Dec 162009
 
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What is Mathletics?

Mathletics is the world’s most used math website. It provides on-line math instruction for elementary and middle school students. It is produced by the team behind World Math Day and provides the unique feature of allowing students to compete with other students around the world both in overall points and 1 minute challenges.

How does it work?Each student is assigned a user id and password. The parent also has an id allowing them to monitor all their children’s progress. During the initial log-in, the child is able to design his own personal avatar. My kids all enjoyed this part. The parent is able to set the desired grade level for each student.

After logging in, the initial screen looks something like this.

You can see the personalized avatar at the top right. This is the screen for my 7 year old son. I assigned him to first grade math. This screen shows the student’s overall progress through the curriculum. During our trial period, he completed the Addition and Subtraction and Geometry and Measurement sections. He is still working on the Addition, Subtraction, Time section.

When the student clicks on one of the bars, he is taken to a section that includes 10 questions. Each question is given on a separate screen. Here is an example subtraction problem.

The student enters his answer, clicks submit, and is immediately told if his answer is correct. If it is incorrect, the correct answer is given. The sections can be completed more than once in order to obtain a higher score. Each time a section is completed with a higher score than the previous one, points are added. These points go toward the weekly award category.In addition to the practice sections, there are problem solving sections, live play against other students, and games.

What did we think?

I received trial accounts for 3 students: 6th grade son, 4th grade daughter, and 2nd grade son (though he used the 1st grade level.) There were varied reactions (as usual).

My daughter wanted nothing to do with Mathletics after the initial set-up and one section. That is becoming a predictable response. She isn’t very interested in using the computer for her schoolwork. She plays an occasional game, but typically she prefers pencil and paper. So, I didn’t make her continue with the program.

My 6th grade computer-loving son initially thought the program was pretty neat. He completed several of the sections without any problem. He wasn’t particularly motivated by the points or games though. I also placed him in 6th grade, but probably should have placed him a grade ahead.

My 2nd grade son LOVED it! He loved earning points and watching the animations congratulating him for his progress. He was able to navigate the screens himself, though he needed help with some problems because he does not read well yet.

I found the system easy to navigate. I liked the variety of problems and the instant feedback it provides for the students. It’s a bit faster at grading than I am! Overall, it is a good system for reinforcing math concepts. I don’t think it would be suitable as a sole math curriculum except maybe for a short time. It could be very useful for a busy mom trying to teach multiple children and especially just after a new baby is born.

What does it cost?

The regular subscription price is $99/year per student. This is currently reduced to $59. (And if you know the Human Calculator’s favorite number, you can get a subscription for $49.95. Shh, the number is 9.)

Visit Mathletics.com to order a subscription. To read more reviews of Mathletics, 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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