The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Michael Graz

MyMathMind is an online subscription site for students to practice basic addition and multiplication facts. This could be used in a homeschool setting as well as a classroom. The subscription is only $10 per student for an entire year, but you can try it out for a limited time for free. There is not a family or group rate at this time, but the company does plan to add this option in the near future. The concept behind this program, and what makes it different from the other ones out there, is the grid format. On the grid, the row and column of each of the numbers in the problem being worked on is highlighted. Once the correct answer is given, the square where the column and row meet is filled with a color. The highlighting reinforces the math patterns, and the colored answers motivate the student because he can see how many problems he has left. Answers can be entered either by clicking on them or typing them in.

There are three different levels of difficulty. Level one has no time limit; each correct answer is given a score of 10 points, and the only answers provided are for that particular challenge. Level two has a 30-second time limit per problem; each correct answer is given 10 to 50 points, and there are a few incorrect answers mixed in. Level three has a 10-second time limit per problem; each correct answer is given 50 to 100 points, and all possible answers are given.

The teacher/parent can choose to let the student work on all math facts or select the specific ones needing the most review. After a challenge is completed, the parent and the student can review the results in four different ways. A History page allows you to see all the challenges completed with the student's average level and points scored. If a challenge was not completed, a link is provided to go and finish it. A Chart page shows the time-order all challenges were completed. The student can check this to see if he is getting quicker at completing challenges. The Progress page shows the progress being made in each level and for each number. The High Scores page is probably the one most students would enjoy. It displays the top ten scores of children around the world for addition and multiplication. Be aware, though, that whatever name you use as the login is what will be displayed on the list. (There is no way to gather information about any student though, so it seems quite safe.) My son was very motivated by seeing his name on the board. It added another level of competition to this program.

I'm not sure if my son caught on to the fact that the grid was displaying a pattern for the math facts or not. However, he did not complain when practicing his facts on this site, and that alone is a plus. Because the screen was very simple and the highlights drew his eyes right to the problem, he was able to focus clearly on each problem. He also enjoyed competing against children from other countries and seeing his name on the list. I liked the fact that I could select specific facts for him to practice and then check his progress. I think this program is a great deal for the price. It's hard to find a program that lets you pick the exact problems you want practiced and also keeps track of your child's progress. If you are looking for a flashy program with lots of cute graphics and music, this is not for you. But if you are looking for a solid program that will help your child master his basic addition and multiplication facts, keep you updated on his progress, and grow with your child as he masters his facts, I recommend you give this site a try.

Product review by Heidi Miller-Ford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2010