Monday, May 21, 2012

Drill To Build A Strong Math Foundation - A New TOS Review!!

Math is one of those subjects that you really need to know, you can't fake it or skate by.  One reason is because all math concepts build on previous concepts.  So if your math foundation isn't strong, when you begin to build your whole building might collapse.
The Product:
Well this is where CapJaxMathFacts comes in.  This computer program was created to really drill and work on those beginning math concepts - the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division - to help build that strong foundation. The program can either be downloaded or you can get it on CD.  Pricing for the program starts at $29.95 for the downloadable version and just add $5.95 for the CD's.  There's even an evaluation version that you can try before buying.

Photobucket So what is CapJaxMathFacts exactly?  It is a program designed by Mr. Jack Fretwell, head of Starboard Training Systems (you can learn more about him here), has been teaching math and education for years.  So he decided to create a program that could help do the drill testing so you don't have to any longer.

Once you have the program on your computer you are ready to start your student on a journey to enforce their math foundation.  The program should be started at the beginning so that even students who are further along in their mathematical knowledge will get the benefit of quick lessons and comfortability with the usage of the keyboard needed for later lessons.  The math functions can be played in any order or combination.  And the program is designed with small sessions so you can drill for just a little each day and you will see improvement.

Some other features include:
  • immediate positive reinforcement - exhibited when you have feedback about the accuracy as well as response time to each problem
  • regular positive feedback - this is done through a graphical bar chart, a running summary of the session, as well as with an individualized progress report
  • mastery of ALL facts - mastery must be achieved to progress
  • achievement certificates - can be printed at any time showing the student's level and performance
  • detailed reports - one is available for EACH session
You can set up the program just for practice or with a special designated focus.  You can create a session using any and all of the functions.  You define a selection set and then problems are created randomly based on the set parameters.  You also have the opportunity to utilize what CapJax calls Super Seconds - usually a time period of 3 seconds - which is used to show mastery of certain facts within the set.  There is also a rating system that the student can focus on and watch as they progress in the ratings.

At the end of the session there are detailed diagnostic reports which show each fact problem within the session.  And there is a running summary report that you can view at any time while in a session and at the end of a specified session.

Our Experience:
We had a little difficulty getting the program set up - but I think that was operator error, not anything on the technical side with the program.  So I set up both Arianna and Audrie with just the addition function, with the plan of slowly adding in subtraction and multiplication for Arianna as she progressed through the program.  Since Audrie is still in the beginning stages of learning addition, we will stay there until she is ready and learning subtraction.

I have both girls use the program for a little each day - not too much to overwhelm, but just enough to continually drill those facts.  I love the customization of the program.  That way I can set up a specific focus for each session.  And because of the detailed reports and analysis, I am able to see exactly where we have to focus to encourage complete mastery of the specified function (+, -, x, / ).

As a child progress they earn Merit Badges to show their success.  This is one of the reasons it is recommended to start at a lower level to build confidence and see results quickly.  It also reinforces the skills they have already placed into their math foundation. 

My Thoughts:
I really like this program for its ease and customization.  I also like that it has a lot of feedback or ways to analyze a student's progress.  This has proved helpful in our family since dad is the "Math guy" but he isn't necessarily home to see what the girls are working on daily or how they are progressing.  This allows him to peek in at how their foundation is being built AND allowing him to adjust the session focus by creating the parameters of each learning set.

I'd encourage anyone who has a child that has any math delay - from still counting on their fingers, to a struggle with certain facts - to take the time to test out CapJaxMathFacts, especially since you can have the FREE evaluation version to "see" before you buy.
CapJaxMathFacts  is a great resource for all families, especially homeschoolers. Feel free to contact them directly if you have any additional questions or issues by phone (703-471-6790) or email.  You can check out some other testimonial videos too.  Please take some time to read what other Crew members thought and how this program was used in their home.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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