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Homeschool Crew Review: factsfirst


Our Little Misses can sled and craft, play dolls and roam with the dogs, read and have wild foosball games, and do many more such things.   Sometimes, however,  they just want to play a computer game.  Then they often gravitate to factsfirst, a math program that is almost a game.  It meets my wish for something constructive and non-violent, as well as the girls’ wish for fun. 



Factsfirst is an online math program designed to teach students addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.  This entertaining program includes a personalized character as well as arcade games.  Lessons are very visual, relating to real life situations, and the numbers are large and clear.  Children have the option to make the computer read all the instructions and problems out loud, which is perfect for non-fluent readers.


The Program

Although factsfirst is an online math program put out by Saxon, it can be used with any math curriculum. This program is for grades 1-4, but older children who do not know their tables will benefit as well.  A child can work with addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.  Simple facts (2 at a time) are taught in a real-life situation, and then children are given the opportunity to practice for a while.  After this they are quizzed.   The  program tracks how a child does with each fact over time and adapts the questions to the student’s past performance.  Review of previously learned facts is incorporated into a child’s questions.   Factsfirst tracks correct answers as well as speed, and sums up a child’s performance on a  math matrix table, showing which facts the child knows well and which still need work.  At the end of each lesson, students get their score on the two facts learned in that lesson. They also get feedback on other recently practiced facts.  


Unfortunately, parental feedback is minimal.   You can view and print each child’s math matrix for each of the four operations.  Also, you can enter the student’s account and for each quiz you can determine the date your child worked on that topic, the score, and the time he or she spent.  


When children complete a lesson, they are given 5 minutes of game time. Games, the highlight of this program, are captivating and reinforce the math facts the children have been working on. You can check out some games at the end of the demos offered on the website.


How We Used It

Miss 7 started with addition using the read aloud option, and Miss 9 started with multiplication.  At first the children were not enthused about this program. It seemed slow and their characters were clunky.   Then they discovered the games, and their attitude changed completely.  Miss 7 loves many of the games, and Miss 9 has become a golf fanatic .  My little girls will wander up to the computer and start factsfirst on their own initiative just to get at the games.


Even though, to them, factsfirst is all about games, both girls are pleased to see their tables slowly filling in.  In fact, Miss 9 finished her multiplication table a while ago and is now working on division.


Bottom Line

As entertainment, this is an excellent program.  It also helps children learn math facts, both in the lessons and in the games.  Factsfirst is especially useful for very young children because of the read aloud option and because it teaches at such a slow pace.


To learn more about factsfirst, view the screen shots and brief explanations on the website.  Two demos on this page include detailed information about how the program works.  If you wish more homeschooling parents’ opinions, please visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog


To Purchase

Saxon’s factsfirst is available for $49.99 US per year for up to 4 children. 



Disclosure Policy:   As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received 90 free days of factsfirst, in order to be able to write this review.


Dial-Up Friendly Policy:  For the sake of my dial-up readers, this blog avoids visuals. 


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