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Monday, February 1, 2010

New Review!!! MathScore!!!

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About the product/service:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free subscription to Mathscore, so I could try it out and tell you what I think.

Mathscore is an online math program for grades 1 through Algebra 1!  It was designed by MIT grads to help kids get the practice they need to succeed in math.  The idea behind Mathscore is practice, practice, practice.  Ya know, with math, that really is the key.  The nice thing, though, is that it is adaptive, so your child will not have to spend endless hours of practice on subjects they already know.

As your child goes along in the program, they advance and increase their rank.  Much like a video game, Mathscore attempts to motivate your child to go to the next level. They begin as a trainee, move up to cadet, etc.  There are also virtual trophies that they can earn. The program includes just about every math topic you can think of and more. 

Mathscore can be used as a full curriculum or as a supplement.  If you chose to use it as a supplement, you do not have to do the problems "in order" so your child can work on the types of problems he or she is studying in your main curriculum.  

Here is the Mathscore mission statement as taken from the website:

MathScore.com® is the flagship product of Accurate Learning Systems Corporation, based in Palo Alto, California. Our mission is to improve the education of millions of students by providing a superior learning environment compared to existing solutions.

Check out a free trial here.

What are the pros of this product?  You can tell a lot of thought was put into this program.  An unbelievable amount of practice is available to your child.

Kids are (hopefully!) motivated to get to the next level and parents are sent e-mails detailing their child's progress.

Assignments are timed, so kids are also motivated to get the work done before the clock runs out.  The nice thing is that parents can adjust the time if the child is getting done too quickly or too slowly. 

Another nice thing is that there is a discount when you add additional children, or if you pay ahead.  Also, if you go on vacation, or won't be able to use your account for a while, you can actually "freeze" it so you aren't paying for the program when you're not using it.  This is something I have not seen elsewhere and it just blessed my frugal heart.  :)

What's not to like?  The format is not fancy.  Some kids won't be as excited about Mathscore as they are some other programs which are designed to be more like games.  (I understand this is a huge plus to some parents!)

One really big issue is that you use the "Tab" key, rather than the "Enter" key, to go to the next problem.  It took quite a bit of time to get my son used to pushing Tab.  He kept messing himself up doing this.  Pressing enter actually causes the program not to record your score for the whole page.  It's a really tough habit to break, even when you're only six! 

Also, he was working on a laptop, so there is not a regular number pad.  He had to use the numbers across the top which really slowed him down.  I had to adjust his time quite a bit to give him enough to finish the "worksheets" before running out of time. 

I admit, the program is so detailed it took me a while to figure out exactly how it worked.  That's just me, though.  I tend to get lost in lots of details!  :)

The Crazy Mom take:  Well, I decided that since I had other kids checking out other products, as well as doing all their usual schoolwork, I would let my youngest, Baber, 6, try the program.  I have to say that I was a bit disappointed because he is obviously already "spoiled" by all the "fun and games" programs he has used in the past.  He didn't mind doing it, but it didn't hold his interest for long.  That, added with the frustration he had hitting "Enter" when he wasn't supposed to made it less that exciting for him.  However, being the cruel mother that I am, I intend to insist that he uses it throughout the rest of the school year.  I like that he gets extra practice in, especially on days when I am sick or busy with the other kids and can't sit down with him for long periods of time. 

I also plan to have a couple of the other kids use the program as well.  I actually like it.  I was a "worksheet" kinda kid, and I think I would have preferred this program to one with lots of games, bells, and whistles.  I guess the bottom line is that it does what it is supposed to do.  It provided tons of math practice for your kids.  No one said it had to be fun, now did they?  LOL  Some things are just good for you, even if they are not fun.  Now remind me of this when I tell you I haven't exercised!  LOL


 
What's the bottom line? $14.95 per month for one child, however their are discounts for multiple children.  See website for details.

I am going to give Math Score 3 out of 5 smileys!!!

Check it out! http://www.mathscore.com/

See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/HomeschoolCrew/752842/



*The Smiley System: 

I can't really recommend this product.
 I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.
 This is a good product, but isn't right for everyone.
 Most homeschool moms will find this useful.
 This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!

Disclaimer!!!  I reviewed this product because I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew.  I was given the product by the vendor to use and evaluate in my home so that I might share my insights with others.  Other than receiving the product, which I kinda have to to be able to assess the product, I am not compensated for my reviews in any way.  I am in no way obligated to give a positive review.  I do try to point out negatives when I see them, though I am admittedly a pretty easy going gal!  What you read are my honest assessments of the products I receive. 

As with all products, you must do the research before buying.  Please visit the the other crew members' blogs, the vendor websites, and any other review sites you might find before buying.  I can't guarantee that a product will work for you.  You must decide what will fit with your teaching style, and your child(ren)'s learning style(s).  I do not judge anything other than the educational value of the products I review.  I am not qualified to make judgements as to the safely of any product, and I make no guarantee that the products I review are safe for you, your family, or anyone else.  I am simply giving my opinion; only you know what is best for you and your family.

Don't use your blow dryer while you sleep or take a bath.  Don't read my reviews in the tub either, and please do not read them when you are asleep, though I do not guarantee that you won't fall asleep reading them!

Copyright 2009 Ramblings from the Crazy House

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