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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review: Math Facts Now!

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My kiddos are allergic to timed drills.  The amount of fussing and whining they can go through all over a 2 minute test…I think the avoidance is worse than the actual task.   And somehow flash cards just don’t seem to stick…maybe because they won’t stick to doing them.  How about a no frills, no nonsense computer program that will quiz them on their math facts and time them, but without the nerve-wracking tick tick of time running out?  Math Facts Now! might be just the solution for your homeschool.

mathfactsnow screenshot2

  Told you it was no frills.

Math Facts Now! is like flashcards to use on your computer…the good thing is the baby can’t get hold of them and eat them, scatter them to the four winds, or (gulp) throw them in the trash on top of the coffee grounds. 

The design of the program is simple and intuitive.  Once you’ve added your child, they can log-in by choosing their name from a drop-down menu.  You design each lesson using one of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division).

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And then choose the group or groups of facts to be covered.

 

mathfactsnow screenshot7

 

You choose the number of problems (minimum of 5), the amount of time allowed for each problem (up to 60 seconds) and how many times they need to correctly type in a problem they get wrong (minimum of 2) …that’s right, they have to practice the right answer!

mathfactsnow screenshot3Psst…David hates this part.  But, it really does make it stick in his mind.   And when he gets a problem wrong, Math Facts Now! will give him that fact over and over again (it’s sneaky that way) with a little warning.

mathfactsnow screenshot4

You can also type in a reward they earn by completing a lesson (I typically offer a piece of gum).

All lessons are saved so they can be used over and over.

mathfactsnow screenshot1

 

You can print a detailed results page showing you exactly which problems were missed and how many times. 

mathfactsnow screenshot8

 

What did we think?

This is the only math drill program we have ever used that David didn’t complain about…too much.  The simple design is easy to use.  Answers are easy to input, so you’re not fumbling and wasting time.  He likes it when I enter a reward for his hard work.

I like that I can see at a glance which facts he might be having difficulty with.  I like the clean, plain design and the lack of distractions.  I like that I can set a time limit for each problem, but that it can be big enough that there’s no real pressure and yet the program reports to me the average time he took with a problem so I can see if he is developing automaticity.  I like that it’s software installed to my computer, and not a subscription with a monthly fee.

Does Math Facts Now! work to master those facts?  Only time will tell, but half the battle has already been won…you can’t master the facts unless you practice them and David is practicing them without complaining.  The price is quite reasonable, too.

There is one feature I would like to see that is not in this program.  An option to create a lesson for particular facts, rather than groups of facts, would be great.  Suppose your kiddo has learned, say, the 2’s up to 2x6 or up to 2x10…if you select the 2’s in this program, they’ll get the 2’s up to 2x12.  Or supposed you were working on squares (2x2, 3x3, 4x4,…)…you can’t set up a lesson for that in this program. 

Overall, I would recommend it, it’s a well thought-out program…and proof that a math program doesn’t have to be fancy to be useful. 

Sound like something you might like?  You can download a free trial of Math Facts Now! here.   

Math Facts Now! sells for $15.95.

System requirements:

Math Facts NOW! Version 2.0 runs on Windows 2000, ME, XP, Vista and Windows 7 and requires 7 Mb of free hard drive space.

Math Facts NOW! is not currently available the for Macintosh nor Linux operating systems.

 

Disclosure:  As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product for review purposes.  I received no compensation.  The opinions reflected here are my own.

3 comments:

  1. Dropping by from the CREW! My girls liked the program too - more so when they only had to do 20 problems instead of 50!

    By the way, NICE visuals! It really makes your review look nice.

    Monica

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for visiting, Monica.

    Sometimes pictures say more than words.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the idea of a piece of gum as a reward!!!
    My son also didn't like having to type out the entire number sentence, but it does help them retain the information!

    ReplyDelete

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