“Numbers rule the universe.”
Pythagoras (572 BC-490 BC)

We have now gone through 7 years of math practice in our home.  I started with rice, beans, jelly beans, m&m’s, miquon rods, hop scotch, cards, dice, board games – you name it – we used it – to introduce the concept of numbers, volume, change, increase and decrease.

There comes a time – when this information is in the mind of a child, they understand it – know the how and the why – and have the ability to move numbers around.

The question comes in later math – when you are sitting with your child for an hour reducing fractions – when you know the sheet could have been done in 5 minutes. Why?

For us – it had been in not requiring the boys to master the functions in a quickly timed level. I thought if they had the sets – both addition and multiplication – memorized – we were above the game.

Not so – Speed. Speed my friend has become their best resource to loose the grumbling and complaining about math.

But how do we get it?  This year – after 6 years of all sorts of handmade unschooling – learn as you go – products – we shifted to online drilling tools.  I know. I cringe. But it worked.

First of all – it’s not all off base for a relaxed learning almost unschooler – the boys are on the computers for quite a bit of their day. We have desktops, laptops and iPods all over the house.

The software was simple to download.  Technical side note: It wanted to load onto the Windows Account for the main user.  If you opened the software in another account, (i.e. I have Angie, Jon, Nate, Dad and Guest), it wouldn’t pull from the database to remember the scores. As you can see from above, I have an evaluation version – I am not sure if this would be the same with a full license.  I re-down loaded the software into the User Public folder, instead of to the Angie (Main Admin) folder – and then the boys could open it in their personal accounts. At this time, this version is for Windows PC only.

This is the opening screen. You can advance through 3 levels of difficulty – change the time from 2 minutes to 30 seconds, and then change the Fact Families to be larger numbers.

You can log each child in with a User Name. I would keep it simple – easy to remember – so the child can log on each time to their account.

So – I thought it was pretty funny. That “JonnyLego” and “FunyNate” kept battling it out for speed like some crazy video game. They got their scores down to 17 seconds. Seriously – that really helps when it comes time to play with fractions and longer math functions!

He’s tall – and older – but with Little Brother to show him up – he got his scores amazing low. (Score of 100 percent with the lowest seconds of 16 or 17 seconds).

Even though we are technically only reviewing the Mad Dog Math Software – their site is so full of information. Help with showing you how classroom is in need of this type of software. They are seeing the same thing I saw – the students were learning how, but not mastering speed and efficiency. They offer Full Math Instructional Systems for the Classroom and the Home, Flash Cards, Timers, Certificates, and Software for the Home.

From the Site –

The Mad Dog Math Downloadable Software is only \$19.99 for one year, \$29.99 for two years or \$39.99 for perpetual.  It fully supports the Kinder, First Grade, Second Grade, and Third Grade and up Mad Dog Math programs with:

1. All four math operations (+, -, x, and ÷)
2. The same Mad Dog Math family groups
3. The same 2-minute through 30-second timing levels used by the programs

Plus, the software application will track the progress of multiple students through all levels, and allow them to earn Student Club Stickers as they successfully pass each family group at each timing level. This is an indispensable learning tool for helping your child or students master math facts and be prepared for the next day’s drill. Without this foundation of math facts securely imbedded in a child’s memory, he cannot move on to higher levels of math, and stumbles, at best. Give your child or students the tools necessary to excel in math.

Come and read what the other families who also tried out Mad Dog Math for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Review Crew had to say – http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783984/ We have Linky Party and put all of our reviews in one spot.  I received a downloadable copy of this product for free in exchange for my review – after my children used the product in our home. If you need a way to quickly implement drills into the home – this is a great product.