Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review Crew: Math Facts Now!

Math Facts Now! is a great little product that gets the job done.  We've used a number of math fact drill tools in the past -- online drills, paper drills, iphone apps, other software programs, hand held electronic devices, and the old standby -- flashcards.  Nothing has really worked exactly like I wanted.  But now, I've got....

.... and I think it is a total keeper.

This program is completely customizable:

  • You choose which function (the four basic operations) and which specific numbers to drill (1s through 12s).
  • You choose how many problems to be given in a specific session (minimum is 5).
  • You choose how much time your child is to be given to complete a problem.
  • You choose how many times the child is to repeat problems that he/she made mistakes on or took too long on.
  • Math Facts NOW! remembers which problems your child is having difficulty with, and automatically presents them back to the child with greater frequency!
  • You choose to enter a reward for the completion of a lesson with no errors.
  • You choose to print a list of your child's weak areas.
  • You can add individual profiles for all your kids!
You can download a free trial at their website here.  When you purchase this product, you can purchase as a download or as a CD. Either way, the product is affordable at $15.95 (there is a shipping charge for the CD). 

Our experience.  Granted, no one in my family likes math drill.  However, when asked to do their math drill daily, there was little whining and complaining.  That, in itself is a huge blessing! 

When I think about *why* there was no whining, I believe it was because I could set the time requirement in which each problem was answered.  I could make it longer for Luke and shorter for Ben.  They didn't *have* to feel stressed out when doing their math facts, and as Luke (and Levi eventually) get older, I can tighten up the time so it can be a challenge and not a frustration.

What I really liked about the program is that I could create drills to focus on specific fact sets my kids were having trouble with.  Luke needed practice with adding and subtracting 8s and 9s;  Ben needs an occasional review of all the facts.  I could also create (and save!) drills that work on the same facts, but with different time limits and error thresholds.  For example, I could create an addition drill for Luke that allows 15 seconds for an answer and another set for Ben that allows only 5 seconds per answer.  You can give each drill an individual name, for example, "Luke addition - 20 sec."

I was really impressed by the printable reports (which don't have to be printed, but can be viewed on the screen, then closed) which helped me to see where my boys needed a bit more review.  After reviewing this information, I can create a more specific drill to work on problem areas.

I only had one problem using the program, which I wanted to mention for those who are not drilling 11s and 12s facts.  When I created a drill for my 8 year old to practice addition and subtraction of facts for 1 through 10, the fact generator still gave me some problems with 11s and 12s.  This is because the set of problems for +7 (for example) includes the addends 1 through 12.  I'm not sure if this can be fixed in another update of the program, but the creators of the program have been wonderful in answering questions of other TOS reviewers.  They quickly adjusted the program's minimum number of problems from 50 down to 5.  Of course, I cannot guarantee their future ability to alter the program, but I so appreciated their responsiveness to us!  That kind of response makes lifetime customers! (Oh, if only some of the big corporations were as responsive, huh?  Ah, but I digress....)

You can view other reviews about this product here: TOS Crew.

I hope you'll consider Math Fact Now! for your family's supplemental math needs.  And, may you never have to purchase another math fact drill program again.

Thanks to Math Fact Now! for the complementary copy of their downloadable program.  In exchange, I agreed to review the program and write my honest opinion about it.  No other compensation was provided.

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