Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Funnix Math for the Short Set

Back in the summer, I downloaded Funnix Math to use with my almost 5 year old. They offered it for free for a month as an introduction to their new program and that's my favorite price, so how could I resist?

My pre-schooler has been slowly working through the lessons and there are many things I like about the program. I like that it is slow and incremental. It doesn't assume any prior knowledge and starts with number recognition, counting and other basics, but builds nicely up to addition and subtraction.  I also really like that since it is on the computer, my role is to cuddle the little one, move the mouse and click a button now and then. What's even better is that when I'm cuddling someone else or teaching someone else something, one of my older kids can do math with my son, which the big kids love and so does their little brother.

I hate to complain about a free product, but I do have one big one; a complaint that almost makes me want to ditch the whole thing. It's the language. No, there isn't any &@^*@^#!! There are several instances where I hear the teacher make subject-verb agreement errors (usually when a prepositional phrase falls between the subject and verb). They use the term box instead of square, which drives even my other children crazy, and seems like an odd way to teach shape names. But the thing that really, really, really makes me psychotic is the constant less/fewer confusion. How is a child going to master this basic English when the program always asks things like, "Does the top group have more lines or less lines?"

Just in case any of you out there are confused and don't know that the above should say "fewer" and not "less," I found The Grammar Girl, who has already explained it all.

So, while I recommend the math part of the program, I have serious reservations about recommending any program with such egregious English. Just in case you were wondering. As to our own continued use, so far, we carry on and correct the man in the computer every time I hear him.

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