**Mood:**a-ok

**Topic:**Homeschool Product Review

*As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I have been given a free six month subscription to Mathscore in order to try with my children*

*and to review on my blog.*

Although the website says that MathScore could be used as a homeschool curriculum, we used it as a review tool and as a tool to supplement what we were studying using another curriculum. MathScore is very much like the timed tests that we all used to take in math class. After registration, the parent or student chooses a grade level and then chooses a topic under that grade level. Students that are not used to typing are encouraged to begin on the "Copy Cat" level where they can practice finding numbers quickly. They can then progress to whatever topic that they may need help on or whatever topic that they are studying at the time.

Mathscore is a very no-fluff no nonsense review game. First you choose a topic. Let me tell you, first, about the topics. Mathscore covers everything from simple addition on up to Algebraic problems. You can literally use Mathscore from the time a child starts school through high school. The following is a list of just the first 25 of a list of about 100 on MathScore's intro page. However, that is only a small fraction of all of the topics that are included.

*Counting Squares Fast Addition Fast Subtraction Mixed Addition and Subtraction Basic Word Problems Telling Time Odd or Even Number Comparison Addition Grouping Patterns: Shapes Tally and Pictographs Bar Graphs Understanding Multiplication Beginner Multiplication Arithmetic Word Problems Odd or Even Theory Place Value to 1000 Order Numbers to 1000 Fraction Pictures Fraction Simplification Multiplication Facts Strategies Fast Multiplication Fast Division Rounding Numbers Long Subtraction*

After you choose a topic, you can either click on "sample problems" to see ahead of time what you are expected to do or you can go right to the "worksheet". But, beware, if you choose worksheet, the time will begin right away. Generally you have a certain amount of time to complete a set of problems. The time depends on how many problems there are as well as the difficulty of the problems. The amount of problems also vary and can span from around 3 at a beginning level to 30 or more at a more advanced level.

The problems are presented one by one and to answer, all you have to do is type your response and press enter to go on to the next problem. A timer below the problems counts down and tells you how many seconds you have left to complete that worksheet. I thought that this would really effect Joshua because he gets very frustrated doing timed tests. It did at first, and then I found the handy dandy "padding" button where the parent can pad the time for a student and add extra seconds per problem for their student. I upped Joshua time to where he could feel success from the start and build his confidence. As you progress through a topic, the problems become more difficult and there are more of them to do in a required time period. If the child is still getting frustrated after adjusting the time, no problem. Just print out some of their fully customizable worksheets for your student to do untimed until he is ready for the timed online worksheets.

The following is a sample of some of the simple algebraic problems that they may have to complete.

### Complexity=5, Mode=1

**Solve.**

1. f + 3 = ^{- }5 f = | 2. c + 1 = 9 c = | ||

3. t + 1 = 3 t = | 4. 3t = 18 t = | ||

5. ^{- }3 = q + 1 q = | 6. 3g = 3 g = |

### Complexity=7, Mode=2

**Solve.**

1. 38 = 7q - 4 q = | 2. 6t + 6 = ^{- }48 t = | ||

3. 4w - 5 = ^{- }41 w = | 4. 5w + 5 = ^{- }30 w = | ||

5. 7k + 4 = ^{- }31 k = | 6. 3e - 6 = 0 e = |

As a student moves through a topic, if he is having difficulty, the worksheets and problems will move up in small increments. If a student finds the problems easy, then the next worksheet may skip a few levels and advance the student further. Students also get points depending on what level they are on. As a child gets more points, he achieves different ranks - beginning with "Trainee" and ending with the very hard to achieve "Fleet Admiral". Let me warn you, though, that Fleet Admiral takes many years to achieve and by the time the student achieves it he can definitely work complex high school problems and, according to the MathScore website can pass any high school math achievement test. Here is what the website stated about the Fleet Admiral ranking ~ *"Student is highly self-motivated and might be a genius." *There are also 14 trophies that can be unlocked if you complete certain prerequisite topics.

As I said before, this is definitely a no-fluff curriculum. There are no graphics, no cutsie cartoons, just problems. For some reason, even without the glitz, my kids both loved it. Maybe it's the challenge of making a good score or moving up a rank. Perhaps it's the goal of unlocking a trophy. Whatever it is, I like it. They are learning math, and learning how to think quickly! What else can a parent ask for?

Having given all of these praises, however, let me give one slight warning. I feel that MathScore is an excellent tool for review or supplement, but not as a complete curriculum. Although the site says that MathScore can be used as a complete math curriculum, it only has what they call "Sample Problems", They are just what they say, __sample problems__ with not much, if any, explanation. I feel that another curriculum would need to be used to supplement MathScore.

After saying that, though, again I will say that as a supplemental tool, MathScore is fantastic and has a fantastic price. It offers a free 2 week trial to try it out. After that, it is $9.95 a month for the first child, $5.00 a month for the second child, then $3.95 for each child after that. Such a deal! You can even pay a certain amount ahead of time and they will just credit the amount of months you want to pay for. You pay for and get what you want. You can check out their website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. To find out what the rest of the TOS Homeschool Crew thinks about Mathscore, just click here. Happy homeschooling.

Updated: Tuesday, 2 February 2010 12:14 AM CST

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