Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mathletics by 3P Learning-A Review

Company: 3P Learning
Price: 99$ Canadian per student per year. 59$US per year per student in America (49.95 if you know the human calculators favorite number....9)

We've had a lot of opportunities to try out different math programs this year (both on the Homeschool Crew and just in our little homeschool). I would have to say that in general it has been very hit or miss. We've tried some things that we've loved and then we've tried some things that we really didn't. There have been programs that I've had to bribe my son to try. Thankfully, Mathletics by 3P Learning was not one of them. As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a 45 days membership to Mathletics' online math program.

Mathletics offers a variety of ways (over 750 actually) to challenge your child (grades K-8th) while they practice their math skills. When your student first registers, they can customize their own avatar (hair, eyes, nose, etc) that they can use to compete with other students from around the world (which is also a great geography lesson because more than once we pulled out our world map to see where other students were from). However, if your child would rather, practice mode offers a variety ways to challenge your child and with a variety of rewards/credits given for reaching certain scores even a reluctant child might find themselves enjoying trying to reach higher and higher scores.

We begun using Mathletics by having Liam play against other students. Unfortunately, this caused some stress because he'd panic if he typed in the wrong answer and then feel bad because it would take him time to correct his mistake (your child and either answer the question wrong hitting enter and go on to the next question or backspace and correct their answer before continuing and Liam would get flustered looking for the backspace key and then because he fell behind give up). After seeing this cause him stress, we decided that it may be best for him to work on the practice section instead. The practice section allows the student to practice a variety of math skills (many, MANY more than the competition section). Students earn medals/certificates and credits as the answer questions and unlock bonus games. My son really enjoyed this but did get stuck on wanting to get every section PERFECT (because the perfect sections get a gold shiny bar beside their names as opposed to the blue one the student receives if they haven't answer every question right). It took me a while to convince Liam that it was alright to make mistakes and that by making mistakes you actually learn. A good lesson that needed to be taught.

While there is a lot to captivate a reluctant math student, Mathletics also offers a lot of extras for the parent as well. When you register your child, you actually get a parent account where you can log on to see your child's results in the various areas he has practiced. You can receive weekly progress reports e-mailed to you directly which reflect your students weaknesses and strengths. I really appreciate that I didn't have to stand over Liam to see what he was learning and I am sure that he enjoyed that Mama wasn't watching over his shoulder!

With a Canadian price of 99.99$ per year, I would be reluctant to purchase this product for my family at this point. While Liam had a lot of fun and I really appreciated the ease of use, I cannot justify the cost (which is per student, by the way) for a supplemental curriculum as it would be difficult to use this product as the core curriculum so an additional math program would likely have to be purchased (in my opinion). I know that the American membership is significantly cheaper at 59$US (49.95$US if you know the human calculator's favorite number "9") and at that price I would be much more willing to purchase this product as it does have a lot of benefits over other math "drill" programs that I have seen.

To find out more about Mathletics please visit their site here. (Americans may have to type link can be finicky) To read more reviews by other Homeschool Crew Members please click here. (Some reviewers seem to have had access to additional material (instant workbooks) that I was unable to view for some reason. I was told by the company that because I had a trial membership that I did not have access but pretty much everyone else reviewing did).

***Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

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