Monday, February 1, 2010

Product Review: Math Score


Created by MIT graduates for students in first grade through Algebra I, Math Score is a paid membership site that offers ample math practice on a large variety of topics. It can be used as a complete math curriculum or as a supplemental program. We opted to use it as a supplement.

From a teacher's perspective, the site is excellent. Students log into their personal accounts and compete problems on a specific topic within a specific grade level. Students attempt to complete the assigned work within a set time limit. If they make errors, they are shown their mistakes and then allowed to complete another set of problems on the same level of difficulty. They progress to the next level as they demonstrate mastery.

What I appreciated most was the balance between computation skills and critical thinking. So many math programs emphasize one at the expense of the other. Math Score recognizes that successful mathematicians need both. Likewise, math is the star of Math Score, not gaming or extrinsic motivators. It is not a bells and whistles program (more about that in a minute) which, in my opinion, is less distracting and keeps students focused on what is important. For more on how Math Score works, watch this short introductory video.

Orville completed the Math Score work for this review and LOVES the site. He says the math work is challenging, compared to other math practice software/websites we have used. He also says that trying to beat the timer is VERY challenging and has kept him highly motivated. However, teachers can adjust the timer if needed. Orville wanted to return to the site as often as possible to try to meet the challenge the Math Score creators set before him.

As I said earlier, Math Score is not a bells and whistles program. It has a worksheet-like format and does not have the typical kid-friendly look you may have come to expect from math practice programs. Points are awarded and students progress through a series of rankings. Fireworks go off when a score of 100 is reached, but there are not bright colors, sound effects, avatars, or a game-like format. If you are looking for a program that includes tons of extrinsic motivators to get your kids excited about math, Math Score is probably not it. If you are looking for something to increase your child's computation time and hone his mental math abilities, Math Score is sure to please.

Overall, I give Math Score two thumbs up and recommend it. You can find more information about the site here. Membership costs $9.95 per month for the first student, $5.00 for the second student, and $3.95 for each additional student. You can start your free half-month trial here.

I was given a free subscription to Math Score in order to complete this review. I have received no other compensation and have provided my honest opinion.

Please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read my crewmates' reviews.

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