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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Product Review: Mad Dog Math

If you are looking for a drill practice program to supplement your child's math curriculum, I reviewed one that you might want to consider. Mad Dog Math is a speed drill program that emphasizes basic math facts; facts your child needs to master in order to succeed in higher levels of mathematics.

Designed for children in kindergarten to fifth grade, Mad Dog Math is a one-of-a-kind program that drills addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, in "bite-sized" chunks that allow students to reach accessible goals and build confidence. In only ten minutes a day, your child will gain improved math skills. The company is confident that your child will go from hating math that is too hard, to liking math that comes naturally.

I received a free download of Mad Dog Math at Home which retails for $19.99 for a one-year license. This program is best for:

A family whose child is in a Mad Dog Math school/classroom
A teacher who is using Mad Dog Math in the classroom
A parent who is using Mad Dog Math at home to supplement what is going on in his child’s classroom
A home school family who is using Mad Dog Math
After school programs using Mad Dog Math
Tutoring centers using Mad Dog Math
Any child who wants to improve his computation skills
The program allows you to decide the fact families to review, as well as the goal that should be met. Total mastery is not required to move on. The pages are not cluttered with extra graphics or designs. The focus is on the math, not on silly or entertaining characters.

In addition to this computer product, the company offers their speed drill programs in a "binder-product" in which you can print out the drills to distribute for good old fashioned pen and pencil drill practice. This method would be ideal for a family with multiple children needing practice. The cost for these binders are between $69.99 and $89.99.
What we thought:
Honestly, I didn't really find anything unique or outstanding about this program to make it stand out among the hundreds of other drill-type programs out there. At least from a homeschooler perspective. I found the cost to be prohibitive for my family, especially if I wanted to use the paper form drills so that I could have a record to include in my homeschool reporting.
During the review period, I did see an improvement in Isaac with his addition fact recall. This improvement was not enough to keep him interested in using the program ten minutes a day. Math is challenging for my children, but they definitely don't hate it, and don't have the belief that it is too hard. They disliked this program, because the repetition of the drills was not motivating enough for them. After a short time we became "Mad Dog Math Dropouts."

I do want to say that if I had a child that was constantly struggling with math that I wouldn't hesitate to revisit this program in order to help him. The quick improvement with Isaac showed me that if the circumstances were right, this product might work for my family.
I think it is important that each family choose products that fit their needs. Speed Drill Type programs do not fit the needs of my children at this time. It causes unnecessary stress and panic where none is needed. My children haven't had any difficulty memorizing their math facts by just engaging in daily mathematical activities.
 Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review group I received the above product in exchange for an honest review on this blog. I received no other compensation.

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