Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TOS Review: Mad Dog Math


Knowing your math facts is one of life’s many essentials. If you don’t know them, math will be extremely difficult for you.
That is where Mad Dog Math comes into play! Mad Dog Math is a math program designed to help your students truly master their math facts. It is geared for students K-5th grade and remedial middle school and high school. The cartoon character, Ruff the Mad Dog, may seem a bit childish for the older students, but I if they look past little Ruff, they will be well on their way to mastering their math facts.

Mad Dog Math has 4 levels.
Levels 1 and 2 have 20 questions per drill, and cover adding and subtracting fact families 0-18. The difference between the levels is level 1 the student enters the sum or difference, and in level 2 they name the missing addends.
Level 3 has 24 questions per drill and covers multiplying and dividing fact families 0-12.
Level 4 is the challenge, which mixes all four functions. It basically helps the student to keep their skills sharpened.

Mad Dog Math works like this.
  1. Be sure you are logged in.
  2. Choose which level to begin working on.
  3. Select the 2 minutes time challenge
  4. Click on the pull down bar and begin with the first fact family given. The student will alternate between adding and subtracting or multiplying and dividing, depending on what level they are on. Underneath the pull down bar the program will tell you which fact family to work on next.
  5. Click on “Time Me.” If you do not select “time me” before you begin, it will NOT count toward the club sticker reward.
  6. begin your drill

    If for any reason you need to pause, click “stop.” I will tell you though, that when you stop the timer, you will need to “fetch” new questions and begin again. 

    It is recommended that the student spend about 10 minutes a day working on a drill. If they pass a drill then the next day they move forward. However, if they do not pass, then they repeat the same drill the next day. This cycle repeats until they have earned their club sticker for that time challenge. My daughter enjoyed playing too much to spend only 10 minutes on it, so she worked with it as long as she wanted to. She did have a small issue that was frustrating for her, as it took her too long to type in the answer, so she was often timed out.  We solved this by working as a team. She gave the answers and I typed them in. This worked great for us.
This is a screen shot of what the level 3 drill looks like. You can see where the 2 min and 1 min club stickers have been earned.

  MDM mine

There are 3 Club Stickers to be earned. There is the 2 Minutes Club Sticker, the 1 Minute Club Sticker, and the 30 Second Club Sticker.  Once the student earns their 2 min sticker, they then begin working on earning their 1 min sticker, then finishing with the 30 sec sticker.

This is a screen shot of the 30 second progress page. The check mark shows what she has successfully completed toward the 30 sec club sticker.

MDM mine 2

Mad Dog Math is currently available as a Windows PC software program or as a binder program. The binder program (paper and pencil style) is also available on a CD-ROM, which gives you the ability to print the pages as you need them. I was given a temporary download of the computer based program to review. Although I have not seen or used the printed form, I personally prefer the computer based program. Computer programs are a big hit with my children. They love interactive, educational programs that bring a new or different twist to learning.
Be sure to follow the prompts to determine whether you need the Windows 32-bit version or the Windows 64-bit version.

Mad Dog Math is a great supplement to your current math curriculum. Icing on the cake, there is no limit to the number of users allowed with this program. All your children can enjoy Mad Dog Math on the license.

Mad Dog Math also has flashcards, timer, and certificates available. 

We have really enjoyed Mad Dog Math and I’m sure you will, too!
If you would like to read about Julie Kotoff; the master mind behind Mad Dog Math, and why she created it, click here.

  Be sure to stop by and read what my fellow TOS Crew members had to say about Mad Dog Math.
HSCrew Animated

I'm a crew member with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and I received a downloadable trial version of Mad Dog Math in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 16, 2011

TOS Review: WonderMaps by Bright Ideas Press

Geography is not my area of expertise, so I’m was pretty happy when I was chosen to review WonderMaps, a new product created by Bright Ideas Press.

WonderMaps is different than most of the other maps available to homeschoolers, because these maps are interactive. No more hunting around trying to find the right map needed for your studies. WonderMaps is a fantastic downloadable maps and geography program that allows you to customize and print more than 350 different detailed and layered maps of the United States, Historical Maps, Thematic Maps, and The World, Continents, Regions, and Nations. 
Whether you are studying history, science, bible, or literature, WonderMaps can help bring your lesson to life.

WonderMaps offers:
  • Current and historical maps
  • Topographical, reference, outline, and political maps
  • Color or black-and-white maps
  • 125 historical maps, including 25 biblical maps
  • Over 60 maps of the world
  • Over 60 maps of the United States
  • Physical layers showing rivers, borders, cities, names, graticules, and more.

Maps of the United States are layered by states, regions, or world

The World maps are layered by continents, regions, and nations.

The Historical maps are divided into:

The Ancients 33 AD

The Middle Ages 33 AD - 1456 AD

The Renaissance, Reformation, and Growth of Nations 1457 AD - 1707 AD

Revolutions to Rising Times 1708AD - Present Day

The Thematic Map

The teacher’s guide offers you a quick start guide, user manual, tutorial video, downloadable mp3 files, and additional recourses to use in your homeschool.

As an added bonus for those of you who are using The Mystery of History vols I-III or All American History vols. I & II, WonderMaps has all the maps you will need.

WonderMaps can be downloaded on a maximum of two computers and runs on Adobe. Once you purchase WonderMaps you will have access to future upgrades and extras as they become available.

WonderMaps is pretty awesome! Kudos to Bright Ideas Press for creating such a fantastic program.

WonderMaps is available through Bright Ideas Press for $49.95. 

For those of you who subscribe to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, be sure to look in your newest issues for the WonderMaps advertisement.  There you will find a 20% off discount code to use when you purchase WonderMaps. 

For those of you who do not subscribe to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (wow, you are truly missing out on an amazing magazine!) from now until May 21st Bright Ideas Press is offer a 20% off discount to help a family in need. You can read about the family and their needs on the BIP site or Caring Bridge.

Be sure to stop by and read what my fellow TOS Crew member have to say about WonderMaps. 

I'm a crew member with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and I received a download of WonderMaps from Bright Ideas Press in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

TOS Review: Yesterday's Classics

Do you love to read?
Do you love to read American Classics?  
If you answered yes, then Yesterday's Classics is just what you need.   
Yesterday's Classics offers 225 ebooks via EPUB or Kindle formats.

225 American Classics (books that were first published between 1880-1902) right at your finger tips without spending a fortune.    

With Yesterday's Classics you receive:
  • Illustrations - if the original edition of the book that was published a century ago had illistrations, then the Kindle and EPUB editions will also have illustrations.
  • Table of Contents - for easier navigating, every book has a table of contents.  Many of the free Kindle or EPUB files available on Amazon do not have a table of contents. 
  • Genres - All books are divided among 22 different genres. Such as: Children of the World, Ancient Greece, Kindergarten, Shakespeare, Faith, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Science, Literature, and more.  
  • NO Digital Rights Management or other restrictions - you can place as many of the 225 files on as many devices as you wish.   
  • NO Printing restrictions 
  • Email Support
  • All books are arranged by level, genre, author, and title
  • All books have descriptions and thumbnails - helps you become familiar with the contents of the books. 
  • Guide to ereader Devices and Software
  • Guide to downloading files and transferring them to your ereader devices

Kindle files cannot be viewed in a Kindle App on a smart phone or iPad, as Amazon has not provided a way to import the files into an APP, unless you purchase the files from their store.  However, the Kindle files can be viewed on your Kindle device or on a PC.
The EPUB files can be viewed on any ereader such as, iPad, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, iPhone, or any smart phone. 
You decided which format you want when you order, however, if you later decide you want the other format or realized you order the wrong format by mistake, simply send Lisa an email and she will email it to you free of charge. 
An added bonus for all the Ambleside, Tapestry of Grace, Heart of Dakota, and Living Books Curriculum users, Yesterday's Classics offers many ebooks that are used within these curriculums.

For those of you who are wondering what on earth an EPUB file is, here is a brief description.  Unlike a PDF which is formatted with fixed pages, meaning each page looks the same regardless of the device you use to view it, the Kindle and EPUB files are a continuous stream of text with no fixed page boundaries, giving you the ability to change font size, color, etc.

I received both the EPUB and the Kindle files.  Each came in 13 zip files. I downloaded the files and unzipped them into a folder on my computer.  Since I do not own a Kindle, I download the Kindle files into the Kindle for PC program I have on my computer.  The EPUB files I transferred to Adobe Digital Edition.  I haven't yet, but I do plan to put some of the ebooks on my smart phone.

You may find that some of the ebooks are available for free on other sites; however, with those sites you lose the ability to change font size, color, view clickable table of contents, and more.  The ebooks available through Yesterday's Classics are much cleaner, nicer looking, with more options available to the reader.  Plus, why would you want to search the internet endlessly in hopes of finding a specific ebook, when you can have access to 225 in one location for only $99.95? 

From now until May 31st you can purchase all 225 American Classic ebooks available from Yesterday's Classics for only $99.95. Once this offer expires the price will return to the normal price of $149.95.
Paperback editions of the books are also available.
Yesterday's Classics is so confident in their product that they offer a 100% money back gaurantee, as well as a free sample.   
Icing on the cake for local North Carolinians, Yesterday's Classics is located in Chapel Hill, NC! 

Here is a VERY small glimpse of the ebooks you will receive. 

World History




 Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome




Fairy Tales


Children of the World


I'm so happy I was chosen for this review.  There are so many books to choose from, I wasn't sure where to begin.  So my daughters and I went through the list and picked out a few books we would like to read.  I plan to go through the list again and choose some books to accompany our studies this next school year.
I think Yesterday's Classic is fantastic and I think you will, too. 

Be sure to stop by and read what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say about Yesterday's Classics.

I'm a crew member with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and I received 225 ebooks in EPUB and Kindle formats from Yesterday's Classics in exchange for my honest review.
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