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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mathletics Review

Everyone who knows me knows we have, and love, a math curriculum that works for us. So it always surprises me when, through the course of reviewing products for the TOS Crew, we are introduced to alternatives for math education that we find ourselves really liking. And Mathletics is another one of those surprises.

Mathletics is a website offering memberships, and has two main components. First, it is a math curriculum for students in grades kindergarten through 8.

Second, it allows students in those grade to compete with other students worldwide in real time by solving math problems.

Mathletics starts out with each student receiving an avatar (cartoon picture of "them") that they can customize a bit to make it look more like themselves...or whatever they want. As students work through their curriculum, they earn points that are usable to "purchase" upgrades to their avatar. Since this is the "public" face of your child as they compete with others around the globe, it is fun to be able to enhance their character any way they wish. Mathletics is used by millions of students in school systems and home use worldwide. There is a parent page where you can change your child's grade level, and even assign them specific lessons to work through before they can go "play" in the competition. And parents can choose to have a weekly report e-mailed to them showing their student's progress.

The pros: Math drill can be, well, BORING. And this is FUN. Really. Working through the lessons is fun because you are earning points as you do it. And competing is fun, because who doesn't want to compete with kids all over the globe! At it's most discounted rate (more on that later) it's only $1 a week, and that's a small price to pay for an effective, student motivating product. My kids begged to use it, and I liked that you could change the grade level for each child since our curriculum does not follow the standard scope and sequence.

The cons: The biggest one to me is that you have to pay for each student individually, there is no "family" rate, as I think most of their business is with schools and groups. $1 a week isn't bad...but $1 a week times each child starts to add up...especially when you figure that works out to $200 a year for me-for a drill/review product. Although Mathletics does have a curriculum component, I don't think there is enough instruction to really have it be your only math curriculum, so basically, in my opinion, this is a curriculum supplement, not a stand alone product.

The bottom line: if you have a child who struggles with math and needs review, then this is the product for you. If you have a child who excels in math and wants the world to know, then this is the product for you too. If you have a child who is fine in math but could really take it or leave it, this might spark them to love it more. If you can afford $1 a week per child then this is something I'd seriously consider.

The regular coast of a Mathletics subscription is $99 a year. They are currently running a special price of $59 a year, and if you know the Human Calculator's favorite number (it's 9), then the price drops to $49.95. That price gives you 24 hour a day/7 days a week access to the web site for 12 months. There is also a 10 day money back guarantee, so everyone can check it out to see if it is right for them. Go HERE to check out Mathletics. To see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say, go HERE.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a 45 day FREE subscription to Mathletics so that my children and I could check it out. This access was the only payment I received in return for writing this review, and this review reflects my honest opinion.

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