires an internet connection although the students never actually go to the web. The advantages of the deluxe version include—access to all skill levels, the ability to do real time tournaments with family members on other computers, and more advanced student tracking features.

The Quarter Mile Math also sells a standard version, which sells for $39.95 to $89.95, depending on which skill levels are covered. The standard version does not require an internet connection.

The Quarter Mile Math installed in minutes and was quick and easy to learn. The format of the game is a racetrack (car or horse). The player chooses a topic and skill level and answers the questions. The faster the questions are answered, the faster the car or horse’s speed. Initially, the player races against five of “Fast Eddie’s” cars or horses. Fast Eddie is actually very slow, so the student is almost sure to win. Then, the student races against his own best times, which encourages him to increase his speed each time.

I especially appreciated the printed guide that came with my cd. It is rare these days for programs to offer this and I find it easier to skim through a printed guide before I start the program. We had a problem with the race locking up occasionally on our Windows XP computer, but this was addressed in the manual and quickly remedied. I thought it was a really nice touch for a company to actually name possible problems and to provide the solutions.

Confession number 1: Although we spend a LOT of time studying math and I love our regular math program, I have not been good about having Emily drill with flashcards, so she definitely doesn’t have the speed on her basic math facts that a fourth grader should have. She will be using this program a lot this year!

Confession number 2: I have been enjoying playing this game myself! It is addictive trying to beat my previous scores!

I love the vast number of problems and topics included in the programs. This will last Emily for years as a supplement to her primary math program. The program doesn’t teach topics or thinking skills, but our regular math program does that. What The Quarter Mile Math will do is provide much needed drill in a format that is much more entertaining and extensive than flashcards.

I will mention again that the program consists of only one game. We haven’t used it long enough to know if Emily will get tired of the same format day after day and lose interest. She has used it for three weeks at this point and is still enthusiastic about it.

I also want to mention a brand new addition to The Quarter Mile Math website—a page just for homeschoolers! The topics include a Quick Start Guide, a printable Progress Chart, Tips and Tricks, Family Tournaments, and a User’s Forum. This is a company that is obviously very dedicated to good customer service.

Quarter Mile Math is offering $5 discount on either product --standard or deluxe--to my readers until September 30. Use discount code "7J7P7."

To read more reviews of The Quarter Mile Math program as well as other homeschooling products, please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Site.

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