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Math Fundamentals / Math Galaxy Games Review by Heidi Strawser

Galaxy of Education
430 W. Upsal Street
Philadelphia, PA 19119

Math Fundamentals and Math Galaxy Games are computer software programs. These two programs are meant to complement each other, as Math Fundamentals is mostly instruction (with a few games) and Math Galaxy Games is for practice. (I will refer to the set as "Math Fundamentals" throughout the remainder of this review.)

Math Fundamentals is a comprehensive math tutorial for grades 3-8. It could easily be adapted for use with younger students advanced in math or older students who require extra math help or practice. This software has two modes of play--Step-by-Step mode (in which you are guided through each step of a problem) and Final-Answer-Only mode (in which you do the work on your own and provide the final answer). Math Fundamentals starts out with the basics, such as addition and multiplication tables and single-digit operations. The main focus of this software, however, is on multi-step problem solving, which seems to be the area of mathematics where children tend to start having problems.

If you are asking yourself how a software program will help improve your child's math skills, here is what the company has to say about the difference between Math Fundamentals and other math resources:

  • Unlike most textbook approaches to math, Math Fundamentals works through concepts sequentially and interactively.
  • Unlike other math software, Math Fundamentals is so much more than just simple math games.
  • And, unlike math manipulatives, Math Fundamentals links each physical operation to its mathematical counterpart in each step and allows manipulations that are difficult to do with physical manipulatives.

My 7-year-old is a bit of a math whiz, so I decided to try this software out for myself. I thought that the instructional part of the software was fairly easy to understand and manipulate. The step-by-step instructions are clear and would definitely benefit a student who is struggling or who needs extra practice. The games were, in my opinion, a bit more difficult to understand. After trying a few of them, however, I was able to make sense of them. For that reason, I would recommend this software with the following advice: Do not give up on this software before you have given it a fair chance. I believe it could actually become addicting and fun!

Product review by Heidi Strawser, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2008