Friday, February 3, 2012

Math Rider (TOS Review)

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There are a lot of resources out there to help kids  practice their math facts---basic flashcards, math games, computer programs, etc. Some are fun, some not so fun. Some provide efficient practice, others are a bit heavy on the “game” and lighter on the math.

Although Emily knows her math facts fairly well, she could stand to improve her speed, so I was interested to see how Math Rider would stack up against other programs we’ve tried.  It teaches mastery of all 4 math operations with numbers 1-12 and is designed for children ages 6-12. To play, the child begins a “quest.” A short story scenario is given, then the child rides his or her horse, “Shadow,” across deserts, mountains, and so on. Math problems appear at the bottom of the screen. As the problem is answered, the horse jumps over an obstacle. If the problem is missed, the horse stops while the game gives the correct answer. The problems and speed are adjusted to the child’s abilities, with problems the child has trouble with generated more frequently.

Emily loved the game, wanting to persist each time until a quest was won. The graphics are very nice and help to keep interest high. Emily was motivated to beat her score each round. I felt that the program was motivating for her, yet didn’t waste a lot of time in non-productive game activities. She did wish for more different “quests,” however. I think more storylines would have added more interest to the game. After a while, she was bored to hear the same story over and over again.

Up to 8 players can play on a single license, making this great for homeschool families.

My only small complaint was in the minimum system requirements for the program. Since it requires a minimum resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels, Emily wasn’t able to play on her netbook  that has a resolution of 1024 by 600 and had to use my computer.

4/5 stars for this fun program

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Math Rider retails for $49.95 and is currently on sale for $37 until Feb. 15 and you can even try it free for 7 days.

To read more reviews of Math Rider, please visit the Crew Blog.

I received a free 2 month access to Math Rider in order to write this review. All opinions are my own.

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