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Reviewed by Martha Robinson and Mary Leggewie

Purchase details: Flashmaster. $49.95. Approximately 7" wide by 4" high by 1" deep. Available from

Flashmaster is an hand-held math drill machine. Built like a large calculator with lots of buttons, it has many options for practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. The unit comes with instructions, but children and adults are encouraged to try to figure out how to use it without reading them.

The unit has a variety of modes for practice. Drill is accomplished through timed or untimed sessions in which missed problems may be repeated or not. Missed problems are stored for use in the "Special Problems" mode, which also allows for entry of problems needing particular attention. Levels allow the user to choose which tables will be studied. A pause button is available for interruptions during a session.

The machine is programmed to reward good performance. Correct answers receive a chime, while incorrect ones get a cuckoo sound. When the session is completed perfectly, an encouraging word flashes on the screen and a positive bugle-type sound plays. The sound may be turned off if preferred.

Martha's Recommendation: Flashmaster is excellent for homeschooling families. While relieving parents of the pain of drills, it makes practice more fun for youngsters. Because of its size and the ability to turn off the sound, it is perfect for families on the go. A great deal of engineering and skill went into the development of Flashmaster, as evidenced by how easy it is to use. This is a product that will fit in well with today's students.

Mary's Recommendation: I am very pleased with the results using the Flashmaster, particularly with my middle son, who tends to freak out with anything that pressures him into hurrying. While he knows he is timed for his drills, he can focus on the task at hand without worrying about the pressure of a race format. My two boys have used it daily for the past six months. Highly recommended. resources related to this review:'s Math Resources Section for everything you need to teach math and enrich your curriculum!
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