Barnum Software’s Quarter Mile Math is a complete math drill and review system for preschoolers through grade 12. Quarter Mile is a computer based set of races featuring either race cars or horses where children race against their own best times to learn keyboard skills, counting, basic math facts or more complex fractions, averages, estimations, and integers.
The concept of Quarter Mile Math is simple; math problems are flashed on the screen and the children type the answer in as quickly as they can which causes their race vehicle to accelerate. The implementation of the concept is brilliant, the children race against their own fastest times and with over 300 topics, a clever parent with a little one on one instruction could use this as a stand alone math program for the first few years of math.
Barnum Software offers two versions of Quarter Mile Math, the Deluxe and the Standard Versions. The basic difference is that with the deluxe version the scores are stored online and children can race against each other (or even grandparents) where the standard version is accessible offline, but does not have the capability to race against others in real time. For a more thorough explanation of differences please visit the website. Our family tested the standard version – level 1, 2, and 3 bundle.
For the first few races in each topic the children race against a computer generated racer who is designed to lose, but as soon as the child has a history in that topic they race against their own best times. This way the children are competing against themselves and when they lose they are losing to themselves. Several of our children tend to be very competitive and this was great for them as they were motivated to improve their time without being frustrated at being beaten constantly. The program can detect improvements in time as small as 1/100th of a second, so the children will see even small improvements in time.
I think the best feature of this program is the number of topics. I mentioned there are over 300 of them. To give you a better idea here are the Whole number – Addition topics:
Addition: 0 + 0 through 1 + 1
Addition: 0 + 0 through 2 + 2
Addition: 0 + 0 through 3 + 3
Addition: 0 + 0 through 4 + 4
Addition: 0 + 0 through 5 + 5
Addition: 0 + 0 through 6 + 6
Addition: 0 + 0 through 7 + 7
Addition: 0 + 0 through 8 + 8
Addition: 0 + 0 through 9 + 9
Addition: 0 + 0 through 10 + 10
Addition: 0 + 0 through 20 + 20
Addition: 0 + 0 through 200 + 90
As you can see the topics are divided in such a way that you can teach a child all their math facts by working methodically through each topic until the child has mastered all of the facts. We did this with one of our children who has struggled with math and memorizing. We began the child on “adding 0’s” and when they got to a certain speed moved them to “adding 1’s”, then on to “adding 0+0 through 1+1″, etc. It worked beautifully and that child has progressed well through the addition facts.
Quarter Mile topics include all basic math facts as well as, fractions, doubling, halving, missing numbers, rounding, fractions, decimals, percents, estimations, integers, percents and lots more.
We implemented Quarter Mile Math by assigning each child a topic that they were to race. Then every couple of days I would check their times, see how they were doing and assign the next topic if I felt they were ready. Of course they are allowed to play Quarter Mile during their free time, selecting any topic that they wish.
Quarter Mile Math is a winner in our book and gets a big two thumbs up. Our children all loved the race format and hurried through chores so that they could be the first to play Quarter Mile. I had to limit each child to a certain number of races each day otherwise they would have spent way more time than necessary practicing their math facts. (We’ve never had that problem before.) We also saw nice improvements in math computation speed and the children were proud to improve their scores and show daddy their best times. All this for a VERY reasonable price, Quarter Mile Math is the whole package.
Barnum Software offers the Deluxe version of Quarter Mile Math as a download for ONLY $2.95 per family per month, $19.95 for a one year family subscription or $34.95 for a two year family subscription. I think that this is an amazing value. Think about it two years of math drill and review for our 9 children for $34.95! The Deluxe version includes all levels and topics, stores student data online and offers students the ability to race against each other or even race against and out of town grandparent. The students must have internet access for the Deluxe version, but they do not have to visit any websites to play Quarter Mile Math.
The Standard version of Quarter Mile Math is a CD that you can install on multiple computers (for family use only) and is offered in 3 different levels or any combination of levels bundled together for between $39.95 (for one level) and $89.95 (for all three levels). The Standard version does not require internet access.
If you decide to purchase Quarter Mile Math through any of the links on Raising Olives you will receive $5 off of your order!!
You can see all of my reviews here.
This post is included in the Homeschool Curriculum Review Roundup.