Facts First: Review

Facts First is an online math drill program produced by Saxon that teaches all the basic facts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  It uses placement testing, gives lessons and provides lots of practice for students.

Facts First has a definite fun, game-like feel with animated characters, facts taught in the context of stories and children earn arcade time each time they finish a lesson.

The children begin Facts First by creating a character to represent themselves in all subsequent activities.Facts First then introduces new math facts in the form of a story and gives the child an opportunity to practice the new material.Then the child works with the new math fact combined with previously learned facts in a series of timed sets of problems.

After each lesson the child is presented with a progress report in the form of a graph indicating all the facts that have been mastered, introduced and those that need some more practice.When the child has completed a lesson he or she earns some time to play math games in the Facts First arcade.Pros:

All instructions and problems are not only printed on the screen they are also verbalized through the speakers.  So the child sees and hears the instructions and then sees 4 + 1 = 5, while they hear “four plus one equals five” giving their brains more exposure to the fact and also reaching children with different learning styles.  This also makes the program preschool friendly.  There is no need for a child to be able to read the instructions.

Facts First gauges how well a child is doing on the introduced facts and pushes them through the facts more quickly if they are proficient.   The program also uses speed as well as accuracy to determine mastery of each fact.

Facts First is engaging and fun for kids, motivating them to learn their math facts.  We had a difficult time getting the children to stop playing with Facts First.

Our children enjoyed watching the number of facts mastered, grow and the number of facts to learn, shrink and all of them made good strides in their mastery of the basic facts.

Cons:

It seemed to me that the program was a little slow in moving the children through the facts and a couple of our children wished that they could progress a little more quickly.

Facts First is a little more game-y than I prefer.  After each lesson the children get 5 minutes in the Facts First arcade. While most of the games are a review of the math facts, I just prefer more serious math work during math time.

Facts First is a solid option for teaching children their basic math facts in a fun, relaxed way.  It would also be a nice choice for families who wish for their children to gain more math practice during their free time.

You may purchase a one year household license (up to 4 users) for $49.99.  There is also a free demo of Facts First available online so that you can see for yourself if this is something that would work for your child.

You may read more of my homeschool product reviews.

Our family received a free membership to Facts First in return for taking the time to share our honest opinion of this product.  All opinions are our own and we were not otherwise reimbursed for this review.  For more information please read my complete disclosure.

This is included in the Homeschool Curriculum Review Roundup.

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4 Responses to Facts First: Review
  1. Katie from NC
    February 3, 2010 | 9:42 pm

    Your twitter about this post (Is there a fun way to teach your children their basic math facts?) made the answer, “Yes, Grandmothers” come to my mind.

    My grandma taught me all my multiplication tables while we went for long walks. She made up songs and we sang them together. Much better than a computer game in my hardly-humble-oppinion. But then I was blessed with the worlds BEST grandma and got to spend a lot of time with her.

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  2. Celee
    February 4, 2010 | 9:49 am

    We bought quarter mile math at your recommendation and our kids seem to enjoy it during free time.

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  3. Ashley
    February 4, 2010 | 5:17 pm

    Thanks for the review! We’re going to check it out. Games like this work best for my learning disabled daughter and math facts are something that she’s having a very hard time mastering so hopefully this will be helpful to her!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’d love to know what you think about this.

    [Reply]

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