As a kid, I dreaded timed math drills. I worked myself up every time; when the teacher said “pencils down” often times all I had to show were sweaty hands and a blank worksheet. These days, Bug is the one learning his times tables, but he’s lucky. Bug has been working on mastering his math facts with Math Rider, a computer based math facts game.
What is Math Rider
Math Rider is a story based Math Facts drill game. To play, your child becomes a character in the game, and has a horse named Shadow. They live in the Land of Ray and are given quests to complete. Each quest has rewards for the child to collect which keeps them motivated and interested in the game.
Math Rider covers all 4 operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in a fun and engaging way. The graphics are very simple, with the horse being stationary on the screen and the background scrolling through. During the quest, a question pops up on the screen and the child needs to answer it quickly and correctly. After they type the answer, they need to hit “enter”. If it’s correct, the horse jumps over the obstacle. If it’s not correct, the horse stops, and the game reads the question and answer aloud.
This game is adaptive, which means it tracks which questions the child has mastered and what they struggle with. A problem they miss will show back up a few more times after the game tells them the answer so they have a chance to get the correct answer. The game also gives detailed feedback using an easy to read color coded grid. It’s easy to tell at a glance which problems need more work and what the child has mastered.
What we thought
Bug really enjoyed the story line of the quests, and I thought the illustrations of the story line were well done. He never complained about playing this game, and often wanted to play even further so he watch the map and see how close he was to accomplishing his quest. I loved that he didn’t need to maneuver anything, or shoot anything, or jump- no extra functions were needed. He was able to focus on putting in the answer only, which was good for a kid who struggles with other math games that are more game than they are math.
We both were a little frustrated when he finished his first quest, and because he didn’t have 100 percent mastery, was told he brought back the wrong magical flower. The story line told him it wouldn’t make his mother better for long, so he needed to go back out on the same quest to get the right flower this time. When this happened a second time, he became discouraged. I set up a second game for him with addition facts only, which helped because he already has those facts mastered and could complete quests with mastery. I would have liked to see more “small” rewards for effort and progress.
I also would like to see Math Rider add an option of combining operations. Right now, you can only select one (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division). We practice addition and subtraction together and multiplication and division together and I would like a mixed drill option. It would also be very nice to have more parental control over what facts are drilled.
For example, in Singapore Math, times tales are introduced in a certain order. Math Rider’s easy level consists of facts 0-5 times 0-5, with the maximum being 5×5, however, our math program includes 0-5 times 0-10 (so math rider wouldn’t drill 3×8 or 5×9 at this level, but our math curriculum has taught it). I would like to be able to select exactly what I want drilled so I can better line the program up with our math curriculum.
All in all, this game was well loved by Bug. He asks to play it, which means he is practicing his math facts without the tears and drama that comes with drilling facts on paper. I loved it slightly less than he did, only because ideally I would want more control over what facts my child is working on.
In a Nutshell
Math Rider is a math facts game that encourages speed and mastery. It is advertised for ages 6-12 (second to sixth grade) but can be used for any child after they have a grasp of addition facts, and until they have mastered all 4 operations. This game is available as an instant download, one purchase works for up to 8 children, and there is no re-occurring cost. This game is very well done, and would be a fantastic supplement for children who have a strong grasp of their math facts and need additional practice to support instant recall of the answers. To read more from other families who used Math Rider in their homeschool, click the crew banner below.
Math Rider can be purchased for $47 and is an instant download. This program comes with free lifetime updates and is licensed for up to 8 children. It runs using the free downloadable Adobe AIR plug in, and is compatible with both Windows and MAC operating systems. Check the system requirements before ordering to be sure your computer is compatible with the program.
You can also try Math Rider risk free for 7 days to see if it will work with your family. I highly recommend you check it out!