When I found out that the Homeschool Review Crew would be reviewing The Quarter Mile Math programs, I was thrilled. Many, many years ago I’d read Mary Pride’s glowing recommendation of this math drill program and since then it has been on my mental wish list.
The Quarter Mile Math Program is a motivating math drill in which children compete against themselves (and others if they wish), continually improving their performance. Two versions are available, a Deluxe Online Version and a Standard CD Version.
Whether you race cars or horses, the aim of The Quarter Mile Math is to compete against your own former races and win. There are no glitzy animations or silly characters. There’s only the math and an excited student trying to go faster and faster.
This is how it works. You log on, choose which topic to race in, and press the green ‘go’ button. There’s a countdown with neighing horses or revving engines, and then large numbers appear on the bottom of the screen. Let’s say you choose the doubling game and are racing horses. If the screen shows a 2, you must quickly type 4 (you don’t need to hit enter), and then your horse will start—or if it’s already started, it will speed up. If you type 5 by mistake, nothing bad happens, but the horse’s speed doesn’t improve. You are given another chance to type in the right answer. For every correct answer, the speed improves, and if you type in a wrong answer, the focus remains on getting the right one, not on the fact that you were wrong.
For the first few games in each topic, you race against horses or cars owned by Fast Eddy, who is guaranteed to start later than you and to be very slow. As you play more games, more and more of the horses are yours (i.e. your old races), and fewer and fewer are Fast Eddy’s, so the top five average racing times immediately go down. It’s quite exciting to watch the times improve. Once you’ve eliminated Fast Eddy, you’re competing only against yourself. Since the program takes your five best times to calculate your average, your time does not worsen if you have a bad race. Even if you’re only speeding up marginally, the program is able to record your improvement. This is a great confidence builder.
The Quarter Mile Math is all about positive reinforcement for your child’s achievements, without any negative repercussions for errors. The focus is on winning the race, and winning that race remains the focus. There are no distractions.
A great deal of thought has gone into designing this software to be motivating and to encourage learning. The website has videos explaining the features and benefits of The Quarter Mile Math. Don’t forget to check out the homeschool section of the site, and be sure to return to it after you’ve bought the program.
A total of 323 drillable math topics from K-9 are covered by Quarter Mile Math. All of these topics are available on the Deluxe Version, and you can choose which ones you wish with the Standard Version. When you’re deciding which version to buy, be sure to study the online comparison chart carefully.
Our children play The Quarter Mile Math for fun (and so do I), but for school they are occasionally required to spend some time on topics I choose. They are learning to compute quickly and are having fun doing it. No tears with Quarter Mile Math! In fact, one of our children is doing the Quarter Mile Math fractions drills now instead of her regular math work. When she gets back to her main math curriculum in a few weeks she will be ready to tackle fractions with confidence. Sometimes the children love to compete with their siblings, and other times they want their scores to be kept private; with this program both options are possible.
Christopher of The Quarter Mile Math has given us the calmest and most patient technical service imaginable. It has truly been a joy to work with him.
There’s not much to say here besides:
Mary Pride was correct when she wrote, “I cannot praise [it] too highly.”
All of the Sylvan Learning Centers in the US and Canada made a great choice.
If you have a child in your home, you should consider The Quarter Mile Math software. It’s fun. It improves math skills painlessly. It increases a child’s confidence. And it does it all much more effectively than flashcards, saving mom a great deal of time. This resource is worth every penny you spend on it, and more.
Purchasing Information and More Reviews
The Deluxe (online) Version of The Quarter Mile Math is a subscription option, for $2.95 per family per month, $19.95 per family per year, or $34.95 per family for two years. Six different options are available for the Standard (CD) Version, ranging in price from $39.95 to $89.95. Note that all these prices are in US funds.
For more homeschooling parents’ opinions, check out the Homeschool Crew Website.
I received this product in order to review it, and boy, am I thankful!
For more homeschool tips see Five J’s Thirsty Thursday: Satisfying Our Kids’ Thirst for Learning One Sip at a Time