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math drills, flash cards, and boys… Oh MY!

February 13, 2009

I pulled some curriculum off my shelf the other day.  Some good stuff that is a keeper.  I remembered this review that I posted ages ago…. it is still valid…. I have NOT changed my mind.   I am a notorious curiculum junkie… always looking for the ‘best’ curriculum so when I find a keeper… I know it is good. 


Do your kids just love flash cards? (mine not really)   How about paper and pencil drills? ( mine  – YUCK!!)   Memorization is important….however…. it is always the first thing to get put aside.   Or the kids get bored with it and motivation is extreeeemly low.  Have any of you experienced the frustration of trying to make flash cards quick or fun when you have an unmotivated student?  I have…. not fun. 


I have a few computer math games, but in the majority of cases, there is a lot of game and only a little bit of math involved.  


There is one drill that both the kids and I do like.   The Quarter Mile Math The kids love to play the race, and I love that there is a more math involved in the game.  But, even with Quarter Mile Math,  I found that unless I were there monitoring what problems the boys were choosing to do,  they would do very simple addition because they could get faster and faster.  WHICH IS FINE!!!  But they also need to work on the harder problems as well.


I then found out about Dr Aardsma’s Math and Spelling software.  We tried it and I love it. 


Dr Aardsma’s Math drill detects what your student misses and what he already knows.  It then reviews and adds harder content automatically.  Hmmm….. that means I don’t have to make sure they are doing more than 2+2=4.  Cause I know they already know that.


The students can then print up a report, which shows their score for each drill in a percentage format.  Now for the motivation part ~ My boys know they must score at least 80%.  Then they are done.  The program tracks speed as well as accuracy so the boys are motivated to be accurate and quick.  Just what we wanted!! 


The spelling drills work the same way.  The report that is printed up shows what words they have done and what they need to work on.  You can also set the program to follow major homeschool publishers programs – like Bob Jones, Abeka and others.  We are a bit eclectic and don’t use any of theses, so I just chose the default.  This program does NOT teach spelling rules, it is strictly a drill program.   


We got these drills several years ago.  Used them regularly.  The boys are now 12,13 and 17.  We don’t use them as regularly as we used to but I am planning on implementing the spelling drills again.  The boys will be done with Mega-Words soon. I will then implement the spelling drills again (for the 12,13 yo) just to keep them on their toes.    They do well with math facts now (thanks to Dr Aardsma) so we have not done them in a while… but I may just implement them as well.  We’ll see. 

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 14, 2010 7:41 pm

    Hi Sharon, Thought you might want to know that Dr. Aardma has a new web-based version of his Math and Spelling Drills just out in Feb. 2010! Check out and try a demo of both Dr. Aardsma’s Math Drill or Dr. Aardsma’s Spelling Drill. I think you will like what you see! Folks who have the old CD versions can mail in their CD’s to Aardsma Research and Publishing to get the new one year subscription version completely FREE for every CD they mail in! See for more details!

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