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Subtraction in Action Review by Lisa Barthuly & Family

Anita Spires Turner
Turner Educational Products, LLC
POB 87352
Baton Rouge, LA 70879

Subtraction in Action has a line on their press materials that states "Basic Subtraction in ONLY 4 WEEKS-GUARANTEED".....well, I couldn't resist that challenge!

This program is geared toward all children (special needs included), guarantees success, can be used in homeschools, or any school setting. The program that we reviewed is the Parent Kit (homeschool version or for one student). They also create classroom kits. This multisensory program approach here is using manipulatives, workbooks, rhymes (10-4 = 6 Rabbits for sure!) and "anxiety free" testing.

Subtraction in Action comes with a 60+ page parent/teacher spiral bound book, an 80+ page child/student workbook, and five plastic bags identified by week 1,2,3,4 plus a fifth of extra materials. The bags consist of plastic toys (as manipulatives) akin to what you'd get from a gumball machine.

I can say that from this homeschool family's experience, the children spent more time trying to memorize the rhymes and concentrating on the toys than on mastering math facts and just figuring the equation. I personally think its a bit confusing at best. Is the object to memorize the rhyme, the fact or what?

As a homeschool parent, I find that for 'what you get' (2 basic workbooks and bags of gumball machine toys) this is outrageously overpriced. ($129.99 is the list price as of November, 2005.) I don't know ANY parent who couldn't buy a 10 cent spiral notebook, grab a pencil and a bag of M & M's and have more success! $129.99 buys a whole lot of paper, pencils and M & M's! Even if a parent didn't want to write out the math problems you could SO EASILY find worksheets just like this all over the internet, print them, and use beans, pennies, or any other form of counters at the same time saving the expense of the bag of M & M's. Really.

I cannot recommend this product unless you have money to burn and love gumball machine toys.

-- Product Review by : Lisa Barthuly & Family, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2005