Sunday, March 28, 2010

Galaxy of Education, a TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Math Galaxy is a math tutorial for students in grades K-12, a downloadable software product that students use on the computer. You are able to buy exactly what you need, to target a particular area for a student. Math Galaxy offers 10 software products, priced at $29.95 each, and two e-books priced at $14.95 each, with a 30-day guarantee for all of their products.

I was given a download as part of TOS Homeschool Crew's team of reviewers. I received no compensation for my review and am not required to write a positive review.

The tutorial at provides a nice look at what buyers get.

My homeschooler and I sat down with the basic math sections, and, while she is capable of doing the simple addition, her anxiety rises when she sees bigger numbers (including 8's, 9's, 10's) and all the corresponding shapes that are there to be visual demonstrations of the equations. She can do that math in real life situations in her head without much thinking, but put it on paper or on the computer monitor in front of her, and apparently, I'm adding steps that create a roadblock for her. She thinks she has to count all the triangles or circles - (when they're there as a help if needed, she thinks, for some reason, counting them is a "have to") and the screeching and protesting and resisting begin. (Doesn't help that she's been sick a lot in February and March - that lowers her frustration tolerance.)

I'm telling you this to explain that, while Math Galaxy is a fine product, my daughter's developmental stage and her anxiety are an obstacle to our using it at this time.

My son was home sick from school, and he and I sat down with it to look at something he's working on in class - fractions. He hates being made to work on math. His anxiety rises, too, but he is typically developing and is able to work through that frustration.

My son liked the visuals - the colorful illustrations were helpful to him as he worked through some of the problems.

My son and I were really frustrated by the Pictographs under the Whole Numbers section - we couldn't tell how much of a portion of a car or a bicycle was being pictured - we were getting questions wrong because the Math Galaxy people were counting a portion (fraction) different from what WE were counting it based upon what it looked like to us. We didn't like having to guess what portion of the whole was pictured, because our perpective was quite different from Math Galaxy's perspective on almost every question.

My son liked other parts of Math Galaxy. There are games as well as problems to work. He did not like my expecting him to actually spend time practicing there. ;)

I would use this as a supplement if we were using a textbook, - the visuals offer a component that textbooks do not.

When I get to the point with my homeschooler that she understands that the triangles, circles, all the shapes and visual representations are just that, a visual representation to accompany those symbols (numerals, plus sign, minus sign, equal sign), Math Galaxy will be useful for us. We need to work with more real-life, hands-on manipulatives, for now. (See here and here for background.) Concepts come before symbols - and we're in concept mode right now. We'll get to symbols in our own time.

If your child needs a visual representation of a math problem, and likes working on the computer, (it's not all on the computer; there are e-books and worksheet generators for some parts of Math Galaxy) you'll probably like Math Galaxy. They offer visuals, "graphical illustrations", for everything, including word problems. There are samples available in addition to the tutorial on the Math Galaxy web site.

To read my Crewmates' reviews about Math Galaxy, please go HERE.

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