Speed drills are seen by some as a necessary evil in teaching and motivating kids to learn their basic facts. Not so in this day and age. Now, they do still need to practice and memorize, but it doesn’t need to be the palm sweating”upside down paper on the desk until the signal” event of yesteryear.
Math Facts Now has created a program to help kids learn their facts through repetition and review on the computer. Parents can set up the program according to their own expectation and with the specific target areas needed. All that’s left is for the kids to get on their regularly and see their skills improve.
Product: Math Facts Now
Details: A customizable, computer based program to help students learn their basic math facts
Price: $15.95 for download product. An additional $3.95 if you would prefer a physical product shipped to you.
What we loved . . .
- Focus on math not entertainment. Kids can sometimes be distracted by the “extras” that are included in many educational programs. Math Facts Now recognized this and offers a program that allows students to focus on the work they need to do and master their basic facts as efficiently as possible.
- Requires them to review their mistakes. They program requires that students who make an error must retype the one that they got wrong at least twice (you can choose to make it more) before going on. This does take some time, but was a great way for kids to review what they missed. When I showed my son that feature he said, “I’m never gonna get one wrong!” Yep, it did motivate him to be extra careful in his work.
- Warns them when they are on a tricky one. If they previously missed an answer the next time that some question comes up it will warn them to “be careful.” This could be a bad thing, because for my daughter she just remembered the one she got wrong had an answer of 18, so she didn’t look at the problem itself, just the warning. However, most other time they had multiple ones they had missed, so it was not an issue.
- Customizable. I loved that we could set up whatever we wanted the quizzes to be. They could drill them on just “1+” or 1 through 4 or 1through 12 or whatever we were covering at the time. It automatically does 0-12 with whatever numbers you set, so it might not work well for really young kids, but all of my kids are past those early facts so we did not have to deal with that challenge.
- Easy to set up. I took the time initially to set up multiple quizzes. I set up each drill set (1; 1-2; 1-3; 1-4; etc.) for each basic operation. Then I set up individual ones as well (just 2, just 3, just 4, etc.) That is a lot of quizzes, but it gave them a lot of options and had all the work from my end done. I also set the time higher on the ones I knew my younger kids were doing so they would not keep getting them wrong just because they type a little slower. If my older ones decided to do the early addition tests I could still see their average time although they would not get it wrong if they answered slow. This kept me from having to set up multiple versions of each test for older and younger kids.
Some considerations . . .
- No lock for the changes you make. Technically students could enter the quiz set up area and change the amount of time, questions, or other content. None of mine messed with this, but it is possible.
- Can’t pause in the middle of a goal. If you set it for your child to get 50 correct before mastering a test and he takes a break after 35, he has to start again at the beginning the next time. This was a challenge when I made the goals longer, but as long as you keep the tests a reasonable length it should not be an issue
- Takes some time to set up. Because this is fully customizable, it does not come with preloaded tests. You will need to take the time to set them up how you want them. It is very quick to do, and I went ahead and set up numerous ones when we first received it so i did not have to continually create new ones. A few minutes at the beginning and they had quizzes to last them for weeks. When you set up one quiz multiples students can use it, so you don’t need to recreate the same quiz for multiple students.
We really enjoyed the simplicity of use with this program and how versatile it was for a wide range of students. The price seemed quite reasonable for the length of time you could benefit from the product, and it did its job in helping my kids improve the speed and mastery of their math facts.
For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.
Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge through Math Facts Now as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.