Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Math Facts Now
Price: $15.95 for the download version, $15.95 + $3.95 shipping and handling for the CD version
System Requirements: Runs on Windows 2000, ME, XP, Vista and Windows 7. 4.5 Mb of free hard drive space required.
We have been giving Math Facts Now a try for a few weeks now. My kids aren't always too happy about doing math, so I thought the opportunity to do it on the computer instead of on paper would be a nice little diversion for them.
The program was very easy to download and install. We had it ready to run in just a few minutes.
From the website: "Math Facts NOW!" is a simple yet very effective program that will identify weak areas in your child's knowledge of the times tables and basic facts of math, and drill in those specific areas, automatically giving increased drills in those areas.
You can customize each lesson with the child's name, which numbers you would like the child to practice (up to 12) and the program will practice using all the numbers you select to all numbers between 0 and 12. You choose how many problems (between 50 and 200) and how long the child has to answer each problem. You can choose addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division with the program. You can also name the lessons and save them for future use again, so you do not have to re-enter the same info in each time. This is nice for families where there are multiple aged kids in different levels in math. If you want to, there is an option to add a reward at the end of the lesson. After the lesson you can view and print a progress report.
My 7 year old son was the first to give it a try. He is my kid who always dramatizes about everything, so after about 10 minutes he was asking, "How many do I have to do?" With this program the minimum amount of correct answers necessary to finish a lesson is 50, and up to 200 (the parent sets the controls for lessons). I believe that is a bit much for most kids, especially young ones, so that was an immediate reason for him to panic. Then he got a problem wrong. The program requires the child to completely type out missed problems at least 2 times (up to 10 times, this amount is set by the parent) before moving on. This is where the tears began to flow for him, so I told him he did not have to continue with it. He did not know where the keys for the symbols were, like + for example. I did show him but he was already overwhelmed by this point. When he gets overwhelmed it makes the entire day harder for everyone, so I quickly switched him to something he likes to do so he would calm down.
*****UPDATE!!!***** Math Facts Now has now changed the minimum amount of problems needed to complete a lesson! I think it is GREAT that they have done this! The minimum is now 5 problems, Thank you Math Facts Now!!! I am going to give this another shot with my panicky 7 year old and see how he likes it now :0)
Then it was my 6 year old daughters turn. She may be younger than him but she is a very determined little girl, and tolerates challenges very well. She dove right in, and did over 20 problems before asking the "how many more" question. I told her not too many more, and she just kept on going. She got through it, without any mistakes, and then went on her merry way. She did need a little help when there were problems involving the numbers 11 and 12. Later she did miss problems and was just as frustrated at having to type out the entire problem twice before moving on.
If I were to offer advice on how to improve this program and make it more kid friendly, there are a couple of things I would change. I think the parent should have the option of setting the number of times to repeat a missed question to 1, and the option of NOT having the child type out the entire problem, just simply the answer. I can see how this would be good practice for older students, but for younger ones there should be other options. I also think, for younger students, there should be the option of having each lesson use only numbers up to 10 with the numbers you selected for each child to work on. For example, they have only learned math facts up to 10, so when 3+12=? pops up the kids freak out.
All in all I do like this program, and I think the kids will tolerate it much better now that the updated changes have been made. I didn't know about those changes until today, AFTER I wrote the review. (THANK YOU FOR COMMENTING BELOW TO LET ME KNOW!)
You can try Math Facts Now for free with this FREE TRIAL! to see if it is right for your family before buying.
Go read what other members of The Homeschool Crew thought of Math Facts Now!
Disclaimer ~ We received this product for free in exchange for an honest review of the product as members of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. The opinions are my own after having used the product in our homeschool and were not influenced by the company providing the product.