Aug 252009
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I confess that math drill, okay drill in general, has been a weak point in our homeschool. And I call myself a classical educator! I could give a million excuses, (not enough time, it’s boring, kids complain, I’m lazy….) but really none of them are good reasons to skimp on drill. I am especially sorry for our lack of drill in math facts. I was under the incorrect impression that just using those multiplication facts would be sufficient for memorizing them. (Maybe it would be if we used a math program that had a lot of problems, but Singapore Math does not.) What a blessing it was to receive Quarter Mile Math Deluxe Version to review.

What is Quarter Mile Math? It is a computer based math racing game. The deluxe version is for all ages and can be set to drill math facts on topics ranging from addition facts to algebraic equations. The concept is simple. The student chooses either race cars or race horses. (Just a side note here-the horses are riderless and in a meadow, NOT at a racetrack.) Then he enters the answers to math problems to compete in the race. The program is set to keep track of his previous times, so the student is racing against himself each time. So, if he’s going slower, he can see the other horses just ahead of him. That’s great incentive for speeding up and trying harder. It’s also great incentive to play just one more time to see if he can beat his record!

So, I bet you’re wondering how we like it? As usual, there’s a range of opinion. My youngest son (7) asks to play the game (Woohoo!). My daughter (9) and older son (11) willingly play, and they admit that it’s a whole lot better than flash cards. They are also recognizing that they don’t know their math facts like they thought they did.

There’s another really fun feature on the deluxe version. In addition to racing against your own best times, you can also change the game to race against other players. (It’s not a simultaneous race, but you can compare your scores.) I enlisted my husband’s help to experiment with the racing option. He wouldn’t stop playing the game. Talk about competitive!

The license with the deluxe edition is very flexible; as long as the computers are connected to the internet, you can play on all the computers in your house. (Even at the same time.) Since the scores are stored on-line, all your previous times are available on any of the computers. Another nice feature is that the student does not actually need to access the internet to use the game, there just has to be a connection that the game can use.

I had heard of Quarter Mile Math before, but hadn’t felt that I could spend the money on the software. But I am amazed at the low cost of the Deluxe version. Instead of buying the software, you buy a subscription only. The subscription cost is only $2.95 per month for the entire family! That includes all three levels of the software. Subscriptions can also be purchased at reduced rates of $19.95 for a one year subscription or $34.95 for two years.

We’ve been using Quarter Mile Math for several weeks now. It has helped to dust out the mental cobwebs from the summer. My older kids are reviewing multiplication tables, and we’re already seeing improvement. They are still nowhere near as fast as they should be though, so I foresee a lot of racing in their futures!

To order Quarter Mile Math, visit their website. To read more reviews, be sure to visit the Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclosure: This product was provided to our family for free as members of the 2009-2010 Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew. Reviews and opinions expressed in this blog are our own.

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