Topic: Homeschool Product Review
When we last left our two lovely homeschool mom's, Marge and Babs, Babs had introduced Marge to the world of unit studies. This time it is Babs that is having some homeschool problems with her son Jimmie and it is Marge who is doling out the advice. Let's listen in on their conversation.
Scene One - Exasperated Homeschool Mom - Visiting Her Next Door Neighbor
Marge (Answering door) ~ Uh Oh! I've seen that look in your eyes before. What's going on?
Babs (Storming past Marge in the kitchen) ~ Honey, I need coffee and I need it now!
Marge ~ Get yourself a cup and sit down and tell me all about it.
Babs ~ It's Jimmie again! I'm about to wring his little neck!
Marge ~ Has he been tying Sandy's shoe-laces together again?
Babs ~ No! It's worse!
Marge ~ WORSE! What's the cute little fella done this time.
Babs ~ It's what he hasn't done. He hasn't learned his time's tables. We have been working on those things all year long. I've tried everything...flashcards, drills, number games...you name it I've tried it! I don't know what to do! Honey, It's driving me crazy!
Marge ~ I heard about something just the other day that was supposed to help kids with their math facts. Now where was it that I read that? Oh, now I remember, it was on that blog Families Again. Oh, I just love that blog. And that author, Tim Tinkel, is cute...yep he is caaayute! I've seen his picture. I'm telling you if I weren't already married I would go after him in a heartbe...
Babs ~ Earth to Marge, earth to Marge...your running out of oxygen again! Now quit babbling about this Tim Winkel...Dinkel...or whatever his name is and get to the point!
Marge ~ It's "Tinkel", and he's part of the TOS Homeschool Crew.
Babs ~ I told you to quit babbling! What in the world is the TOS Homeschool Crew?
Marge ~ Babs, Babs, Babs! You don't know what the TOS Homeschool Crew is? You mean to tell me that we have been buying the great TOS products and we get The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and you don't know what the TOS Homeschool Crew is? I am shocked! The TOS Homeschool Crew is a group of homeschooling parents like you and me. They get homeschool products to try out and review on their blogs. Tim Tinkel has been the only man on the crew for the past couple of years and let me tell you he is a hunk!
Babs ~ Okay, honey, he's cute, I get it, but what has that got to do with Jimmie's time's table problem?
Marge ~ Well "the crew", that's what they call it, "the crew". Anyway, the crew just reviewed a product called "Mad Dog Math". It's kind of like the old timed math drills that we used to do in class as kids, only this is a download that you use on your computer.
Babs ~ Oh, honey, I've tried those computer things with Jimmie before and they don't work. Besides, how do you know we can trust this TOS team or group or whatever you call them?
Marge ~ Oh, PUHLEEZE, Babs. Remember, this is TOS - The Old Schoolhouse! Have they ever led us astray before? The crew always has a bunch of homeschoolers reviewing each item. Let's go to the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog and see what they have to say about Mad Dog Math.
*One hour later*
Babs ~ Wow, those reviewers really know their stuff. And, you were right about that Tim Tinkel fella. He had some great things to say about how it helped his son with addition and subtraction. I think I'm going to get the one year license download for $19.99. When I first heard about it, I thought it was going to be expensive, but that is cheap!
Marge ~ Yep, it's worth a try. I'm going to get it for little Penny to practice her addition and subtraction. We'll see if Mad Dog Math is all that the crew says it is.
Scene Two - Two Weeks Later - Exuberant Homeschoool Mom - Visiting Her Next Door Neighbor
Marge (answering door) ~ Well, you sure look a lot calmer today than you did a couple of weeks ago. Why the change?
Babs ~ It's that Mad Dog Math! I can't believe it, but Jimmie is actually learning his time's tables! It's amazing.
Marge ~ I know. I was just about to call you about that. Penny loves the addition/subtraction part. She always laughs when the little dog barks at the beginning. So, what do you think? What's you favorite part?
Babs ~ I love how they keep track of how Jimmie is doing and tell us when he's ready to advance to a new worksheet. They tell us exactly what worksheet to do next. They just keep getting a little harder and keep adding a few new things. The neat thing about it is it's so gradual that Jimmie doesn't even know what's happening.
Marge ~ Oh, I know. Aren't they sneaky. And I really like how they keep challenging the kids. After they get done mastering all the worksheets of 20 addition or subtraction problems in 2 minutes, they go back and do the worksheets again but this time in 1 minute. Eventually they go back and do them another time to see if they can do them all correctly in 30 seconds. Woo! Makes me tired just thinking about it. Penny will surely know her addition and subtraction when she gets done with this!
Babs ~ Well with the multiplication and division it's 24 problems in 2 minutes. And have you taken a look at the different levels. After your Penny gets done with just finding the sums, she's going to have to do worksheets where she has to find the missing addend! I sure wish I would have had Mad Dog Math when I was younger. I still add on my fingers!
Marge ~ Oh my, I didn't see the addend thing!
Babs ~ Well, honey, did you see the Challenge Level that they have at the end? It has addition, subtraction, multiplication and division all on one sheet. And it's not just finding the answers, sometimes the answers are provided and there are missing numbers that they have to find! My little fingers don't work that fast. I'm thinking about going through all of the levels myself.
Marge ~ I was thinking the same thing. I think it's so neat when they get a club sticker. Penny was so excited when she completed all of the worksheets in 2 minutes and became a member of the 2 minute club! Now she can't wait to become a member of the 1 minute club. Those club stickers are sure good motivators.
Babs ~ Honey, I'm so sold on this that I'm forgetting the $19.99 for the one year license and the $29.99 for the two year license. I'm going straight to the $39.99 for the perpetual license. Then I'll have it forever and all the kids can use it when they are ready.
Marge ~ Yep, that's exactly what I was going to do. Which reminds me. I have a friend that doesn't have a computer. Don't they sell Mad Dog Math in a notebook form just like the worksheets that we used to use.
Babs ~ I think they do. Let's look on the Mad Dog Math website. Do you have the web address?
Marge ~ I think I marked it as one of my favorites...let me see...yep, it's http://www.maddogmath.com/index.html . It's right next to the address to the crew blog entry that has all of the Mad Dog Math reviews - http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783984/. I remember that one because Ida Brubaker was interested in it the other day. Speaking of which, you know that she is on the ladies aide society at church. Can you believe what they want to do with the sanctuary?!? Oh and listen Babs...
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I, the hunk, Tim Tinkel, was given a free download of Mad Dog Math in order to try out and review on my blog.