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Friday, December 4, 2009

Tos Crew: Mathletics

Mel participated in this review with the TOS Homeschool Crew.


Anyone who reads my blog knows that math has been a struggle for me and Jacob.  Up until lately, it was hard to teach it, and it was even harder to watch Jacob struggle so much with it.  What has happened in the last month and a half, though, still amazes me.  I've watched him start to actually "get" the concepts; it's as if a light bulb has turned on, and he is just grasping every concept; his addition and subtraction skills have considerably improved.  Best of all, he is loving math.  I actually don't mind it anymore either.  I know that Mathletics has played a huge part in our success over the recent month and a half.

Mathletics, from 3P Learning, is an online math program that works through arithmetic skills with your child by incorporating several activities, including live activities with other kids from all over the world.  Right now Jacob is in Level 2, and he has four sections to choose from:
  • Modeling Numbers- which includes Count Forward Patterns; Count Backward Patterns; Count by Twos; Count by Tens; Count by Fives; Make Big Numbers Count; Model Numbers; Compare Numbers to 100; Test.
  • Addition and Subtraction- which includes Basic Fact Families; Add Two 2-Digit Numbers; Add Numbers: Regroup a Ten; Subtract Numbers; Subtract Numbers: Regroup; Add and Subtract Using Graphs; Test.
  • Measurement and Money- which includes Five Minute Times; Count More Money; Inches, Feet, Yards; Ounces and Pounds; Cups, Pints, Quarts, Gallons; Test.
  • Geometry, Fractions, Mult/Div- which includes Relate Shapes and Solids; Symmetry; Model Fractions; Groups of Three; Groups of Four; Groups of Five; Divide Into Equal Groups; Test.

I have noticed that the activities even use online manipulatives, like the ones found in Jacob's math books, such as base ten blocks, etc.  Jacob uses both the mouse and the keyboard to work all of the math actitivities. How the system works is that Jacob can go into any activity, and he can score more points for every correct answer, correct bonus level, or full curriculum that he gets correct.  His points can add up to 1000 for the week, and if he reaches that point, he gets a certificate.  There is a little rocket ship over in the sidebar that he can watch go up every time he earns more points.  He gets excited about making that go up.


My favorite part of the Mathletics has been his ability to play live with other kids from around the world.  Once you hit Play Live Mathletics, you enter a screen in which you can choose to play other kids, or you can play against the computer.  He's only played against the computer once.  When he plays other kids, he can see where in the world they are from and what school.  He's played against kids in the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, etc.  When he plays against them, it's almost like a speed drill.  There is a time clock in the upper right hand corner, and as it counts down, they are given addition or subtraction problems to answer.  For every correct answer, his bar moves to the right, and he can watch his bar moving compared to the other players' bars at the same time in the player graph.  It's almost like a race to see who can get to the end first.  He loves it!  He also loves the fact that he has his own avatar that he was able to create, so when he plays, other kids can see his avatar, and he can see theirs, which really just helps it to feel more personal.

There is also a games section on the Mathletics, where he can have a little bit more fun.  There is a Concept Search, as well, in which you can search for different math concepts in what looks like an online, illustrated dictionary.  If he doesn't understand what something means, we can just go look it up.

How I've used the Mathletics with Jacob is that we normally do our math lesson in the first half hour of school; sometimes it takes longer.  For the last 20-25 minutes or so of math, he gets to do Mathletics.  I usually have him do some of the activities listed above first, just to work his brain and get him thinking, and I've found that a lot of the time, what he's doing in the Mathletics is directly related to what he is learning in our math lessons.  It is just awesome!  Then for the last 10 minutes or so, I let him play Live Mathletics.

I just can't say enough good things about this program.  Mathletics has been a life saver for our "dreaded subject."  We no longer dread it, and Jacob has even started to say how he loves math now.  This alone makes my mama's heart so thrilled every time I hear it, especially when I think back a month and a half ago when he truly hated math.  What he is doing with Mathletics is so relateable to what he is doing in his math curriculum, and it has helped him to really pick up and learn the new concepts more easily.  I actually plan to purchase Mathletics for him, once our free trial is over, just because I don't want to be without it now.  The price is $59/year, which in my book, is well worth it.  They do offer a 10 day money back guarantee.  Also, if you know the Human Calculator's favorite number (ahem....9....but you didn't hear that from me), you can purchase the program for $49.95/year.  

If you'd like to read more reviews on Mathletics, head on over to the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

(Disclosure: I was provided with a free trial of this product from 3P Learning/Mathletics, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.) 

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