WHAT IS IT?:
Matific Galaxy is a unique online gaming experience that gets kids interested in practicing a whole host of math skills under the guise of playing fun space-themed games. Kids are rewarded for their successful game play by earning points that can be exchanged for cool accessories they can use to outfit their alien characters.
This program has a parent dashboard that allows you to set up your students individually and place them at grade levels from K-6. In the dashboard, you can log in and review how your child is doing at any time, review their progress, and set or change their learning goals and grade level for math content.
A full one-year subscription for all grade levels from K-6 with over 500 activities is just $39.99. Or you can get a one-year subscription for a single grade level with over 70 activities for just $19.99.
You can also play using an Apple (version 10.0 or later) or Android app (version 4.4 or later), making game play available on-the-go! If you have the online subscription, you just log into the app with the same account information, although your child’s progress is not synced between the web-based version and the app version. You can also download the app (separate app for each grade level) without the online subscription for free and then make individual in-app purchases for the games.
There’s such a variety of skills within the program, and the parent dashboard gives plenty of detailed information, including your child’s overall score, as well as specific scores within each skill. It even compares this information with the average score kids have achieved in each skill so you can get a feel for how well your child’s abilities stack up against their peers who are using the program. It also shows your child’s overall progress through the program and suggests practice games for skills where extra practice is needed.
When I set up Holden’s profile, I put him in Grade 5 (since he had just finished 5th grade) with a learning goal of 45 minutes per week of using the program. I let him decide if he wanted to play that all at once or if he wanted to go with the recommended 3 times per week at 15 minutes per sitting. Generally, he liked to play all at once, and he had enough fun doing it that the time flew by!
Another nice parent feature is the option to sign up for weekly emails right to your inbox detailing your child’s progress and how much time they’ve spent playing the games. I find these helpful so that I don’t have to remember to log in and see how he’s doing.
The concept behind the game is that there are 10 alien characters who were attacked by a foreign invader who stole all of their pixels away, making them essentially disappear. By answering math questions correctly in a variety of games, your child can return pixels to a given character until they are fully restored. Points are earned that the child can use to exchange for accessories, which they can use to dress up their character. Gifts for your character can also be earned, and there are a total of 500 different prizes that can be won!
Each game presents a different type of math skill, so the longer your child plays, the more skills they will encounter in their assigned grade level. As each character is unlocked with progress, the child can jump between planets to work on helping the various characters. There are multiple games to be played on each character’s planet.
Some of these problem solving games require a great amount of thought! I played some of them myself and found them quite challenging! I was impressed with how well they get you thinking ahead to achieve the necessary goal. For instance, in the “Pour Yourself Into It” game pictured above, sometimes you are given a faucet from which to obtain water, but in other cases, there is no faucet, just filled jars. So in that case, you have to be careful to empty amounts either into other jars or into the bushes without running out of available water before achieving the right amount in the biggest jar. This is great brain training in critical thinking skills!
Holden has a tendency to have too much overall screen time between the Xbox, a tablet, and a computer. At least with Matific Galaxy, I can feel comfortable letting him play, knowing that he is truly using his brain power to get from one game to another.
I am very pleased with this program, and it’s an excellent way to get Holden spending just a little more time practicing in math. The graphics are excellent, and even the app looks really visually appealing! This helps keep interest in a child who is definitely video-game oriented. And with multiple types of games available in each planet, it’s sure to keep him motivated to keep unlocking new ones and moving his way through the galaxy saving the characters by restoring their pixels. We love it!
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