Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Quarter Mile Math/Barnum Software

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Looking for math drills/practice options that are fun?
Do you have a student that enjoys a challenge, or competition?
Interested in a reasonably priced computer option?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may want to check out Barnum Software's The Quarter Mile Math. You may already be familiar with this software, but if you haven't checked them out lately, I should let you know there is something NEW!

Previously, your ONLY option was to purchase the one or more of the CD programs and install on your computer(s). Since the CD is required to run the program, you were only able to have one student using it at a time.

Now, Barnum Software is offering a new DELUXE version that utilizes a reasonably priced subscription service with an online connection. With the Deluxe version, the software can be installed on any/all of your computers (including Grandma's so that when the kids visit, they can still practice math/show off their math skills, etc...), AND if you have more than one computer, you can have more than one child using the software at the same time. They can even enter tournaments and "Compete" with one another(or even compete with Grandma... :D ) The Deluxe version also includes all 70,000+ problems in the entire product line, covering grades K-9, so they can practice at exactly the level they need. OH, and it doesn't require your child to go on the web, it just utilizes the connection... NICE!

1/4Mile Image

If you haven't heard of The Quarter Mile Software, I should back up a minute and give you a quick overview....
The Quarter Mile Software is a math practice program that kids tend to love. The visual concept is a quarter mile "drag race" (cars) or "run" (horses*). There are 5 competitors in each race, with your child's current race being the farthest left. When they start each race in a given topic (of which there are 323 total, from K-9th grade), the child's car or horse is racing against "Fast Eddie". Each correct answer accelerates the car or horse in the race against the others. With each race, Fast Eddie is replaced with your child's times, until finally they are racing entirely against their 5 top scores. Got that? Here's a link with more information on how the program works, along with an instructive video that showcases the program.

Just to give you an idea of the topics included, here is a range:
Numbers and letters
  • Keyboarding (1- digit and 2-digit numbers, the alphabet and double consonants)
  • Learning the alphabet, counting, greater than, less than, place value
Whole Numbers
  • Grouping, doubling, Halving, Twins and Neighbors
  • Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division
  • Missing Numbers/ Operators
  • Rounding, Squares, Mean, Mode, Median
Estimation Preparation, Estimation
Math Strategies
Intergers Equations

There is a lot to be covered and drilled in here! Excellent! (Want to see the whole list? Here is a PDF file to download)
They also have a list of state standards and correlations that can be downloaded.

If you would like to try before you buy, there is a demo version available with 12 topics to test.

There is only one caveat that I need to mention~ If you are running a newer MAC (ie... MAC OS10.5 or higher, or a MAC running with an Intel Processor)that doesn't include the "Classic" environment then this software isn't an option for you. Thankfully, I have purposefully not upgraded my MAC because I knew that I wouldn't be able to run any number of my educational programs that require "Classic". If you are on a Windows machine, then you are good to go.

So... what is the cost of this program?
The "Deluxe version" is a subscription that covers your entire family. There are three options available:
  • $2.95 per family per month
  • $19.95 per family for one year (save $15.45 over one year) and
  • $34.95 per family for two years (save $35.85 over two years).
The Standard CD-Rom Versions are available in the following options
  • Levels 1 (k-3rd), 2 (4th-6th), and 3(6th-9th) are $ $39.95 each
  • Bundles of Levels 1&2 OR 2&3 are $64.95 each
  • Bundle of all 3 levels is $89.95
One more thing... the folks at Barnum Software listen to suggestions! They have added a section just for homeschoolers.
  • Personally, I like the "Approachable-ness" of this vendor (Willingness to listen to suggestions, good communication, reasonable/affordable pricing).
  • My children enjoy the race aspect, trying to beat their own best times.
  • We all like the option to compete against each other in "tournaments". (Or rather, at this point, they like the challenge or trying to reach the goals I've set with my races.. ;) )
Check out that demo, and see if this will work for your family! If you want to try it out further, a one month subscription for $2.95(no strings attached!) should give you an even better feel for whether this would be a good fit for your homeschool.

OH, and here's a SPECIAL OFFER, just for readers of the TOS Crew Blogs....
Use the Referral Code 7Z7A7 to get $5 off any product--Standard or Deluxe.
There is a place to input this code on the order forms.
This Referral Code will be good until September 30.


*horses note~ These are not jockey-ridden race horses, but rather horses running free in a meadow, for those that might be concerned about horse-racing connotations. :)

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