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Mathville Middle School, School Edition Review by Cari Young

Ingenuity Works
325 Howe Street, Suite 407
Vancouver, BC V6C 1Z7

Mathville Middle School is a CD that can be used on a PC running Windows 98 or higher or a Macintosh 8 or higher. You can run the program from the CD or install it on your hard drive. The user's manual is on the CD in PDF format to be viewed on the screen or printed out. Additionally, a teacher's eKit is included on the CD to generate worksheets and assessments.

Designed for grades 6-8, Mathville allows the student to explore a virtual world where math occurs in everyday activities like cooking, business, and sports. The real-life applications of math concepts and the video game-like experience make math practice more engaging for middle school students. Yet, you can print out a record of your student's session (to see what he or she really learned), and you can look on the websites to see the correlations to Texas, California, and Canadian curriculum standards.

According to the publishers, the problem-solving environment of Mathville includes practice in the following middle school math skills: decimals, fractions, and percent; rate and ratio; estimation; exponents; multi-step word problems; order of operations; graphs and data; area, perimeter, surface area, and volume; nets; pattern recognition; estimating angles; slides, flips, and turns; two- and three-dimensional figures; probability; integers; algebraic expressions and substitution.

Although this program is not designed specifically for homeschool use, it could easily be used in homeschools. For myself, I would use it as a computer game "treat" with lots of educational value. However, it has enough math content that it could be used as a middle school math curriculum, especially for a student who struggles with the paper and pencil method or needs more visual interest and real-world application. You can try a demo version on the publisher's website to see if it would fit into your home. At $49.95, it is reasonably priced for a one-year math curriculum or a three-year enrichment program that could be used by several students.

Product review by: Cari Young, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2008