Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: UberSmart Software

Sometimes a review really catches you by surprise.  You think it’s going to be a ‘simple, little program’, and you find out that it is actually so much more.  That’s what we’ve discovered with UberSmart Software’s UberSmart Math Facts program!

Although I was very excited about this review (seriously!), I thought we’d be ‘doing flashcards’ on the computer screen.  That’s all.  I thought it would be helpful, but I wasn’t sure that UberSmart Math Facts would be anything amazing.  Let me just put this out there: I. WAS. WRONG.

Though UberSmart Math Facts seems so simple, and it’s offered for a very reasonable price, it’s not such a ‘simple, little math program’ after all.  It’s packed full of terrific math learning, practicing, testing, and assessing.

UberSmart Math Facts was created by homeschool dad, David Kocur, in response to his wife’s request for a flashcard program for their children.  This downloadable software program teaches basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) to children of all ages.  It uses a flashcard and rote memorization learning method, which has proven so effective over the years.  The main goal of UberSmart Math Facts is to encourage children (or users of any age, really) to memorize basic facts so they will be able to answer with automaticity.

All users may begin with an assessment test to determine the level at which they are currently able to work.  It begins with counting dots, moves on to sequencing, number relationships, and odd/even numbers.  From there, it goes on to test basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.   (There is an “I don’t know” option to keep your child from feeling frustrated if the problems become too difficult.)

Once the user has completed this assessment test, the program offers a written (and printable) assessment of the user’s math skills to show you where your children should be working in the UberSmart Math Facts program.  I was very impressed with this report!

The levels begin with simple ‘dot cards’ that look somewhat similar to dominoes.  These are suitable for young learners, and they are a wonderful way to learn counting and addition skills in a simple way.  (Our 6 and 5 year old boys are beyond this, and our 3 year old daughter is not quite ready for the dots, so we have not spent much time in this portion of the program.)

If your child is ready for more, he or she may begin to work on basic addition facts.  You may choose a level, such as focusing only on “+1” facts or “+2” facts.  Flash cards appear with a blank in which to type the answer.  Once you’ve typed an answer, you hit the enter key and the next fact appears.  At the end of the fact practice (around 15 facts), you’ll see the results.  These are worded in an encouraging way, and the results show whether the user has mastered this level or needs to continue practicing.

UberSmart Math Facts works like typical flashcards, but because it is a software program, it has the ability to do so much more!  For example:

  • If you choose, the program will automatically filter out facts that your child has mastered. 
  • It will let you know when it’s time to move from practicing a set of facts to testing on that set of facts. 
  • You can adjust time limits and track response times and test results with graphs. 
  • It allows you to print a certificate when your child has completed all facts.

UberSmart Math Facts can be used by all members of your family.  In a passworded parent account, you may set up a username for each family member who will be using the software program.  In this way, multiple children can utilize the program at the same time.  This is an amazing benefit for homeschool families, but it’s also terrific for public or private school families who would like their children to have a little extra practice with basic math facts.

UberSmart Math Facts is not a high-tech, game-like program with fancy bells and whistles.  It has a very basic appearance, as you’ve likely noted throughout this post.   It IS, however, a very effective method of learning and retaining basic math facts.  This program is full of features to help you assess your child’s math abilities and encourage math success.  I very much appreciate UberSmart Math Facts, and I believe we will use this program with all three of our children over the next decade!

For now, we will DEFINITELY continue to use this program with Alex, our 6 year old.  With Alex, the fancy ‘bells and whistles’ can be a distraction.  He does well when he is able to focus on the task at hand without feeling rushed.  I feel that UberSmart Math Facts is a great fit for him!  It is absolutely perfect for his needs right now, and I am incredibly thankful that we had the opportunity to review UberSmart Math Facts!

My only complaint about UberSmart Math Facts is that we noticed a few typos scattered throughout the program.  These were minor issues like spelling errors (your instead of you’re) and pop-up messages that told me I mastered an addition section even though I’d just completed a multiplication section.  I only noticed this twice, and reviewers were using the pre-release version of Ubersmart 4.0, so it is possible that these errors have now been corrected.  The typos do NOT affect the program’s ability to assess or teach your child.

UberSmart Math is available for the low price of $24.95, but for a limited time, you can enter “v4 Early Bird” in the discount code box on the purchase page for a 30% discount!  This discount is only valid through September 30, 2014.

System Requirements: UberSmart Math is designed for Windows 7, 9, XP, and Vista.

To read more reviews on UberSmart, please CLICK HERE or on the image below.

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