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Educational Software for Kids: How to Choose the Right Math Software

Regardless of your personal feelings on the subject of mathematics, you cannot escape the fact that many kids struggle in this area. Reasons for math woes range from true difficulties with numerical concepts to sheer boredom from kids who tend to learn in a narrative fashion.
Educational software for kids is a great way to help kids learn, apply and memorize math concepts. However, if you are not matching the program to the child, you may do nothing but increase math-related frustration. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right math educational computer software for kids.

If you need educational software to teach math concepts like arithmetic, division or algebra, the product you end up with will be different than if you are looking for something to help with memorizing basic multiplication tables. For example, a game that takes kids through a forest adventure where they battle monsters by solving multiplication facts is a fun way to practice times tables. For kids who do not understand math concepts or have not yet learned their tables, however, the game would only be frustrating. Those students need educational software for kids that presents the information in a lesson and practice mode before getting to a fast-moving game.

Many computer programs provide extra activities and games associated with math. Such programs are a great way to supplement traditional education and are different from computer curriculum. A curriculum program acts almost as a virtual teacher. These programs begin at a certain point, present math concepts in visual, audio and hands-on lessons. The software then tests for understanding through computer quizzes, games and questions. When using curriculum of this type in a home school environment, it is best to choose a program that integrates with a hardcopy workbook or other non-software elements.

Whether you are purchasing educational computer software for kids as a home school tool or a way to enforce math lessons learned in the classroom, it is important that the concepts being taught integrate well with other lessons. Software should teach math processes in keeping with the level of the student. For example, introducing algebraic concepts to a third grader working on basic division will cause confusion and may decrease his or her ability to apply math lessons.
Additionally, if computer software uses unusual methods to teach concepts, it may hinder the ability to process standard methods being taught in schools. Additional methods should only be introduced once children display a mastery over the concept in question.

By choosing math software that meets the needs of the individual child and education level, you can increase his or her ability to succeed with numbers. Introducing random or unvetted software can be detrimental to a student's understanding of math.


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