Saxon Facts First

1/18/2010

Saxon math and homeschool seem to go hand in hand for many homeschool families as Saxon has long been trusted to provide quality math text books. Well, there is a new program offered by Saxon and as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I had the opportunity to try out FactsFirst.

FactsFirst is an online math program designed to build a child's confidence and develop instant recall of basic facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. According to the website, "Children are engaged in performance-based learning through interactive, real-world scenarios that make math facts meaningful and fun."

How does it work? Through the use of placement testing, lessons, reviews, and practice children develop their basic math facts. Arcade style games motivate students to complete a lesson and reinforce their skills. The program is intended to make recalling basic math facts not only instant, but fun. You can try the demo, to see more. Price: $49.99 yearly subscription for up to four students per household license. This is a great deal for larger families. What I liked about it:

  • The progress chart shows a quick overview of your child’s performance on individual math facts. A quick glance shows me areas that are "Excellent," "Good," "Needs Work," or areas they have not attempted yet. The chart can also be printed for your records.
  • That it was fun and interesting enough that my kids were excited to do more math online.

What my kids liked about it:

  • The Arcade. Need I say more? After every lesson, they get 5 minutes in the arcade. One of their favorite games is called Learning Links, a game where they paddle a ball and if they miss the ball, they have to do a math problem. They also like Shutter Bug, a game where they have to find the differences between two pictures. In between each game, they have to complete math problems to continue.
  • They liked that they could choose a career for their character.
  • The real life aspect of using different themes, such as working at a recycling center, store, amusement park and a lemonade stand.

What we didn't like:

  • The character graphics. Each child was able to create and dress up their own character, but the graphics didn't appeal to our taste.
  • The process of building a character was not challenging enough. It would be more challenging to have to earn points to be able to add features to their character.
  • The kids didn't like that they could not have their own password.
  • Parent feedback seemed lacking compared to other programs.
While there were a few things that bugged us about this program, it does seem to be a quality program for helping kids learn their basic math facts and I invite you to read my Crew mates reviews on Factsfirst to see how it worked for them!

I received a 90 day trial for free for the purpose of this review and no further compensation was received. I offer my honest opinion. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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