There are so many ways to do math drills: writing out the equations, flashcards, worksheets…they all boil down to practice, practice, practice. Math Rider takes it up a notch. It’s straight math drills, but with a fun twist. Each math operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) has four quests the kids go on where they accomplish various tasks with the hopes of rescuing the princess. How do they rescue the princess? By mastering the math facts.
Players ride a horse named Shadow across amazing backgrounds simply by answering math equations. Each time they answer, the horse moves forward to the next equation. If they miss an answer, the equation and proper answer pop up, and then the horse moves forward again. This allows them to focus on inputting the numerical value rather than trying to manipulate the horse through the land. The speed of the horse is in direct correlation to the speed in which your child answers the questions.
The game learns as it goes or rather as your child answers questions. If they miss, the software knows what they need more practice on. If they get it, the software recognizes they’ve mastered it. This helps them practice what they are weak on ensuring mastery of all facts rather than some. They are also rewarded with cool animations as they go based on how they do, but in a way that motivates them to keep trying.
The overview allows the child and parent to see what’s been mastered, and what needs more work. It also shows what their top challenge math facts are, their overall mastery level, and how much they’ve improved since they started the game.
Math Rider is geared towards ages 6-12 (grades 2-6), but I think older kids who need to practice their math facts will enjoy the challenge as well. Multiple kids (up to 8 on a single license) can use the program by creating their own rider, and playing their own quests which is wonderful for families with more than one child.
It’s pretty much a download, setup the riders, and off they go on their quest. I have four kids currently set up, so I stagger their Math Rider practice through the day/week. I check out their overview pages to get a feel for how they are progressing, see what they are weak on, and point out how much they’ve improved so far. The younger ones especially like to show me their rewards.
Teens: They have really enjoyed the extra practice, and love the way the game is laid out. Since the horse’s speed correlates to their problem solving speed, they always feel challenged, and enjoy working towards mastery. They are competitive, but only with themselves, and not each other.
10 year old: He loves the game, and loves seeing his progress. Math drills are not drudgery at all. He got the hang of the game pretty quick, and took off on it.
7 year old: She gets frustrated with the game. The Math Rider FAQ mentions having a good grasp on addition concepts, and this is most likely her problem. She’s still working on this. She’s going to take a break, and come back to this when her addition is a little more solid.
Mama: I love this. I love that a dad saw his own kids struggling with math facts, and developed something to help them. I appreciate that the game is intuitive, and customizes itself to the child’s math ability. The animation and backgrounds are nicely done. The overall game is a wonderful math drill that feels like a game, engages the child, and is built to encourage them as they progress.
Math Rider – $47 which includes free software updates for life