Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Mad Dog Math

With a name like Mad Dog, you may be envisioning some rabid, foaming at the mouth of a mutt who could wonder onto your property at any moment.  Well, calm your beating heart, and put down the phone as there is no need for animal control with this product. What I'm talking about here is a most useful, online fact mastery program, meant to defeat that monster of a thing which is better known as the "arithmetic basics" of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.

It certainly barks [for real, you'll hear Ruff the pooch now and again-depending on what you click] but it doesn't bite.  Mad Dog Math is meant to gently break down each level of the four basic areas, into little kibblet sizes, so the student can focus on just one section at a time. The ultimate goal of course, is to have them rattle off their facts without any hesitation.

By no means flashy-but certainly effective-the opportunity to be awarded the "2 Minute Club" sticker encourages the student to practice this rather mundane task.  Then, the the child is naturally motivated to keep working on their facts [sort of like a dog's need to keep digging for that long lost bone] so they can add the "1 Minute" and then the "30 Second Club" sticker to their collections, ultimately earning them the "Top Dog" title. Timed or not, for 10-15 minutes a day-the results are impressive.

My Boy's Experience:

Right from the start, he was engaged and delighted by the prospect of having a new program to test out.  I cannot believe the [great] timing of this product, as I had literally been wondering out loud how I could help him get his facts down pat in a friendly, non-frustrating manner just days prior to receiving it.  Once I loaded up the puppy (oh so sorry I must add in a few play on words here), I gave him the general run down, and he was off and running.  I purposely adjusted it so that he was not timed.  I didn't want him to be all panicky like, but I did show him that it was a possibility and he could add that in when he felt he was ready.  

He has been spending about 15 minutes a day in several of the sections (he moves around from addition to subtraction to multiplication-but has avoided the division for the most part), and I have seen his little face light up when he earns a sticker or a check mark in the list of accomplished facts.  He is learning them!  He and I both agree that we like how he can type in the answer to the problem and it automatically takes him to the next one, making the moving along process smooth and non-annoying.  And like the lazy virtual dog owner that I am-I can just do an occasional walk by to see how the boy and Ruff are doing [and that puts a smile on my face] because this is a pretty self-sufficient program.  Ya gotta love that.

Now, like I mentioned, it isn't the most flashy program on the market, but that is OK.  I am pleased with it because there is no need for a circus event every time I want my child to learn something-especially something as necessary as basic math fact retention. If it works, it works. And the Mad Dog Math program works quite nice for my fam.

"Atta boy ole Ruff! Atta boy!"  


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$19.99 One year license
$29.99 Two year license
$39.99 Perpetual license
K to 5th or for students needing practice with basic math facts (+, -, x and /)
**Please be sure you understand your computer's bit version capability is (32 or 64), because you will need to know that to order the proper program for your system. Visit the site for more information regarding this.

**Don't forget to read what my TOS mates had to say about this, and many other fine homeschool products, over on our TOS Review Crew Homepage.

***Mad Dog Math provided me with a free 12 week subscription to Mad Dog Math online so that I could write this review.  I did not receive any financial compensation for my honest opinion of this product.

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