Friday, March 26, 2010

Math Galaxy (TOS Crew Review)

As a member of the 2009-2010 The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I was sent some Math Galaxy electronic downloads from Galaxy of Education. We used Whole Numbers Fun (geared towards 1st through 4th graders).

The mathematics concepts are presented in very concrete ways, much like our Math-U-See, with visual elements and explanations of what the concept represents (like taking something away for subtraction and having multiple rows of the same number of items for multiplication).

The program was a bit tricky to figure out for me, but once I got the idea, it was better. The menus are simplistic, which seemed to add to the problem. For example, when wanting my child to work on Time, we had to click on "Review" and "Step by Step" in order for him to start from the beginning. Clicking on "Review" seemed counter-intuitive for someone wanting to start from scratch, but once I figured that part out, we could do the program.

There is a lot of wording in a text box that explains the pictures happening on the screen, basically teaching you the math concept visually and with explanations. However, for a first-grader, that was not helpful. Having it SPEAK the words would have been a lot more helpful for mothers who can't sit with their kids and read the operations to them. In that respect, I felt like we might as well stick with hands-on manipulatives and parent-taught math, although this computer program sure takes up less space in my house! (grin)

The way the program works is the kids complete the math problems, and each problem earns them robots, which they can use to play in the Labyrinth. That's a great help for parents! Teach the kids to earn the playtime - Two Thumbs Up for that concept!

The kids thought Whole Numbers Fun was "okay" and weren't thrilled with the program, but they didn't hate it either. It is an okay math program, and it certainly seems to encompass a variety of topics, but it wasn't a great fit for us.  We are still early into homeschooling and haven't found our "it" program yet, but with all the math products we have reviewed, this program didn't excite them in the same way some of the previous ones did.

Whole Numbers Fun sells for $29.95 with free shipping on their website.  To see what my fellow Crew Mates thought of Math Galaxy, or see other programs from this vendor, click here.

*Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this program to use and review.  I was not compensated for this review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

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