Homeschool Creations

Monday, January 25, 2010

FactsFirst & Saxon Math {Review}


Trying to get back into the routine of school after a longer than planned break has been a little tough, especially with some subjects. I’ve mentioned more than once that math is the subject here that receives the most moans and groans. Even though I love it, a few of my kiddos brains just aren’t wired the same as mine {go figure}.

Laurianna really dislikes worksheets and it will take her all of eternity to work on some of the most simple {at least to me} problems.  We have figured out that she really needs instant feedback on what she is doing ~ or she won’t move onto the next problem. Working with three other kids doesn’t give me the time to always work 1:1 with her, so there are times when online games/quizzes can be a huge blessing to our homeschool day. Since our math facts are one area that we are planning to focus on {hard} this half of the year, we were happy to receive a trial period to use the online math program of factsfirst.

What is factsfirst? is an online math program that was created for Saxon Math, although it would work with any primary math program. It was developed to help children improve their basic math fact skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. As children work through the speed drills, quizzes and tests, they are rewarded with ‘arcade time’ where they can play after the completion of a unit.
Children first create a personalized avatar ~ our kids loved that you could put Crocs on their feet. :) Once the avatar is created, they move on to the units.


Children work through units that focus on mastering the basic facts by playing over 350 fun games.
The lessons consist of five basic segments; new facts, commutative property, practice, quiz, and scoring. New facts are gradually introduced to children as they work toward mastery. Facts are grouped in units with each lesson in a unit introducing two new facts. A child masters these facts before starting another unit.

Even though the arcade time is a ‘break’, kids are still working on their math skills while playing different games.


Parents can access an overview sheet to see how each child is doing on their various math facts. There is one sheet for each fact area {addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division}.

What We Liked

Our kids really enjoyed the factsfirst website and the time spent on it. The different games held their interest and Zachary {age 5} was excited because this was one game that he could play along with by doing simple addition facts.

I appreciate the fact that you can have four users per family on the account and that the parents have access to see the progress their kids are making. The progress charts can also be printed off to keep in your records, which is very handy.

The arcade time was also a big hit in our house. I had to laugh when our girls were excited about earning stuffed animals ~ and was thrilled that they weren’t more real ones for our house! :)

Find Out More

The FactsFirst online program is available through Saxon {$49.99}  and your purchase includes a one year subscription to the site for up to four users. If you would like to see a demo of the program, you can visit the main site to see it in action.

Click on the Homeschool Crew banner to read other reviews about this product.

This product was given to me for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

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  • Laurianna sounds exactly like my son Isaac (age 8). I'm looking for a new math program to use with him, and I really don't know what to do. The highest recommended programs are expensive. It would be so useful if we could try before we buy! We did try out the demo on this particular online program, but again, it seems kind of expensive for just one year, although I can definitely see the benefit in it...

    By Blogger Debbie, At January 25, 2010 at 6:30 AM  

  • I tried the demo last week with my dd and we both love it; however, it appears that it is a yearly subscription of $49.99. Am I wrong? I would be much happier buying the product via CD-rom or download. Why does it have to be a subscription? Am I confused about this?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At January 27, 2010 at 4:12 PM  

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