Wednesday, January 5, 2011

TOS Review: Math Facts Now

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Attention all non-homeschool parents that have stumbled across my blog and kept reading past the word "Review" in my title, here's another product that you may be interested in.

Math Facts Now is a computer program specifically designed to help your child practice their basic math facts. That's it - basic math facts, no bells and whistles. I sort of think of it as flash card practice done on the computer.

PhotobucketIt does math facts practice very well, though. When you set up the lessons, you get to choose the operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), which facts to drill, the amount of time the child has to answer each problem, and the number of correct responses that are required. After setting up the lessons, your child logs in (with their name), selects a lesson, and completes the problems.  The program even keeps track of which specific facts are difficult for your child. Those specific problems are then repeated more frequently. Easy peasy.

The program itself is very basic. The problems are written on a plain screen, and the student merely types in the answer.  On the one hand, there really is nothing to make this program visually appealing. On the other hand, my children have never fallen in love with any of the visually appealing programs that claim to make drilling math facts fun. Addison in particular prefers to just do this program and get her practice over with as quickly as possible.

I particularly like the way Math Facts Now handles incorrect answers. If Brennan gets a problem wrong, he has to retype the entire problem correctly a set number of times. From a parent standpoint, I love this approach. In the past my kids have sometimes figured out how much fun it is to hear the buzzer sound when they answer something incorrectly. They pay a bit more attention to what they are doing when they know they will be penalized by having to type more.

When I asked Brennan what he thought about the program, he answered, "I prefer flash cards because sometimes Mom gets too busy or forgets to do flash cards with us." In other words, he had to work harder and practice more often because it is so easy for me to remind him to do it on the computer. Score one for Mom -- thanks Math Facts!

I would definitely recommend this affordable program for any parent. The Math Facts Now! download is available for $15.95, and it is also available on CD (same price, but with a small shipping charge). I'm very pleased that this is a product that I can download once and keep available to use whenever any of my children need to brush up on their facts. My children may not be happy to know that they'll be seeing this program pop up on their assignment sheet every once and a while for the next few years. The only additional expense might be a number pad if you do not have a computer keyboard that includes one. I think that would've helped my children improve their times even more than they did.

If you'd like to see what other parents thought about this program, be sure to visit The Old Schoolhouse Crew blog. Or, even better, you can get a free trial to use for yourself.

I downloaded the Math Facts Now Program for free as a member of the 2010 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.

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