As part of the TOS Crew, we were asked to review The Quarter Mile Math. It’s a game, er, a math program. I know there are horses there somewhere, but I haven’t actually seen them. That’s because I have a boy and Quarter Mile offers a race car option. Other options are ignored around here.
The boy is using Quarter Mile’s Deluxe Bundle, which allows him to accelerate as he correctly answers math problems. As he races, he competes against his previous best times. (Children race as cars or riderless horses – no harnessed and numbered critters for those of us who avoid animal-centered sports.)
The program is the software equivalent of sneaking carrots in spaghetti sauce – kids learn while playing a game. For my son, especially, the competitive aspect clearly works to my advantage as he wants to answer problems faster. It has been perfect for reviewing concepts that he has “almost” mastered and because it spans counting through fractional coefficients (hey, maybe I need to use it…), this is a product that will have great longevity in our homeschool. Practice produces speed which results in mastery. And this is much less painless than the timed math tests my son endured in pre-homeschool days.
Though this program is widely used (and is used in all Sylvan Learning Centers in the US and Canada), homeschoolers have their own niche with Quarter Mile since a new homeschooling section was added to the web site recently. Check it out and download a free demo of the program. A variety of purchase options are available, including CDs and online subscriptions, but in my opinion, the subscription program makes the most economic sense for homeschoolers. Obviously, the subscription program requires Internet access, but if you are reading this...
CDs are available by level or as bundles. A really affordable option is the subscription program. Current costs are $2.95 per family per month, $19.95 per family for one year or $34.95 per family for two years. This includes access to more than 70,000 problems and up to 12 family members can use the subscription. If you have high speed Internet access at home, kids can compete against each other in real time on separate computers. (I only have one homeschooled child, so we didn’t test this out. Maybe I will race the boy….)
From Quarter Mile:
The homeschool tab on the Quarter Mile site includes
--- “Getting Started” (Information that will help you understand the basics of the Quarter Mile Math quickly and easily and help your kids jump right in to using it.)
--- “Tips & Info” (This will be an ongoing series of emails to help you make the most effective use of the program. Once emailed, they will be posted on this page. Anyone can sign up to receive these emails.)
--- “Printable Progress Chart” (Helps you keep track of students’ progress in The Quarter Mile Math.)
--- “Users’ Forum” (A place for homeschoolers to see how others are incorporating The Quarter Mile Math into their curricula.)