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Math Success 2005 Review by Nancy Wagner

TOPICS Entertainment
1600 SW 43rd St.
Renton, WA 98055
(425) 656-3621

This is a set of CD-ROMs for the computer that cover basic math through Trigonometry, Calculus, and Statistics.

I was anxious to test out this particular software program because I wanted try teaching basic math in a slightly different way to my 9-year-old son, who loves almost anything on the computer, but hates using a pencil and paper and does not seem to catch onto math easily.

First, I would like to stay that it is not self-teaching, and indeed the information on the web site indicates it is a tutorial. It has a lesson, then you practice with different levels. There are no additional lessons at the same level if the student is having problems. It does not keep the student's information on file and does not keep a record of anything related to their practice run or test scores. We did use it for basic math facts practice. It has several levels to choose from for more complicated problems and when finished, it gives a record of the completed run with the number of problems, number missed, percentage correct, and a grade based on a scale preset by the program.

My son was just ready to start division, so this was the perfect place to start trying out the program. Division is explained with the symbol upside down from the way I learned it. There is no place on the computer for taking the process step by step with multiple digit dividends. I ended up having to explain how to divide using pencil and paper and the traditional symbols. Again, though, the practice problems for division are helpful, but with the symbol upside down from how he actually came to understand what was going on, it took a while to get past that difference when it came to writing the more complicated problem down on paper and going through the process.

This program may be excellent for someone who is good at math and catches on quickly. It would also be excellent for "mental math" practice. However, I do not recommend it for a student who is having difficulty with math.

--Product Review by: Nancy Wagner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine