Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review – The Quarter Mile Math Software

TOS Crew Review
Product: The Quarter Mile Math software – Deluxe Version
Publisher: Barnum Software

I have five children and have been homeschooling for 19 years. When my children were growing up, I used to hand-write many math problems for them to do each day. There were usually four pages of things like: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. I did this to “drill” these into them. I wanted them to memorize these basic facts. In recent years, this got tiring for me. My next idea was to create a ‘master list’ and just photocopy them. However, even then, I was tired and didn’t feel like it was enough.

The Quarter Mile Math from Barnum software has resolved this problem for me. The children can access all the basics and much more on a daily basis. They are also having fun while they learn!

What is this program?

1. It is a game with a timed “race” where the student solves the problems as slowly or as quickly as they are able. The scores are recorded and saved. The student can choose to use a “car” in their race or a “horse.” Races last between 45 seconds and 2 and ½ minutes

2. There are 323 math topics (includes such things as; rounding numbers; squares; percents; fractions; estimating; integers, etc.) There are more than 70,000 problems covering grades K through 9th Grade (pre-algebra).

3. This software comes with full instructions for installing to your computer. It has a booklet explaining everything you need to know. It didn’t take very long for us to get this set up.  Because we have “Vista” on our computer, we had to follow special instructions in order to avoid problems like having the computer “freeze” or the resolution on the game seeming to malfunction. The customer service for this company is excellent!

4. Up to 12 students can use this program on your computer. This is great news for those who have several children!

5. You are allowed to make copies of this on CD. You can send copies to grandparents, etc. for your child to use when they are not at home. I love this feature!

6. It is used in Sylvan Learning Centers.

7. The company offers a generous 30-day, unconditional, money-back guarantee.

8. The Deluxe version requires that you have an internet connection. The game scores are instantly uploaded to their website. The child is not actually on any website himself, but his scores are sent there. Because of the internet requirement, it is impossible to play this without a connection.

A solution to this is their “standard version.” We were grateful to have this copy of the program as well. My children used this on their own computer, which does NOT have internet. They were able to use this without any trouble, anytime they wanted.

9. This is designed to be used in addition to your regular curriculum. Basically, it is important to teach the student how to do each math topic before he works on the computer. Once you have introduced a concept, have him practice using this software.

10. The program is much more fun than flash cards!

How we used this product:

I have a dyslexic -12 year old son. He has been an eager student for many years. But he is a very slow learner. However, I started him on this program using the beginning “Numbers and Letters” section. It covers keyboarding topics. I had him do these over and over again so he could memorize where the number keys were. This was essential for him, before he could start any real “math” drills. Once he learned this, he enjoyed the game very much and is making great progress.

My 14 year old daughter dislikes math, but enjoys this game. She has a sharp mind and can recall things very quickly. However, she does not like learning new concepts. Using this software has helped her to enjoy some “educational fun” after doing her regular math assignments. It is much better for her to have this game so she is motivated to progress into more difficult math concepts.

Final Thoughts:

To quote from the website:
“This core curriculum tool has helped more than 1,000,000 students.
The Quarter Mile Math programs boost children’s mental math skills and confidence by motivating them to do an incredible number of math problems quickly. The fun, award-winning format is effective because it detects even the smallest improvements and constantly gives positive reinforcement.”

To find out more about my reviews, please visit "Introduction to our Homeschool Parlor" 


cherie said...

thank you for bringing this up, mrs. white! i don't homeschool, but my son likes math. this will boost his appreciation for it.

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