Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mad Dog Math - A Review

Product:  Mad Dog Math - at Home - Downloadable software

Price:  $19.99 for 1 year license
           $29.99 for 2 year license
           $39.99 for perpetual license

To Purchase:  Order Page

Age Range:  Elementary

Contact Information:  Mad Dog Math

Other Products:
Instructional Systems
Flash Cards
Certificates and Accessories 

Brief Intro: From the Website
For teachers or home school parents, Mad Dog Math - at Home is a student-tested, Windows PC application that provides either an at-home or classroom practice experience that is just like the Mad Dog Math drills. Children LOVE it and can't wait to get their practice minutes in. Try our free trial and we think you'll want your very own copy. This download has ALL the Mad Dog Math levels at one low price. Don't miss it for either your classroom or home computer.

In-Depth Look:

You can find a free trial of the program at this link.  It is a great idea to try out a program before purchasing it, whenever possible.

The first step is to download the program.  I found the directions to be a tad-bit confusing.  I was successful in loading it on my laptop, but not on my desktop.  So instead of spending anymore time trying to figure it out on the desktop, I had the girls continue to use it on the laptop.

The second step is to have your child login on the drill game.  If they aren't logged in, they won't get credit for their drill work and it won't count towards the stickers that they are trying to earn.  My younger was playing the drills without logging in, therefore earning no credit for it.  It would be helpful for the program to load directly to a LOGIN SCREEN; instead, it allows a child to begin playing right away without being logged in.

The child is responsible for continuously clicking to the correct next stage.  Such as going from the ADDITION OF FACT FAMILY 1 TO 4 to the next category of SUBTRACTION OF FACT FAMILY 1 TO 4.  Or of progressing from 2 MINUTES time allowed to 1 MINUTE to 30 SECONDS.    These progressions from one step to the next eventually lead to earning CLUB STICKERS.  I would prefer for the program to handle this for the student, automatically taking them to the next level after completion of the previous level.  Or at least giving an option of "Are you ready for the next level now?"  I found the current setup to be confusing and it took a while for my children to get a feel for it.

This is how it is explained in the directions:
"When you do go on to the next drill, Ruff will show you which family is next.  When he does, click on the math operation tab he tells you, and select the FACT FAMILY he tells you is next."

My children used the program with little complaint.  I am sure it helped with their speed, as they raced against the "time allowed" time and time again, for the past several weeks.   So it is a helpful and inexpensive means of math facts drill.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a good fit for our family.  My daughters didn't enjoy the program.  They also didn't feel the club stickers were a very worthwhile reward for completing the time challenges.

Feel free to read other reviews.  Some crew members enjoyed the program and plan to purchase it.

Disclaimer: I received this software free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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