Jan 5, 2011

TOS Review: Math Facts Now


We have really enjoyed being a part of the TOS Review Crew, and have been pleased with almost all of the products we have received. However, the one I am going to tell you about today is my number one favorite product that we have been allowed to review. I have absolutely no complaints about this program, and it has been totally perfect for our needs. There was a glitch with my computer last week, and while my husband was working it out, I told him that if I lost my Math Facts Now, I would be buying a replacement for it. Since I am a cheapskate who thinks long and hard about anything I buy, that is a strong statement. But I would. I would totally, unhesitatingly buy this program.
Let me tell you why...
Our math curriculum is a program that expects the kids to master the concept and memorize the facts before moving on. We are great at mastering concepts, but very bad at memorizing facts. I could not find a surefire way to drill math facts that was enjoyable, effective and not mind-numbingly time consuming for me. Thankfully, someone else had the same problem, and they created Math Facts Now.
This is a program that drills your kids with "virtual flashcards". A problem is shown and the kid types in the  answer, clicks on "check my answer" and knows immediately if they were right or not.
It's downloadable, so I don't have to worry about the website disappearing or crashing on me, nor do I have to keep up with monthly membership fees. The download was quick and easy. You can also order a disk, which is what I will do if I ever have to replace it. It's the same price as the download, (15.95) you just have to pay shipping.
It's completely customizable by me. I can make and edit lessons that contain not only the operations I want to use, but also the numbers. So I can create, for example, a lesson that only works on +2 problems. Later, I can delete that lesson, or edit it to add -2 or +3 or whatever I want. Or I can just make a whole new lesson! I can put in all four of the operations, and all of the numbers, if I want, or pick and choose if I like. I can also choose how long they can take to answer the questions, how many questions are in each lesson, and how many times they have to type out the correct answer when they give an incorrect answer.
It is simple and easy for the kids to use, and when they are finished with a lesson, I can, with a click of a button, see an overview of their results, including
  • the exact problems they got wrong,
  • how many times they were given that problem in the lesson,
  • and if they answered it wrong more than once, the percentage of times they got it wrong or right. 
  • It also tells me how long it took them to complete the lesson,
  • if it took them too long to answer any questions
  • and how many questions they "missed" because of time 
So I know exactly what problems we need to work on, and if they just need more time to work out the correct answer. Because I can change the amount of time they get!
I love all of these things about this program, but my favorite thing is that it is not flashy or exciting. I have computer junkies for kids. They are only allowed to play "educational games" for the most part, so they have seen a lot of math games over the past couple years. I can't tell you how many times I have cringed to see my children give the wrong answer ON PURPOSE because it is much more fun to see the monkey get eaten by the crocodile than to see him swing across the river safely. When I first had my son try out Math Facts Now, I watched as he came to a problem he had to think about. He giggled softly to himself as he purposely hit "zero" knowing it was the wrong answer. "There!" He said, "Moving right along!" His amusement dissolved in shock and horror as he realized that giving the wrong answer was not an easy way out, but he now had to type the correct answer in THREE TIMES (also customizable by me) before he could move on. He now KNOWS what 7+4=!
One last thing... when we were first given this to review, the minimum number of problems per lesson was 50. Several of us reviewers had young children using the program and 50 problems per lesson caused a lot of tears and struggles. Based on our comments and suggestions, the minimum limit was lowered to 5. I was very impressed by this example of customer service!


I love, Love, LOVE this program!!! If you need to read what other Crew Members had to say, click here.


I was given a free download of this product for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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