Thursday, February 4, 2010

Product Review: Facts First


Facts First is a paid membership site that offers fun math drill practice. It comes to us from one of the most trusted names in homeschool math, Saxon.

Students begin by creating a personal avatar.


Then they select which set of facts to practice, addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. The facts are taught in small segments. For instance, when learning addition, the first lessons will focus on 1 + 1 and 1 + 2 only. After a few rounds of drilling, the program quizzes the student and integrates previously mastered facts for upkeep.


Students see their progress on the chart below. It gives them almost immediate feedback on their speed and accuracy and serves as a motivator to work on both.


Each time they complete a round of practice, they are rewarded five minutes in the arcade which has the feel of a game room. However, the games are not just for fun. They are designed to continue the upkeep of mastered skills. You can read more about how Facts First works here.


What We Thought
Wilbur was the Facts First user in our house. He loved having an avatar. At first, I was not so happy about the avatar. He wanted to spend his entire first session getting just the right look, changing hair color, eye color, clothes, etc. After that, it became a non-issue though because he was not required to return to the avatar page.

He was highly motivated by the arcade. He wanted to master the lesson so he could have the "play" time, but he was not allowed to linger too long once there since he was required to leave the arcade page after five minutes. Once he had to leave, he could not wait to return and worked so hard to get the next arcade break.

The math practice was perfect for him. His computation speed and accuracy increased over a few weeks of practice. He enjoyed the drill work, too.

I give Facts First two thumbs up and recommend it. You can purchase a Facts First family membership for $49.99. This provides access for four users for one year.

I received a free membership to Facts First in order to complete this review. I have received no other compensation and have provided my honest opinion.

To read what my crewmates have to say, please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew page.

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