Master Math Facts with XtraMath
While working with my daughter on third-grade level math I noticed early on that her basic addition and subtraction math facts were not as solid as they should be. We were beginning work on memorizing multiplication tables, but I wanted to shore up addition and subtraction before she ventured into higher level math.
But you see, I don’t really want to sit with my daughter going through flashcards. I could be planning our next unit study, finding an educational field trip for us to go on, or even scooping out the cat litter box. I’ve had my daughter work with flashcards on her own, and even had her make her own flashcards. She was bored and we noticed very little benefit for the time invested. Reading some comments on the Pioneer Woman homeschooling blog led me to XtraMath. I am in love, and have passed this site on to everyone I know, whether homeschooling or not.
XtraMath is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to math achievement for all.” The nonprofit part is great because the site has no ads, which are a visually distracting problem with many of the more game-like online math sites I’ve looked at. The site design is clean, and it’s quick and easy to sign up. I had my daughter do the initial assessment and she did indeed need more practice in addition and subtraction math facts.
How does Xtramath help with math facts? It is basically a computer-generated math facts drill. Each answer is timed: answer in three seconds and you get a smiley face, answer in under 10 seconds and you get a green check mark, answer incorrectly and it will show you the correct answer (which you have to type in to move on), wait longer than 10 seconds and it shows the answer but you still have to type it in to move on. Being a computer that can think faster than a homeschooling mom, it knows which problems the student needs more work on and when to ask them.
So why am I in love? It’s free. It takes her about 10 minutes each day. It is a daily math facts drill that I fully believe will strengthen her facts so she’ll be ready to tackle higher level math without stopping to figure out 8 + 7. Oh, and I don’t have to drill with her but I do get an email each week with her progress. That’s helpful because even when she says she doesn’t like it, I can point out her progress since the initial assessment and she has to agree that it is working.
Take a few minutes and watch the videos on the bottom of their homepage. They’re just over a minute each but give you an overview of how their program works, what information is in the progress reports, and how to sign up. It’s painless, free, and will make sure your little mathematician has the building blocks necessary to dive into fractions, long division, and everything else coming their way.