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Quick Facts with Grandma Bee Review by Kelly Burgess

Brenda Bailey
Grandma Bee, LLC
8168 Candleberry Drive
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Quick Facts with Grandma Bee from Grandma Bee, LLC is a complete system for teaching your child how to memorize his/her basic multiplication and division facts. The system includes a binder containing all of the reusable paper fact tests, a folder used for tracking student scores and progress that includes a plastic overlay so the tests can be used again and again, and a zippered storage bag containing cardstock flashcards, a DVD of instructions, lessons, and timers, a highlighter, and a dry erase marker. This kit is just $54.95 and is designed for students of all ages who have yet to master their basic math facts.

When I opened the kit, there was an instruction sheet giving a general overview of how it works, but there was a handwritten note at the top telling me that detailed instructions could be found on the first six videos of the DVD, so I started there. These short instructional videos told me all I needed to know and made it all clear. It was important to watch these because this program has a unique scoring method that I do not think I would have figured out without having watched the instructional videos.

It was easy to get my child started. The process involves having him watch a short lesson on the DVD, work with the corresponding flashcards, and then take a one-minute timed test. The timers are built-in on the DVD, so that makes it easy to track without needing a separate timer. After recording his score, we either plan to repeat the process the following day on the same material if he did not master it, or we prepare to start on the next set of math facts the next day. For each set of math facts, we work on multiplication the first time until mastered and then move on to the same facts in division. Once both are mastered, we highlight the set of math facts on the fact chart on the student folder to show all the facts that have been mastered so far. That gives my son a sense of satisfaction to see how many he is already learned well and how many are left for him to learn.

In terms of scoring, Grandma Bee stresses perfection in that mastery is not achieved with any wrong answers. In order to move on, the student has to get all the facts correct with at least a fifty out of fifty minimum score, or the student must achieve a thirty-five out of thirty-five minimum score for two days in a row on a set of facts before moving on. This was important for my son, who has ADHD and tends to write slowly. When we started, I was concerned that he may be unable to write quickly enough to get the required score before the one-minute timer was up, but because he could get the lower score two days in a row and move on, he was still able to keep his progress moving.

I love that the student folder includes the plastic overlay that allows my son to write his answers with the included dry-erase marker. This allows him to take the timed tests as many times as necessary until he achieves the passing scores without the need for lots of paper copies. Scoring is also fast since the answers are listed on the back of the test. When he is finished, we simply flip over the page and line up the answers with the overlay for comparison. Scoring guidelines are listed in the margin to make counting the total score easy, as well. I also like how mixed reviews are built-in after each set of multiplication and division facts is mastered. This ensures the student is retaining all the facts they have learned so far before adding new ones.

My son just turned twelve and is in the sixth grade, so he should have learned these facts by now. The fact that he has not done so causes him to work too slowly through more advanced math since he must stop and calculate basic facts he should know instantly. I feel confident that this program is really helping him master these facts once and for all! Grandma Bee has a pleasant voice and mannerisms, and she works in interesting facts about beekeeping at the start of each video. She does not make the content and presentation too babyish for older students, so that makes this program more tolerable for kids who are late to the game like my son.

His ADHD makes timed tests more difficult for him since he can become distracted easily, so I was surprised that he did not become frustrated with this program. I think because he is not expected to complete all the problems before the timer goes off, it takes away the pressure he would ordinarily feel in such circumstances. Plus, the program only takes a commitment of ten minutes a day, which is perfect for his short attention span. In fact, I was pleased with how much he really liked and praised the program! He said he felt it was planned out well, and it gave him the confidence he lacked previously. We will continue to use it until he has mastered all his basic math facts.

Even if you have tried and failed with other programs in the past just like we have, I would encourage you to give Grandma Bee’s system a try. She teaches the facts in a different order and with a different method than most traditional programs, and it just makes more sense.

-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2020