Math is an integral part of everyday life. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to go through life without knowing at least basic math. I can survive without speaking the local language, but not without math!
Over the summer my children have been using UberSmart Math Facts by UberSmart Software. UberSmart Math Facts is a downloadable software package that works with Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista. Now it must be said right off that I’m the furthest thing from a tech geek that there is, but the installation of this program was easy and straight forward. It’s the easiest educational program set-up I’ve come across!
UberSmart Math Facts is primarily for use with children from kindergarten to grade 6. However, older children (and even adults) can use it to keep their basic math skills sharp. My husband and I even had fun using the compete mode to see which of us was quicker and more knowledgeable!
There are 4 ways to use UberSmart Math Facts: Learn, Practice, Test, and Compete. However, the first thing I did was have Tristan (6) take the assessment. It came back with a detailed report on how he did with counting, sequencing, relationship, as well as odd and even questions. He excelled in all of these components. Unfortunately, a major part of UberSmart Math Facts is the speed in which you can enter the answer via the keyboard. This could be a problem for some children.
Tristan doesn’t use the computer often, and never with any urgency so his keyboard entry skills weren’t deemed good enough for the program to actually test him on the math facts of addition, subtraction, multiplication or division (Tristan doesn’t yet know multiplication or division, but they are included in this program).
With the Learn mode you have the choice to use either dot cards (like dominoes) where a younger child, such as Kallista (4), can count the dots on the left, add them up and click on the card on the right that has the total number of dots on it. The second option is to use flash cards. The program will show a flash card and the child can figure out the answer, then click to reveal the correct answer. The dot cards are for addition and subtraction from 0-9. The flash cards do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division from 0-12. There isn’t a time-limit on the learn mode.
With the Practice mode, There are questions using either the dot or flash cards. There isn’t a time limit for using the dot cards, but there are is only a 10 second maximum limit that you can set for the answer for the flash cards. This really frustrated Tristan as he couldn’t get his answer in fast enough much of the time and it would show him the answer and move on to the next question. He became so flustered trying to think even faster so he could try to type in the answer within the alloted time that the pressure became too much for him and he shut down. We had to give math a rest for a week or two altogether which was strange as usually math is his favourite thing. I’ve since increased the time limit to the maximum, but he’s still feeling the pressure and choking under the pressure.
Also in the Practice mode is the opportunity to practice your keyboard skills. This is very useful, and we started out each lesson with one or two keyboard practice trials, but it will take some time for Tristan and Kallista to get up to speed enough to be able to do the practice drills with confidence. The keyboard entry drills show you a number on the monitor and you just type in that same number on the keyboard. This is a good skill to have, but it becomes quit boring for young children who just want to get on with ‘learning’.
The Test mode is where you’ll find the assessment test as well as a mastery test to do when you think your child is ready to put their skills to the test. With the mastery test, you can choose the skill being tested, just as you can with the other modes. You choose the math skill, as well as whether you want to test just one number, or all combined. For example, addition by 3s, subtracting by 7s, or multiplication of every number between 0 & 12.
The Compete mode is where you can compete and see how you rank against others of the same age and gender around the world. This is the part that us parents had fun with!
The reports section is very comprehensive and there are several visual and written reports that parents can access to see how their children are progressing. Although I know Tristan has been having trouble with his speed, I can check into here and see that he does know what he’s doing; he just needs more keyboard competence.
We haven’t done a lot of structured learning over the summer, Ubersmart Math Facts was good to have for the kids to pracice their basic math facts on a regular basis. It didn’t have to take a lot of time, and when we use it in the future I think I’ll set a timer for ten minutes or so and they can use the program as extra reinforcement and a challenge to beat their own times.
Though we won’t be using this product every week, I’ll definitely be bringing it into our lessons again from time to time. I’d like to spend a little time on it myself so the children can see you’re never too old to review. And I want to beat my last competition score!
I thought this program was good, as the math basics are so very important and UberSmart Math Facts doesn’t deal with anything but the facts. However, with my children so frustrated and not looking forward to using the program I think we’ll let it rest for a month or two and build their confidence back up with more hands-on math. But I’m sure that this program will be great in another 6 – 12 months.
If you would like to purchase UberSmart Math Facts, the price is $24.95 USD, which is a very reasonable price in my opinion. As this is a downloadable program you won’t have to worry about expiry dates or monthly payments. In addition to this, UberSmart Software is offering our readers a generous 30% discount until September 30th. Simply enter “v4 Early Bird” in the discount code box on the purchase page .
To read all 100 reviews of UberSmart Math Facts from the Schoolhouse Review Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the directions in that post.