Monday, May 14, 2012
I am regularly asked by my homeschool friends with younger children, "How do you teach the facts?" Everyone wants their children to be able to rattle off their multiplication tables or do basic addition in their head. Sometimes, that's not so easily achieved. I will admit to you, that even though our guys are taking Algebra I and II this year, they still struggle with the basic facts. So, I was grateful for the opportunity to review CapJaxMathFax and give Big Mac and T-Bone a bit of fact review.
I first had to install the program which proved a bit challenging for me. In the end, I had to disable my virust/download protection in order to install. My program did not want to insall CapJax because it found too few users. Next, when you are installing, I did get a message that said certain files found were older than those already on my PC. I opted to keep the more current files and continued with the installation. In the end, after I figured out how to disable my download protection, the download was very quick and easy.
From there, I could get to CapJax from the start button on my laptop. I run Windows 7 just in case you are wondering.
This is a game/facts drill program but one that is useful to put on one machine for all your students or children to use. The reason for this is so that they can compare themselves to each other. When you get into the program, you choose what you want to drill, multiplication, addition, subtraction, or division. You can choose a combination of these or just one option. Then we choose "Play for Rating" so that we can see how we "stack up" against each other.
I played the first game. I chose to practice multiplication, at all levels, so the problems would be mixed up a little. The keyboarding is a piece of cake. You hit enter for a new problem, you type a number for the answer and then hit enter. But here's where it threw me. The first few problems were formatted like this:
So I was cruising along and then the next problem was like this:
WAIT! It's amazing but just a slightly different format and I was out of my groove. But I like that! I mean, we don't always see a math problem in exactly the same format. For multiplication, the program switched between three different ways of displaying the facts. Trying to complete the facts while they were regularly changed in format was pretty cool.
To use CapJax, I had the boys sit at my laptop alone in my room for 5 minutes each day practicing their facts. We did a mixture of all four types of problems, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Each day they could track their progress (there's a cool charting feature to see how you are doing), and compare themselves. We like that kind of thing around here.
I liked CapJax because it is easy to use and easily taught to any age child. If you have kids in the early elementary grades, you would find this useful for the basic addition and subtraction facts. But then the program will grow with you into the upper elementary years for multiplication and division. I wish our guys had a better mastery of the facts. I do believe that CapJax is helping that, and plan to continue use of it over the summer months. I want them to be able to do the addition and multiplication quickly in their heads as they are working on the higher maths. It's hard enough to complete complicated math problems without having to try to count out addition or mulitiplcation. CapJax is great for a fact-refresher.
This is not a complicated program at all. It's all about the facts. But it's a useful one. Could you accomplish this with flash cards or timed tests? Probably. Would it be as fun, and as little work for mom as CapJax? No way!
CapJaxMathFax main website is found here. Click on the menu bar from that link to find out more from the vendor too. You can get your copy of CapJaxMathFax for $29.95 here. If you would like to contact CpJaxMathFax for yourself, go here. There are a bunch of crew-members reviewing this product, so don't take my word for it. Check out the crew reviews here.
Disclaimer: I received a download of CapJaxMathFax because I am part of the TOS Crew. This is my honest review of the product.