Monday, May 21, 2012
Another math facts review. I requested to do this review, but wasn't sure what if it would be something we could use or not. In fact, I wondered if there was truly a need for yet another math review computer game.
However, it is clear to me, the computer is the BEST way to work "flashcards" for our family. Not only does the computer never get tired or distracted while endlessly flipping cards, it can insert missed problems at intervals appropriate for the learner to gain mastery. And while my children like the program we currently use, I figure it would not hurt them at all to try another.
CapJaxMathFax tm ( www.capjax.com )is easy to install and very easy to operate. It can be used for up to 10 users. It is different from other programs we have tried in many ways, but almost everything you need to know about the program is very clearly presented on the companies website under the info tab While I am not going to compare directly to the other math programs we have used, here is a link to a review Captain Jack has on his site for another program we have never used.
CapJaxMathFaxtm can be used with any child old enough to recognize numbers and capable of using a keyboard and enter key, but he/ she won't get the full benefits until they can read since rewards and comments pop up during the learning time.
A student can just practice or else "play for rating"- which then tracks and scores progress. The student decides how quickly they work through the problems (though I have a set time my children must spend on one or both of the math programs we are currently using) Once they have reached 1000, they have achieved mastery.
They are able to work on addition for a while, then switch to subtraction, back to addition, on to multiplication, etc and the computer tracks their program in each of the 4 math functions- addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.
The reports provided by this program are great and as the parent/ teacher it is wonderful to see with one quick glance how each child is doing.
Pros: super easy to install and work the problems. I loved to see the progress each child made with just a glance and my children loved to see the rewards they earned. The printing option could be a pro or a con. I personally didn't like for my kids to be prompted to print their rewards, but it could be helpful to many children and certainly for records- since often homeschoolers lack in that area of concrete evidence of "real" school. Also, while some of the reason I like this type of computer program is convenience, I do feel the facts are retained better by my children than the traditional paper flashcards.
Cons for me: this program seems a little "lack luster" to me, this can certainly be a benefit to certain learners. I do not like the license only being for a year. This is a program I would love to revisit, but doubt I would buy year after year for using just a short % of the year. I can see this being a benefit for a classroom setting, though. Also- this is very silly, but I do not care for the cartoon character of Captain Jack himself. He looks a little creepy to me.
Maybe that goes back to a lamp my Mom used to have that had a sea captain on it. I was sure his eyes were following me when I walked into the room. Used to creep me out. So, it is entirely possible it is like clowns for some people!
My children weighed in on their like/ dislike as well. My 14 yo feels he can work the problems faster in CapJaxMathFaxtm and felt he made more progress than in the other program. I didn't know the graphics and moving screen of the other program distracted him and likely he didn't either until he used this program. My 8 yo likes the other program much better and really doesn't like CapJaxMathFaxtm for some reason. (He was very vague with his reasons, though.)
My 9 yo likes both programs, but prefers the other because it is "funner" and he enjoys the story line. He likes the reports that are generated and looking at the progress charts provided by CapJaxMathFax. My 7 yo math lover likes both programs a lot and wants to buy her own- LOL! I told her she doesn't need to get her own copy.
The cost for this program is $29.95 for a yearly license. Merit badges can also be purchased for $4.Here is more contact info if you need it!
Starboard Training Systems
11729 North Shore Dr.
Reston, VA 20190 USA
Open 9:00am - 5:00pm EST
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of CapJaxMathFax for free in exchange for my honest review.