Lone Star Learning is a Texas based company that creates learning materials and products for kids in the areas of math, reading, science and vocabulary. For this review, we got to use one of their online products, Target the Question Digital Edition.
This program provides short, daily practice in math problem solving for kids in grades 1-7 (they also have a Spanish version of the program for kids in grades 1-5). Bascially, your child will log in every day and complete a problem related to the weekly story, scenario, or data set. The idea came from a similar program for teachers to use on their bulletin boards, where they would post a “scenario” or “data set” for the week and then have the children use that to solve a short word problem each day. (i.e., they might post a chart showing the populations of 5 major cities, then, on Monday, ask students to solve a problem related to the size of the biggest city vs. the smallest city, on Tuesday, they might ask the students to find the average population etc. etc.)
When you gain access to the Target the Question program, you also get to download a file that goes along with the program. The download includes weekly problem solving worksheets, which you can print and use for you child to record their work and then file in a binder, as well as reference sheets and answer keys. I found the download to be a nice addition to the program, and we printed the reference sheets and the weekly worksheets.
I used this program with my 6th grade son, and while he is good at math, he could use some extra practice with word problems. He liked that Target the Question did not take up a lot of time. He could complete each day’s problem in about 10 minutes. This meant that there was no arguing about getting it done!! He liked to use a white board to work the problem, and then transfer his answer to his weekly problem solving sheet. I felt the problems were appropriate for his age, and good practice for him. There were a variety to the types of problems he did. In the first week, he worked with a data table showing the amounts of rainfall for different cities. In the following weeks, he worked with a “sign” from a local restaurant showing prices, discounts, specials etc. He also had scenarios regarding distances travelled in a week, numbers of books read etc. etc. I would usually let him log on and work the problem himself every day and then check his answer. If it was correct, we logged out and moved on, if it was wrong, then we would work the problem together to figure it out.
Some of the problems were easier than others, but I found he did have to really THINK when working on them. This was good practice in finding important information, deciding what operation to use etc. All of these are things he needs to work on. I know that as he gets older (and in real life) most of the math he is going to really use will involve word problems, and I have been looking for ways to add daily practice in this area for us, and Target the Question definitely filled that need for us.
A one-year subscription to Target the Question will cost you $59.99 (they also have other options for a two year or more subscription as well). When you think about it, that’s not a lot for an entire year of math practice. If you have a child who needs to work on problem-solving, and you want a program that is effective AND easy to implement AND won’t cause a lot of stress, I think this is worth it. To find out about all the subscriptions available click here:
To see what other members of the crew had to say about Target the Question and the other products from Lone Star that we got to check out, click here:
**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.