Productive Mama bottom line: I have renewed our subscription for a second year of Reflex Math, as this has proved to work really well for us. Even after a year of use, the kids enjoy using it and I see their progress.
I am quite reluctant to pay for computer games, even educational ones. For learning our multiplication tables, we have used (and still enjoy) Fun4theBrain.com. We also used the very slick TimezAttack by BigBrainz (we only tried the free version). They are fun and definitely “cool” enough for my kids who have no regular access to gaming systems. But the kids didn’t LOVE them. And I couldn’t really keep track of which kid was doing what and what progress was being made (or not made). So their use petered out.
NOT SO with Reflex Math!
I decided to revisit some tools for multiplication facts in particular. I have a child who was understanding the concepts but struggling, as she often does, with memorization. This was making it difficult to build onto other concepts where you just need to KNOW these facts. I found a few but chose Reflex because I could set each child up with an account and gave one child addition/subtraction first and the other multiplication/division first. I recently switched them, as they attained proficiency in the set with which they started. The older one can always use reviews and the younger one was ready to get her multiplication facts memorized. I also liked I could see each child’s progress and work. I can easily take a quick look to see where they stand, how proficient they are, how much daily work they are doing. And because it worked so well for us, it was fun and satisfying for me to track their progress.
Except for that this DOES cost money, I have found no cons, except that my kids will sometimes spend MORE time than I’d like on this, at the expense of other subjects. Initially, they spent a LOT of time and I let them. Over time, yes, some novelty has worn off, but they still happily log on to do Reflex math.
The summary of the Pros, by my nine year old: “The games are fun. I love getting the green light to go to the store and “buy” items for my tree and avatar.” Every day is not a green light day. They must attain a certain level of fact family proficiency to get a green light. And usually I know this happens because I hear cheering.
- I never have to push them to do Reflex Math.
- I can run an account for each student and easily track their progress.
- I had NO issues setting us up. It was designed for a classroom/teacher situation but the homeschool option is set for one or three students.
- It has been great for both initial learning of facts, as well as review.
- It takes very little of my time! Three cheers for independent learning!
- Great if you have several kids at various stages of fact family learning, from addition through division.
- Web-based so you can use anywhere you have a connection. I do not know how this works on an ipad.
As always, I suggest buying through Homeschool Buyers Co-op, though this program does not seem to be carried by them anymore. HBC has great pricing and detailed information and reviews from parents. As with all my purchases so far, I have had almost instant access and smooth sailing. So at least check it out to see if it’s currently offered and, if not, go directly to Reflex Math.